Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25th – Proverbs 25: A Heaping Plateful of Moderation

“If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.” – Proverbs 25:16

This proverb isn’t just about honey, although honey IS delicious. Honey was a decadent treat in biblical times and a symbol of something pleasurable. In fact the Amplified version translates this scripture:

“Have you found [pleasure sweet like] honey? Eat only as much as is sufficient for you, lest, being filled with it, you vomit it.” – Proverbs 25:16 - AMPLIFIED

Moderation is a central theme of scripture. So many people want to twist the scriptures to fit their cultural or experiential bias, but the Bible is curiously silent on many matters. People desperately WANT the Bible to forbid actions and activities that could be potentially harmful, but it doesn’t! Forbidding what God permits and permitting what God forbids is NOT a good idea.

Take alcohol for example: there is not one scripture in the Bible that says drinking alcohol is a sin, yet millions of believers across the world have imposed this extra biblical standard on themselves and others. Why is this? Well, for one thing it’s easier to forbid something outright than to do something with moderation and self-control. It’s funny, there are millions of Christians that wouldn’t think of touching a glass of wine, but have absolutely NO problem with stuffing their fat face at the buffet every Sunday after church! This is a great example of our Western cultural bias that we have superimposed on our religion. In American church culture, a 600 lb. fatty that eats 15,000 calories a day can see a 180 lb. guy drinking a beer with lunch and judge him in his heart as a good for nothing DRUNK. Worse of all, the church will applaud him!

"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” – I Corinthians 6:12,13

As a fat guy, this has been a personal struggle of mine and a fight I am committed to win. I discovered years ago that I was good at feasting and good at fasting. I can feast with the best of them! When it’s time to eat, I’m your guy. I can eat a lot and I can eat fast! I’m also pretty good at fasting. I’ve dropped 20, 30 and 40 days at a time without so much as a crumb of food entering my mouth. I can diet too and have done 6, 8 and 12 week programs where I strongly limited my caloric intake and dropped 30-40 pounds in a month no problem! The thing that has been a problem for me is a LIFESTYLE of moderation.

True spirituality expressed in my life is NOT going to be about not eating refined sugar, bacon or shrimp but eating just a little!

If you see me stuffing my FAT FACE, remind me of this scripture… just say, “Ryan, Proverbs 25:16!”

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