Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
-I Corinthians 6:19-20
Think it through
As I decided to give something up for Lent, I struggled a bit mentally. Starting with, There’s nothing wrong with a little chocolate. Ending with, I guess I can just have some Reece’s pieces instead.
Well, now. The Bible says that we should glorify God with our bodies. How glorifying am I being if I switch from sneaking chocolate all day to eating other equally bad items?
Our bodies are not our own. In other words, we don’t get to do anything we want to do anytime we want to do it.
- We don’t get to do something that’s fine for us but hurtful for other people (drinking alcohol in front of an alcoholic comes to mind).
- We don’t get to say something just because it pops into our heads (I struggle here; I’ve been told I have no filter).
- And we don’t get to do whatever we want if to it affects our ability to do His work (for example, overeating may make us unhealthy and tired).
All of these things affect our witness to others. And sometimes the “favorites” we’re giving up can lead us toward exactly these bad choices. Including my favorite, chocolate.
- How might an overweight friend feel if I get that big chocolate dessert… and offer to share? Am I loving her with the love of Christ?
- How does it look when I’m with a friend and I say, “I’m stressed out, I need some chocolate”? Christian or non-Christian, that friend will see where I’m turning for comfort, and it’s not my Father.
- How might my kids feel if I said, “Sorry guys, I ate too much chocolate. I can’t play; I have to lie down”? They’ll see that my priorities aren’t in line with my professed beliefs.
This isn’t really about the chocolate, it’s about the bad habits I have related to chocolate. How easily I could carry them over to peanut butter or caramel any number of treats!
Live it like you mean it
Think about the “favorite” you’re giving up: how can it sometimes negatively affect your witness? How can you surrender the control over these related bad habits?
Lent is the perfect time to make a clean break from “favorites” that can come between us and our God. Make a list of bad habits related to the favorite you gave up. Will giving up the item be enough to stop, or do you need to take another step to insure that you’re surrendering the related bad habits as well?
It’s time to give Him the control of my bad chocolate habits. My body is His anyway!
Lift it up
Lord, though what I’ve surrendered to You isn’t bad in and of itself, it’s the catalyst for some unholy habits. Make those bad choices clear to me. Help me to give them up as well. I’m ready. Amen.
Tell Me About It
What’s a related bad habit that you’d like to kick this Lent?
If you’d like Biblical and practical help with habit-forming, please check out my first book, Organizing You!
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