Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday's Resolution {Temperance in Eating}

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We are picking apart Jonathan Edward's 70 Resolutions, one week and one resolution at a time. Don't forget to start where he did- "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake."

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

  

tem·per·ance

[tem-per-uhns, tem-pruhns] noun

1. moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control.
2. habitual moderation in the indulgence of a natural appetite or passion 

*Definition via Dictionary.com*


All of my life I've been a "skinny" girl. Fast metabolism blessed (cursed?) me with the ability to consume vast quantities of pizza, ice cream, and potato chips without gaining an ounce. 

Half way through high school things started to catch up with me, and I went from weighing barely 100 pounds to 135... but the weight gain stopped there, I still ate what I wanted, and was fitting into a size 6- so who really cared? 

People can look at me, and never in a million years think I struggle with food.

But the truth is, I do. 

I am incredibly over-indulgent in my eating habits. I eat what I want, when I want, often when I'm not even hungry. Eating is a pass-time, a hobby, one of my favorite activities. I am fairly certain that I'm harboring addictions to sugar, caffeine, sodium and chocolate. 

Resolution 20 is a touchy and uncomfortable resolution for me. It's an area of sin in my life (gluttony) that I've never really addressed. What Jerry Bridges would call a "respectable" sin- no one can really see the effects, and no one (including myself) would call me to account for it. 

Well, the buck stops here. One day I will be called to account for my eating habits. God knows how I idolize food and over-indulge. It is neither glorifying to Him nor helpful in my walk with Him. 

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1Corinthians 10:31

Jonathan Edwards used to note how foods affected him- which made him sluggish, which filled him with energy for his tasks. As he observed patterns, he changed his diet accordingly. His goal was to be as useful and productive for the Master as possible, and to be enslaved by nothing. 

Food needs to be a useful tool, not a controlling force, in my life. The purpose of eating is to strengthen and equip my body for its daily tasks. If I am eating for fun, when I don't really need to, and foods that drag my energy down, food is no longer fulfilling its proper purpose.


"Strictest temperance" is scary language! You can tell that Jonathan Edwards wasn't fooling around- he meant business. I too need to be serious when it comes to rooting out this sin struggle in my life (think of the words Jesus used- "if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out...if you arm causes you to sin, cut it off"). 

As women we can get pretty confused and flustered about this food business. Ultimately my weight, figure, and complexion are irrelevant. Whether rotund or skinny, super model or plain jane, acne victim or smoothly alabaster-browed, the most important thing at the end of the day is this: was God glorified in my eating habits to day? Did I honor Him first, or bow down to the idol of food?

This goes both ways: for those afraid to gain a pound and those who could afford to lose a few. Are you nourishing your body properly, proportionately, and healthfully, so as to equip yourself for His service? 

It is a big struggle for me, and one I will probably fight off and on for the rest of my life. Please don't think I have this one figured out; I've got along way to go.

What have you found to be most helpful in cultivating godly eating habits and keeping food in its proper place in your life? Please share and encourage us!

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