Going sugar-free used to sound like a joke… Sugar. I love it. I so identify with the main character from the movie “Elf” when he says, “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.” I am tempted by all.things.sweet.
I unashamedly am drawn to jelly donuts and Girl Scout cookies and my daughter’s homemade dark chocolate cake with thick fudge icing. How could something so sweet and pleasant to the taste buds wreak SO much havoc on my body?
Oh, but the havoc it wreaks.
Sugar, while yummy going down, is also the very thing that inflames my joints. I had to learn that the hard way; I actually didn’t realize some of my pain in my body was due to my sweet tooth. Woe is me. Limit sugar intake, or worse yet – NO sugar? Well, it’s a sacrifice for the greater good in me. And THIS revelation made me think of sin. Yes, sin. “The pleasure of sin is for a season…”(Hebrews 11:25) Sin is like sugar. It brings us pleasure but its effects on us can go from painful to, deadly.
Sin inflames our soul.
The Bible never pulls any punches or underestimates sin – it brings us pleasure. And then kills us. Much like that homemade chocolate cake which keeps me up at night from joint inflammation (and has this strange effect on my clothes NOT fitting correctly), sin ruins us from the inside out. It can start small, but the more you partake the more evident it becomes.
Enter new way to eat and new way to think. I want my life to be sugar-free from the inside out. (Insert desperate prayers for help from above!)
I grew up in church and surrounded myself with church people and church functions, and all things church. Sin seemed far and away from my life. In a way I had unknowingly built a wall around my life that protected and shielded me. I compare it to someone with a weight problem steering clear of bakeries and candy stores. Church was a safe place I didn’t know I needed, I guess. It kept me from going over edges. Looking back, with all its equally good and bad parts, it was a wise solid decision.
After my husband died, so many parts of who I was, died with him. I did not know that till after the fact. I didn’t realize how much his covering had kept me safe. I didn’t realize I myself could be tempted to fall. I didn’t realize I would consider making wrong decisions about myself, my finances, my future, and anything else that required wisdom.
No matter the pleasure it seems to bring
Sin is like sugar; it shows up in its best wrappings – you never see the destruction that is beneath. I have been tempted in ways I never thought possible for a churchgoer like me. But apparently church or no, I am human and the Bible say we have ALL sinned and fallen short. I think I thought I was exempt. Not sure.
Not like a pride thing really; more just that there was no sugar around. A HUGE reason not to judge others in their sins – just maybe you didn’t fall because you never had the opportunity to. That to me is humbling and terrifying. It has taught me that NO – I am NOT exempt from everything else that ALL of us are drawn away by. It is our OWN lusts that draw us away. It is our love of sugar – soul sugar; those things that keep us disconnected from God. They keep us in bondage – whatever they are to us personally.
For me to go sugar-free, my body would stop aching at night, seemed logical and almost a no-brainer. Going sugar-free for weight loss purposes seemed equally logical. Not so easy to pass by ice cream and donuts and cookies. Not so easy to stop putting sugar or sweet creamers in my coffee. It’s not so easy to say NO. It is an active ongoing choice.
In doing this for my physical body, it helps me with my soul temptations. Not easy but so fulfilling on both paths – I feel better and freer, inside and out. I am ridding my life of all.things.sugar. That is literally the ONLY way to rid yourself of anything – just get rid of it – PERIOD. Take out the temptation with the trash!
“The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) In the end, it really doesn’t serve you – you serve it! That is a pretty direct reason why NOT to be a servant to sin, no matter how much pleasure or personal joy it seems to bring.
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” (Romans 6:12)
So I will plod on in my fight to eliminate all matters of sugar from my life, knowing any battle I face I am able to win with Jesus covering me. “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Let our life fragrance be sweet-smelling but sugar-free! (pun intended)