I remember in 1979 when I entered the workplace I was introduced to soda, “Tab” to be exact, with a slice of lemon. Much like a cigarette smoker (I imagine) I was instantly hooked. And it has mastered me countless times over these past 35 years now. If fact, one time I came into work and found a 2-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper on my desk with an IV attached to it, the sign attached read, “Inject-O Pepper”. While amusing at the time, I look back now and realize just how enslaved I was, at that time, to the sugared sodas. I also realized that it has been a habit and not an addiction, because I don’t miss it when it’s not available to be. For instance, when we travel I rarely think about.
As I was reading this past week the section in, Hunger Within, on “God-Honoring Choices” I felt that nudge once again reminding me that my love of diet soda has gotten out of control again and I need to let it go. While Thin Within states that “there are no forbidden foods as we follow the leading of the Spirit, we will find ourselves making wiser, healthier, God-honoring choices.” The section goes onto say, “While we have the freedom to choose what we will eat or drink, we know not every good or beverage is beneficial for us, nor do we want to be enslaved by anything.” (1 Cor. 10:23) “When we are guided by the grace- giving keys to conscious eating, we recognize that certain foods can be detrimental to our health and are best enjoyed in moderation or avoided. We also develop discernment about what we call ‘trigger’ foods and beverages.”
“Anytime we find ourselves repeatedly seeking a particular food or beverage, we need to consider if there is an underlying issue that isn’t being addressed. Everything is fine in moderation (if there are no medical contraindications), but if there is a good or beverage we feel we cannot do without – or that we tend to ingest in excess or use to jump-start our day – it’s time to take a closer look. Bring this matter to the Lord in prayer. It may be a good idea to give it to God for a season and see what life is like without it. God will either keep it or give it back when the time is right.” (p. 113, Hunger Within)
If you can identify with anything I’m saying here you know just how crazy our behavior can get when we are being mastered by a substance of any kind. At one time in my life I would actually arrive 5-10 minutes late for work on some days, just so I could run through McDonald’s to get my daily diet soda! I could easily consume up to a gallon a day if I wasn’t careful. That’s what addiction/bad habits can do to us … enslave us to the point we no longer think or behave rationally. This is so contrary to the Lord and his ways for us.
And so I’ve been in another season of releasing to God my love of diet coke, with a touch of cherry coke for that sugar. It simply gets the best of me and I hate being mastered by anything/one other than the Lord Jesus Christ. And I want to pursue freedom, even if it takes another fresh start.
What about you? Are you being mastered by anything other than the Lord? If so, review the section on “Observe and Correct” in the Thin Within material and rejoice that God’s mercies are new every morning. We can start over again, with our heads held high and our hands gripped tightly in the hand of the Master.
Cathie lives in Decatur, just outside Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX. She and her husband, Matt have three grown children and 4 (expecting #5 next Spring) grandchildren. She enjoys leading women’s bible studies, gardening, walks with Matt and their Golden Retriever, Sadie Mae, when she’s not working full-time. Needlework and reading are also among her favorite pastimes.