Sugar. Many of us feel like it sets us off…that we can’t escape its clutches if we give in to having a cookie–even if we are hungry. We feel convinced–and our experience may bear this out–that one cookie will start the binge rolling and we will be powerless to escape it.
But I wonder…and I know this isn’t going to be very popular. But I am just thinking about…what if this is just another way I am blaming something else, someone else, for something I need to take responsibility for.
See, if sugar is the evil that I want it to be, I am a victim. And we tend to feel sad for victims and self-righteous toward victimizers, don’t we? If sugar is the evil that I want it to be, it is the victimizer and I am the victim…I am the one who we all can feel sorry for and sugar is the villain.
But is this *true*?
Does this really make sense?
Who made sugar cane?
When God made sugar cane, what did he say about it like he did about everything else in creation? He said, “It is good.”
What is really going on then when I give in to overeating sugary foods and laying the blame on “sugar is addictive?” Is that true? Really?
Maybe *I* need to own responsibility for my behavior. Would God have created something, declared it to be “good,” if it was intrinsically evil?
Maybe it is my heart that bears the burden of the problem.
It is important to know that I don’t mean this with the idea that we should condemn ourselves for our struggle to stop eating once we have started eating sugar. Not at all. I will keep “crowing” about Romans 8:1, Romans 5:8, John 3:17, and Ephesians 1 as long as I have breath! That God didn’t send his son into the world to condemn the world. That He demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, that before the foundation of the earth–before I had a single godward thought–he chose me to be holy and blameless in his sight, that there is NO condemnation for those of us in Christ.
But if I am responsible for this tension that exists with sugar and myself, then I can, in the strength that Christ offers, admit my weakness and his grace will be sufficient for me. In fact, I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness because when I am weak, I am strong in the Lord. I know that John 8:32 says that knowing the truth sets me free. Laying blame on sugar doesn’t give me freedom. I might get charged up being all self-righteous as I claim a “no-sugar” stand, eradicating it from my life…for as long as I last adding it to a “bad food” list. But then the pendulum swings radically the other direction and I give in. Maybe that is the reason for the problem, in fact.
What if I establish a boundary for myself and just, simply, learn to say NO to myself if tempted to cross that boundary? Maybe I am supposed to learn how to live in the power of the Holy Spirit–the fruit of whom is self-control.
What if sugar isn’t the monster we hope it is? What if the darkness is in my own heart and I need a Savior to cleanse me, to strengthen me, to help me? What if I need to depend on the Lord to enable me to grow, bit by bit, to be sanctified…to show me how not to lust or covet for something outside of a godly boundary. What if I need Jesus more because I recognize that God declared that even sugar cane is “good?”
Seems like God wants a deep intimate relationship with me based on what I see in Scripture. Needing him as much as I do not to give in to eating outside of my boundaries ensures that I will develop that…if I will let it.
What about you? How do you feel about sugar? Have you felt like it is the villain in your life? IS it? Or is there a deeper work that God is interested in doing in your life?