Confession time: I went on vacation and blew it with my eating.
After thinking about what happened, I realized what caused me to stumble: It was the lure of “new and improved food.”
What do I mean? When you travel, do you anticipate:
- Eating food you’ve never eaten before (new food)?
- Eating familiar food prepared a new way (improved food)?
That’s what happened to me. What else can explain my desire to try a new restaurant that promised “gourmet grilled cheese”?
There isn’t anything wrong with eating “new and improved food” on vacation. But my problem was that I ate too much of it. The definition of gluttony is an “overconsumption of food or drink to the point of waste.”
I wasted food by eating what my body did not need.
I feared that if I didn’t eat it then, I’d never get the opportunity to eat it again. That same fear of scarcity caused me to gain extreme amounts of weight when I had a job traveling. But on vacation, I forgot about those consequences.
In a way, I was like the children of Israel in Numbers 11:4-6. God was feeding them with manna, but they complained about it. They said, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
What is wrong with this picture? They forgot they were slaves in Egypt! They may have eaten freely, but they were not free. They suffered hard labor, and Pharaoh was in control over their very lives. They lived in fear for the lives of their male babies, as Pharaoh had ordered them to be murdered as they were born.
Isn’t sin just like that? You remember the “good times,” forgetting all the pain and grief that came with them.
Contrast the Israelites' response with Jesus’ response in Matthew 4:1-4. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days, whereas the Israelites had access to food but their tongues craved something else. All they were concerned about was satisfying themselves.
When the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (v. 4).
In fact, in every temptation the devil presented to Jesus, Jesus responded with focus back to God:
- “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (v. 7).
- “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (v. 10).
I’ll be traveling again in a few weeks. Like Jesus, I desire to glorify God with the fruit of self-control in my eating. That desire does not end when I go on vacation!
This is an agreement I’ve made with myself to settle this issue:
- I have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16; Rom. 7:25).
- I set my mind on the things of the Spirit daily so that I can live according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:5). I set my mental thermostat first thing in the morning every day to show love to others, to love God and to seek His glory in every choice I make.
- By the Holy Spirit’s power, I put to death the deeds of my body so that I can live and declare the works of the Lord (Rom. 8:13; Ps. 118:17).
- I remember that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in me (Rom. 8:18).
- I tell myself that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am not my own; I was bought with a price. Jesus shed His blood for me, and His body was broken for me. Therefore, I glorify God in my body and spirit, which belong to God (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
I am telling you all of this to be accountable to you. When I return from my next trip coming up in a few weeks (God willing), I will write to you and let you know how I kept the above agreement. With God’s help, I won’t give in to the lure of “new and improved food.”
Kimberly Taylor is the author of The Weight Loss Scriptures and many other books. Once 240 pounds and a size 22, she can testify to God’s goodness and healing power. Visit takebackyourtemple.com and receive more free health and weight-loss tips.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!