Two Tempting Traps

Yesterday we took a trip up into the mountains and on the way down, we stopped at a stand and bought some wild mountain honey (like the Steve Miller song) and before I bought the honey, the vendor allowed me to taste the honey I was buying. What a delicious thing honey is! Soon, I will make some biscuits and we will all indulge in sopping up plenty of honey with those biscuits.

Today, I came across Psalm 19:10 that says that the word of the LORD is "more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings from the honeycomb." And that got me to thinking: as women, those are our two biggest temptations, aren't they? Money and Honey.

We, many of us, struggle with our weight, feeling not as thin as "whoever", wishing we could lose this babyweight sooner, wishing we could eat all we wanted. We may indulge in too much dessert, and enjoy it but are soon scolding ourselves for that choice. Some women fall into eating disorders. Other women may not technically have an eating disorder, but make the control of food and the size of their dress an idol in their lives.

We, many of us, struggle with money issues, feeling bad for not having a house as nice as "whoever", wishing we could afford nicer clothes, a better couch, the trendy new car. We may indulge in too much shopping, and enjoy it but are soon feeling guilty for that choice. Some women fall into extreme debt to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. Other women may not find themselves in debt, but are legalistic about not overdoing it in their homes, and find themselves judging other women who feel freedom (as did the Prov. 31 woman) to find and select fine fabrics for the home or for clothes.

Honey and Money. We, most of us, may not have the lust issue that guys have to deal with, but it seems we have our hands and mouths full with these two issues.

So how can we deal with it?

Ask God for balance in these areas. That you would be grateful to God for "every good thing given and every perfect gift", but would not indulge in these areas. That He would give you freedom in these 2 areas and the freedom to offer grace to other women in them as well. Not judge those who have many things and not judge those who have little. Not judge those who can't seem to lose weight and not judge those who never seem to gain an ounce.

Talk about these things and ask a friend to hold you accountable. As women, we often shun this option- it requires vulnerability and can sometimes open up a relationship to becoming a place of gossip instead of grace. But nevertheless, despite the possible deficiencies of this option, there are far to many "one anothers" in the Bible for us to keep to ourselves. We need other women. And we need them in these areas. Every weight loss program will inevitably tell you the importance of accountability: having to face up to what you've eaten and how much you weigh is a strong reason that compells many women to stay on track when they'd rather indulge. This same principle will apply in the financial arena as well. Have a close friend agree to ask you the hard questions: How much are you eating? Are you snacking too much throughout the day? How much are you spending? Are you indulging? Or are you being judgmental of others who are exercising freedom in this area?

Be aware of your inmost thoughts and take them captive in obedience to Christ. Recognize when you feel jealousy over the decor of a friend's home rising up within you. Make it a priority to stop right then and think of 3 things you are grateful for about your home! Recognize when you are berating yourself over your weight and think of what you can do today to make healthier choices. Recognize when you are comparing yourself to another person in either of these areas--finances or eating/weight-- and remind yourself that just as God is gracious to us, we should be gracious to others. Psalm 103:10 says that the LORD does not punish us or "deal with us as we deserve." We must be gracious in our thoughts toward ourselves and toward others.

Finally, and most importantly:
Cultivate a passion for God's word. Ask Him to develop within you a greater love for the Word of God than you have for material things or for food. Spend time with Him, diving deep into the Word. Instead of making some huge commitment, planning to go from start to finish, Genesis to Revelation, just start today. Sit down with a cup of coffee, a glass of water, or simply a nicely sharpened pencil, ask for insight into the Word, and GO for it! Read- start in the Epistles, or in Proverbs, or read your favorite story and ask God to open your eyes to a new fresh word- a Rema word (that's the Greek for it)- that's meant especially for you. It doesn't necessarily have to be 5 chapters. But it could be. Just read and let Him speak into you. Fresh words, faithful words, promises, life-changing words, convicting words, encouraging words. Seek the Lord while He may be found. Spend time in the Living Words of God.

May He deliver you and me from the things that would bind us and keep us from Him.

1 comment:

Kim said...

This is such wonderful advice, and perfect for me to hear. Thank you.