Humans are very interesting creatures. We make choices and live our lives a certain way based on these choices. Sometimes we make good choices in one area of our lives only to ignore similar choices in other areas. We work hard at our job, while our homes fall apart due to neglect. We nurture relationships with friends while our marriages struggle. We help other families grow strong while our families grow weak. We do all of this with the best of intentions, but in our efforts to help some we may also be turning others away. In our efforts to help others we may be hurting ourselves and those closest to us.
By now you may be wondering where I am going with this line of thinking. Well, let me explain. Many years ago I decided not to drink. Not because I believed that the act of drinking was sin in and of itself. In fact I believe that drinking in moderations is not sin, while drinking in excess is. I made the choice not to drink because I never wanted some child or youth or even another adult to see me drinking a single beer with dinner and use that to justify their drunken bing. Paul put it like this, “Therefore, it what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” (1 Corinthians 8:13)
I stand by this choice and will continue to live my life based on it. However, I have recently come to the realization that even while avoiding this potential influence I was displaying another influence that could have the same harmful effect. While sitting at that same dinner, intentionally avoiding alcohol I tend to over indulge in the food served me. My name is Matt and I’m a glutton. This is where you say, “HELLO MATT.” Even as the Bible tells us that drunkenness is a sin so does it tell us that gluttony is sin. Yet there I was stuffing my face with so much food that I could barely breath comfortably by time I was done. Never did it occur to me that I
might be WAS doing the very thing that I was trying to avoid. I simply traded one sinful display for another. In fact I traded something that was NOT sin for something that WAS.
I am not going to commit to loosing a hundred pounds over the next six months, or even the next year. In fact I am not committing to losing any weight at all. What I am committing to is taking the same stance in the way I eat that I have with alcohol. Even as Paul said that his desire to even avoid eating habits that might lead “a brother or sister to fall into sin” that is the commitment I make today. Understand that do plan to lose weight and I have set goals related to that, but that is not the main point of the post. My primary goal is to get YOU thinking. Is there some area of your life that needs to be evaluated. Is there some habit in your life that might be leading others around you to sin? Maybe, like me, you struggle with gluttony. Maybe it is something else. Whatever it is, you need to take the time to examine it and do what needs to be done to remove it from your life. I am currently working to discover exactly how it looks when God helps you deal with sinful habits. What I do know is that it involves submission, prayer and self-denial. Jesus told us this when he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross DAILY and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) If we desire to follow Jesus, as we claim we do, then we must do as Jesus said. I am still working on how this looks in my own life, but I am convinced that this is the key to achieving this.
I’d love to hear what your struggles are and how God is working in your life to help you over come them. Leave a comment below.Matt Norman
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