Where, Oh Where, is Self-Control through the Season of Sweets? By Jo Russell

Don’t kid yourself. When the seasons change and the bulk sacks of sweet snacks remind a shopper that the holiday season has begun, any red-blooded sweet-tooth will tell you that eating delicious goodies doesn’t come to a high by until the first official day of winter. The Season of Sweets spans an entire six month period from October to March. The only thing that changes is the color of M & M’s from orange to green.

This is a challenge for anyone old enough to know that nutrition and exercise are the keys to health.  Senior Susie simply admitted, “It’s hard to stay on the carrot pedestal!”

Years before, after a life-threatening crisis, Susie had lost 40 pounds and mostly embraced a healthy lifestyle. She didn’t let anyone forget it. She chimed out advice, whether someone wanted to hear it or not.

“To lose weight, drink more water; eat more veggies, less bread and fewer carbs.”

She sneer at ice cream. “Pure chemical poisoning! Never!”

It’s a wonder someone didn’t corner her in an alley and clobber her with a cake pan.

But this year, the season’s sweets pummeled Susie’s self-control, and she fell off the carrot pedestal in four hours flat. With “trunk or treat” events taking the place of children going door to door for candy, Susie was stuck with bowls of goodies.  Didn’t some researchers decide recently that dark chocolate is good for one’s health? In that case, Susie’s stash would keep her in good health until spring. But just after Thanksgiving, she only had five Tootsie Rolls left.

Surely, Susie rationalized; she could quiet this craving with good food! So she ate fruit and a dinner salad. The Tootsie Rolls were still calling to her. She ate cheese. She dreamed of red and green M & M’s. Susie worked out at the gym, remembering how many laps she had to swim to work off even the dressing on her salad, much more for the M & M’s.

Finally, she admitted she couldn’t do it alone. She needed help in a big way. Where had her self-control gone? Who could help? God. He invented chocolate as well as carrots, after all.  Regaining self-control would help her in all other areas of her life, including shopping the season’s sales.

Self-control is a desirable trait to infuse into one’s habits and spirit. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” [Galatians 5:22 NIV].

But isn’t applying self-control a tall order? For we are to control what we eat, what we say, what we think, and what we do. The plus side is one doesn’t have to do it alone. Not Susie. Not you. Not anyone.

When David wrote the Psalm that follows, he was in much more danger than falling off a carrot pedestal.  “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” Psalm 28:7.  He fled from one place to another, pursued by armies of enemies. Surely Susie could trust a God like this to come to her aid as He did with David.

With God’s help, we can turn down temptation, defeat enemies and sweets, and trust in Him to regain self-control. And the benefits are worth it.  If we should fall off a carrot pedestal, we’re falling right into God’s arms – right where we belong.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and  website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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