Diet :Lessons From Personal Experience
For almost two months, Paula and I have been on a diet in an effort to lower my cholesterol and improve our overall health. We've lost a few pounds, we feel better and I trust my cholesterol is going down. But aside from these obvious benefits, I've learned some things that have spiritual implications.
AVAILABILITY. If some good tasting (fat, sweet, dripping) food is available, it is so hard to resist it. But when I walk into the kitchen around noon time, and there's nothing there but salad material and fruit, that's what I eat. If, alongside the lettuce, there is pizza or a cheeseburger, the tendency is to rationalize and go ahead with the high fat stuff. Likewise, in our efforts to resist sin - if the opportunity is all around us, it is harder. We should do everything we can to avoid temptation, for it should be our desire to refrain from anything that would displease the Father. "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,"
VICTORY, from day to day. Especially those first days, it was a real struggle. During the first week of our diet, every television commercial was about food; I mean, GREAT looking food, just begging to be eaten. Yet, each day of victory seemed to give us strength for the next day. It is the same in being a disciple and defeating sin. Each time you push the devil out of your way to serve the Lord, that victory prepares you for the next assault. It is a daily struggle against the devil, but each day of victory gives us the strength for the next day. "I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one...," (1 Jno. 2:13).
CHANGING YOUR HABITS. A good diet involves a permanent change in your eating habits, and when those old (unhealthy habits) are changed, you develop a taste for the good stuff. I have discovered that low-fat and low-cholesterol food can actually taste good and now I even prefer it! You would think, after several weeks of low-fat food, you would crave a licentious trip to Golden Coral or MacDonald's. Not so. You seem to reach a point, in changing your eating habits, where the low-fat stuff becomes your preference and a cheeseburger dipped in gravy makes you sick! 'Therefore, laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious," (1 Pet. 2:1-3).
By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 3.3; March 1996