Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sugar Overload



I gave in. Friends were coming over for dinner, so I had the perfect excuse to make dessert. And not just any dessert - but one boasting three delectable kinds of chocolate. With my willpower on a swift decline, I included a sugary-helping of dessert with both lunch and dinner. A little help from my family ensured that the Chocolate Explosion was polished off over the course of the weekend.

By Sunday evening, I had to admit I had overdone it. Not only did my clothes feel a bit too tight, but the sugar had overwhelmed my immune system. Sluggishness, a sore throat and head congestion greeted me Monday morning. Ugh! If only I could rewind to Friday and go lighter on the dessert throughout the weekend. Live and learn.

If I practiced some self-control where the Chocolate Explosion was concerned, I may have avoided getting sick. I had bumped into an undeniable truth: self control is important in all areas of my life - even in the small things.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, also known as temperance (Galatians 5:22-23; KJV). Yielding to the Spirit is the key to living a life filled with this precious fruit. Is it easy? No - it requires hard work. My old sin nature is constantly at war with my new spiritual nature. That's why the apostle Peter says to diligently pursue adding some things to my faith. Pursuing something diligently means work is involved!
   
What should I be striving to add to my faith? "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity," (2 Peter 1:5-7). Lots of great things I need to add to my faith - one of which is temperance.

Self-control doesn't come naturally. It's something I have to learn. The apostle Paul put it best when speaking with the Philippians, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me," (Philippians 4:11-13).

How was Paul able to exercise self-control and contentment in these situations? He submitted himself to the will of Christ and obeyed the Lord in each circumstance. As a result he was able to demonstrate self-control and he experienced contentment.

With the holiday season right around the corner, the reality is that I WILL be making desserts and attending festivities where sugary goodies will be the highlight. My plan? Remember the example of the apostle Paul - demonstrate self-control and learn to be content with a modest portion!

Do you struggle with self-control? What step will you take to put this fruit of the Spirit into practice in your own life?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the fruit of the Spirit that includes self-control. Help me to realize the importance of demonstrating self-control even in the small areas. Teach me to be content, knowing that you are able to strengthen me in every situation. In Jesus' name, Amen.


*I'm hosting over at Living by Grace today. Come join in the discussion!

12 comments:

  1. Hmmm, sugar overload... that never happens to me... haha. Just kidding!
    I want to be a bit more disciplined when it comes to food, I admit. I am still learning and listening...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to see you Marja! Discipline where food is concerned can be difficult. Traditionally, our culture has trained us to reward ourselves with food.

      Have a great week my friend! God bless~

      Delete
  2. I gave up sugar for almost one year until I moved back home here. Something about being here makes me want to bake like I used to so yes, I need to work on that self control!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Terri! Could you tell a difference in the way you felt when you avoided sugar? If I overdo it, I get really tired and it seems like it affects my immune system (plus it's easy to gain a few pounds when I'm in that 'baking mode!')

      Enjoy your week! Hugs & Blessings~

      Delete
  3. You would post this the day I restart my diet. I know that I feel better without the sugar - but it's all about the self control as you say. I can give up lots of other things without any problems, but food? Tough. But God is strongest in my weakness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful to see you Jan! Isn't God good at reinforcing the commitments we make? Even through something as little as a blog post. Appreciate your transparency!

      Funny thing about sugar for me - the more I eat, the more I crave it. Definitely has an addictive characteristic about it!

      Way to go allowing God to be the strength in this area of weakness! Praying for you my friend! :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Maria - Wow, I can relate to giving into temptation. But the pleasure only lasts for an instant, doesn't it? Living for God last forever.

    Thanks for the good reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to see you Kim! Your comment reminded me of the verse in Hebrews (11:25) that talks about the pleasures of sin only lasting for a season - so true! I know eating dessert isn't a sin, but gluttony is!:) Best to focus on living for the Lord! Have a great week. God bless~

      Delete
  5. Yeah, I do. But I tend to struggle more with discipline. I can avoid the candy, but my real struggle comes in with making myself stick to things like working out, or getting up early for my quiet time with God. I guess that's all in the same arena, huh? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Susan! I view self-control and discipline as close cousins. And I can definitely relate to the struggle you experience with getting up early. Since I've taken writing more seriously, I'm attempting to get up a little earlier in order to get everything done.

      Have a blessed week, my friend! Hugs to you! :)

      Delete
  6. Hi Maria,

    I would be right there at the table with you! Chocolate!

    Like the previous commenter, I struggle to get up early. These chilly fall days make me want to hibernate.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to see you Susan! I see you're a fellow chocolate-lover! :)

      And I'm totally with you on the struggle to get out of bed when it's dark and cold in the morning. Working on it though! Have a great weekend! Hugs & Blessing to you!

      Delete