Friday, August 26, 2011

That Was Stupid

I know we are not really supposed to use that word, but sometimes we do things that are, well, just that, stupid. Why? We know better. We know the outcome will not be good, but we do it anyway. And, in our hearts we know we have no one else to blame.

Several years ago my doctor told me to limit my fat intake as well as my carbohydrates. One for my gallbladder that isn't functioning as well as it should (common in women after the age of forty - wonderful), the other for blood surgar issues. What do I do? Crave the foods I know I shouldn't have. So, why am I tempted to indulge in what I know will make me violently ill?  I tell myself a lie. If I limit the frequency and the amount,  I might just get away with it - this time. The problem is, when I get away with it once, I believe I can do it again, and again. Pretty soon I'm doing it all the time, and then suffer the dire consequences of doing what I know I shouldn't, wondering why I am having trouble. It's a game of Russian Roulette I can't seem to resist.

I do this with all kinds of rules or commandments, not just my health. The story of Adam and Eve is a classic example. Many interpretations focus on their broken relationship with God, but I found an additional gem. For years I condemned Eve for causing us all to live with the results of sin. After all she is the one who first gave into temptation and then led Adam into it as well, yet I can't even refuse small amounts of foods that I know will make me miserable, so how can I can point my finger at her without pointing it at myself?

True, ice cream (for example) is not an apple from the Tree of Good and Evil. It doesn't cause the death of another (although I sometimes wish I would just die), it is a symbol of something deeper. It signifies how far I will sacrifice my comfort to taste the forbidden, to indulge in my desires, even those I know are harmful to me. So far I have been lucky, my indulgences have not taken any one's life, not even my own - as yet, but if you fail in small things, the chances are greater you will also fail in bigger ones.

I don't have any answer or secret other than to trust God to help me through my failures and to give me strength to avoid the next pitfall, big or small. He has promised no sin is too grievous to be forgiven - as long as I repent and ask for forgiveness. Believe me, I am repenting now while I am uncomfortable.

Adding to this, I'd like to blame it all on my partner in crime, just like Adam tried to do. My husband has horrible sweet tooth and can't pass the ice cream or desert section in the grocery store without coming home with something. Just having these foods in the house is a tremendous temptation, much like the Tree of Good and Evil was to Eve. You could lay bets she hovered around it on several occasions, not touching, but certainly flirting. She did tempt Adam, but she didn't hold his nose and force the forbidden fruit down his throat, and neither did my husband. I succumbed to the temptation on my own.

I think about the heroic men and women of Scripture who willing fasted for days, faced horrific deaths, and never denied their faith. I can't even pass up the ice cream let alone die a martyr's death. But, you know what? God still loves me in spite of my flaws and He will give me the strength I need to face anything, yes, anything as long as I can trust Him, and not myself.

12 comments:

  1. Aren't we blessed with God's love?! Before they finally figured out I have Crohn's disease, I'd go on bouts where I couldn't eat much of anything but grits and toast. That would settle my stomach some, and I'd start craving tacos. I'd give in, pay the consequences, and return to my diet of grits and toast.

    It was a vicious cycle. I had no self-control--and can't lay claim to it even now. Thankfully, God loves me anyway.

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  2. I so understand what you mean! I have similar problems with fats and sugar, and yet those things that I know will cause me such trouble are so tempting sometimes! It's also true about other things in life. Thank you for the reminder of God's love and strength to face all things!

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  3. This was great to read in more than one way..first for myself, and also as I learn to walk more in grace for myself and family members.

    Fall seems to beckon me to start back on schedules and even better eating habits/exercise, which my husband and I both need...he is 57 now and starting to have small health concerns...we too need to stop being stupid...which is a word that can't be used in our house with a five year old...but is the true word needed.

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  4. Linda, Connie,and Janette, it is comforting to know this misery has company! Not that I wish any discomfort on anyone, but knowing I am not alone with the health issues and not the only one stupid enough to think she can ignore them, helps. Maybe we should start a new club and offer each other support during the stupid-I-can-get-away-with-it-just -this-once moments.

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  5. Ceci, I've learned that, if I desire something that might cause a problem for me, I just eat a bite of it. And that satisfies. Hubs has a sweet tooth also AND diabetes! He brings stuff home all the time, too. But I've learned to keep my hands off of it. Well, almost all the time! ;P I think you and I need a cabinet with a lock that only hubbies can open!

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  6. Lynn, that is a great idea about a locked cabinet, except it might be even more of a temptation to break in during a midnight craving. Just kidding. A little self control can go a long ways, with a little help from friends!

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  7. Yep, my husband and I are constantly battling the sweet tooth/salt craving thing! We love each other and bask in the knowledge that God loves us. Nice food for the soul and mind! :)

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  8. Yep, it is indeed the sugar/salt cravings that do us in. It is obvious there are many sufferers out there, not just me. And yes, having a loving relationship with both your spouse and God makes it easier to deal with failure and to celebrate the triumphs.

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  9. We are strong through God's love.

    Hugs!

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  10. We are, Katherine! Hugs to you as well.

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  11. Love this post Cecilia! Your husband and mine must shop at the same store! (lol) Mine is a huge sugar addict (takes after his Mom) and I hate how his "stuff" just stares at me with a beckoning call like that of some siren on the sea shore! HELP - I can relate to your pain!

    And yes, I'm so thankful that God loves us in spite of ourselves and our weaknesses... :)

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  12. Debra, where is that self control when you want it? It seems to fly out the door when the man of your life, with a twinkle in his eye asks, "Want some (name whatever food you know you shouldn't have)? I'll bring you some and we can sit on the patio and watch the sunset."

    I turn to jello, smile and say, "Well of course dear, I'd love some."

    I am getting a little better at saying, "No, but you go right a head. I'll bring my diet caffeine free soda and join you on the patio."

    You have empathy and sympathy, and thank you for sharing yours!

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