As I sit here, recovering from about 4 days of not really being able to breath (okay, I could breath, just not comfortably) I have tortilla chips and salsa by my side. Let me tell you, I am enjoying having these right here. I have eaten more today, and really it hasn’t been much, than I have since Thursday (today is Tuesday) But there is something missing. What would that be?
Have you been at a point in your life where you felt like you deserve something that you have deliberately avoided? Maybe, you have been very faithful in saving money and you decide you DESERVE a shopping trip? Or, the one that so many relate to – You’ve done well on eating all week, so you DESERVE that four-inch thick piece of chocolate cake. Or, you’ve been sober for almost a year, you can handle one drink. Or you’ve been to church every single Sunday for a month and you really want to sleep in this Sunday.
We rationalize it. We say we have earned it. It’s a reward. I recently saw a poster, I can’t remember where, and don’t know the author, “You’re not a dog. Don’t reward yourself with food.” I like that.
If there is a reason you have avoided it, there is a reason to continue avoiding it.
That money you have been saving? Is it for college? A house? Retirement? A car? Emergency fund? Don’t let a weekend shopping trip tempt you from reaching your goal.
You’ve been dieting for a reason. Bad health? Physical fitness goals? Whatever. No a piece of cake won’t kill you, but there will be consequences. Have you measured them to see if they are worth it for you?
You know how long it took you to consistently come together in worship with others. One Sunday won’t hurt. But so often, that one Sunday turns in to two. Two, turns to three. Then you’re back to having to establish a routine of going to church all over again.
What’s missing in my afternoon snack? Queso! Man, would I love some RIGHT NOW!!! And though I do have an allergy to dairy, I am one of the very few that can still enjoy it in moderation. Typically, I will have cheese when we are out. But, not having eaten much lately, I would so have it right now.
BUT, the consequences of having something I greatly desire far outweighs the rewards. The rewards would be momentary. Strictly while I am eating it. But, I know the consequences would carry on for a few days. You see, my bronchials become inflamed due to dairy. And though I don’t have asthma, I’ve had to use an inhaler for several days (not because of dairy). Do I want to do that longer. NO! I’ve weighed the costs. It isn’t worth it.
We all face temptation every day. And, for some, we are entering in to a season of temptation. The fact is, as we enter in to this time, there is not a single temptation that you do not already know the consequences and rewards of. The most common during this time is overeating, and overspending. But everyone has their own temptations.
Don’t give in to those temptations. Develop a plan. Establish a budget. Get an accountability partner. Freeze your credit cards. Don’t eat out at parties. Eat at home before you leave and mingle with a bottle of water. Fill up on protein first. Some say go for the dessert first since you will eat it no matter how full you are.
Whatever it takes to not stumble, prepare yourself. Consider the costs. And don’t forget to apply it to your walk with Christ. Stay away from what tempts you. Develop a plan. Have an accountability partner. Spend time in God’s Word every day.