Psalm 127: 3-5
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
We could learn a lot from babies. For example, have you ever noticed how a baby eats? It’s almost impossible to get an infant to eat if it’s not hungry! Instinctively they’ll eat only until they are satisfied. Then they stop.
That’s what we should do – eat till we’re satisfied, not until we’re full. Somewhere during the course of life, our dietary instincts become altered. For example, most babies when they get their first taste of salt, make a face, detesting the flavor. But eventually children develop a taste for it, even crave it.
Our desires can similarly change. We start craving the ‘saltier’ things in life: excitement, sweets, larger portions. Nutritionally, a hormone called ghrelin changes our body chemistry until we begin to crave fattier foods like a Whopper or Big Mac. The solution? Eat every 3-4 hours before your blood sugar level drops and cravings begin. Bring a snack to work or carry one when shopping. But if hunger kicks in, develop strategies to confront the temptations it brings.
There are several biblical applications you can put into place to withstand temptations:
- Be prepared. ( paraphrasing Psalm 127: 5b” We should not be put to shame when we meet our opponents in battle”) Our opponent is temptation. If we know how our body works, we can fight against this. Have healthier snacks such as grapes with cheese and crackers, yogurt with berries or peanut butter on a whole grain muffin. Consume a small combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat every 3-4 hours. This makes our bodies run like a well-oiled machine to flee temptation.
- Be cautious of developing an insatiable desire for something that can hurt us! Let’s not make an idol out of something that could control us – that includes food. Today we live under grace and as it distinctly states in 1 Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible . . . . but not everything is beneficial. . . “ A temporary joy can bio-chemically anesthetize us to its dangers. But eventually the consequences could catch up, including diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, cholesterol and heart disease. Destroy our temple of the Holy Spirit and the devil wins.
- Be aware that peer pressure comes at any age. Just because someone made your favorite brownies doesn’t mean you must eat them or you’ll hurt their feelings. Proverbs 1:10, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” And “But I made them just for you.” isn’t an excuse! If someone said, “Hey I bought this heroin just for you!” would you give in? I would hope not. If you’re suffering from chronic heart disease, brownies can be as dangerous as heroin to your system. Would you give in then? Thank the giver, freeze and dispense tidbits later.
- It takes a lot of self-discipline to remain steadfast. 1 Corinthians 16:13. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Don’t be taken down by a cookie! Find a reward you desire more than food: a new cologne, scarf, shoes, book, nail polish, movie tickets. I think it was the Jenny Craig organization who stated ‘Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” So true!
Lifetime success begins with baby steps. Let’s start walking toward the Lord!