But God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
My latest downfall began with a donut. When my forever hungry twelve-year-old son asked if we could stop for donuts after church one Sunday, I planned on getting only six. I figured he and his father could easily down three each. None for me since I can’t eat anything with sugar. It makes me sick.
Usually I send the kids in with the money, but this time, since he was the only one with us, I accompanied him myself. Big mistake. The salesgirl pointed out that “for only a dollar more, you can get a whole dozen.” I never could pass up a bargain, so, like a kid poring over a Christmas catalogue, I studied the racks of sweets.
"One coconut-covered chocolate one can’t hurt,” I reasoned. “It can’t have that much sugar in it.”
So one coconut-covered chocolate donut went into the box. Then the skinny, old-fashioned glazed because I figured it, too, had a lower sugar content than the fatter ones. On the way home, I chowed down the chocolate donut and shared the old-fashioned glazed with my husband out of guilt.
No thunder rolled, no lightening zapped because I caved in. But it was easier to raid the cookie jar on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, even though I was beginning to feel the effects of the sugar – tired, achy, irritable, and craving more sweets.
Sugar’s effects on my body are no different than sin’s effects on my soul. Nursing a grudge, listening to gossip, or stretching the truth may all seem harmless at first, but can poison my spirit and interfere with my relationship with God. Saying “no” in the first place makes it a lot easier to stay healthy – physically and spiritually.
Dear God, remind me that, big or small, a donut is still a donut. Help me to refuse that first bite. Amen.