Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Don’t Look Back (04/19/12)
TITLE: Gluttony 101
By Beth Muehlhausen
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“Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” (Proverbs 23:2)
Welcome culinary connoisseurs of consumption, and congratulations for crawling out of those musty, dark closets of denial! We ask only that you confess to gluttony before continuing to paragraph two. If you qualify, please proceed.
We greet the gluttonous here in paragraph two. This is where you will learn about putting a knife to your throat (1) – or in more approachable language, retraining a runaway appetite that could endanger both quality and quantity of life. Turning from the king’s dainties, as Daniel did. (2) Pressing forward to portion control. Falling in love with vegetables. Juicing them. Steaming them. Salad-izing them.
Bravo, we think you took the knife news quite well. By virtue of your continued presence here in paragraph three, we assume you must be ready to turn - to flee from milkshakes, donuts and all sorts of processed and adulterated edibles, the Sodom and Gomorrah (3) of modern food!
But do your Tar Baby feet seem glued in place under the golden arches, or inside the door of your local bakery? “It’s too hard,” you whine, as the knife blade glints in response to the glaring fluorescent lights. If you’re one of those wearing self-imposed blinders, you are cordially invited to continue.
Perhaps you’ve lived many years with a certain mindset: chocolate, coffee, and sugar (or whatever your food vices might be) have the upper hand. You’ve made peace with these dictators. Bondage to food seems insignificant and petty in the larger redemptive picture, but deep down food has become an addictive idol. You are overweight and listless, cowering at its feet.
You may have already heard some insurance companies recognize how careful dietary practices avert chronic disease, and in response offer discounted premiums to customers who adhere to them. And yet you assume such discount could never apply to YOU. Sound familiar? Sure it does. We all rationalize when it comes to eating. We like our comfort food. We are convinced we MUST HAVE IT.
But alas, the day of reckoning has come! No more rationalizations! The knife speaks! Turn! Turn now! Flee! Don’t look back, unless you want to become a pillar of salt (4)… or perhaps, more aptly, an oversized sugar cube.
Your voice sounds desperate: “How CAN one turn and flee?” And yet your persistence here in paragraph eight proves you must truly want to discover the answer. Listen carefully, then, for the following instruction could change your life.
DO NOT FOCUS ON DENIAL OF THE TASTY THINGS YOU MUST GIVE UP. THE TEMPTERS WILL ONLY HAUNT YOU IF GIVEN MENTAL AND VISUAL SPACE, AND ENTICE YOU WITH DESIRE UNTIL YOU SUCCUMB. INSTEAD, CRUCIFY YOUR PASSIONS AND LUSTS (5) AND LEAVE THEM NAILED TO THE CROSS, ABANDONED, TO DIE ... SO YOU MIGHT LIVE! FOCUS ON THE FOOD GOD ORIGINALLY PROVIDED IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN TO PROMOTE HUMAN WELL-BEING, THE PLANTS AND FRUIT-BEARING TREES. (6)
It comes down to a matter of obedience, doesn’t it?
Our final purpose here at Gluttony 101 is enrollment. We like the fact that the knife is already at your throat, and it might press harder under the conviction of the Holy Spirit if you dare to look back. It may even draw blood as a reminder that a forward-focus is essential.
Some people ‘go cold turkey.’ Join them! Decide, and sign on the dotted line of this Gluttony 101 document – your diploma. You can do it. Today. You are not dependent on your own weak will, but rather on God’s mercy. You are a branch abiding in the True Vine. (7) He will bear the fruit of victory through you.
Turn! Flee! Don’t look back! Remember Lot. God brought him out of catastrophe to a new life. (8) This can be your story as well. Or, you can become like his wife who heard the call to leave, but compromised and was destroyed. (9)
It’s your choice.
(1) - Proverbs 23:2
(2) - Daniel 1:5-15
(3) - Genesis 18, 19
(4) and (9) - Genesis 19:26
(5) - Galatians 5:24
(6) - Genesis 1:29
(7) - John 15
(8) - Genesis 14:29
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