One Sunday night after church, my family and I stopped by the nearest convenience store to grab a bottle of water, and the advertisement in the window announced that if you bought 7 slurpees you would get 11 free. There was even an app for it that you could download to your phone. This got me to thinking about our obviously endless sugar craving that even gas stations know about.
I’ve been asked by several of my friends to help them get past their sugar cravings and binges. Let me be totally honest: I have just as much of a craving for sugar as all my friends do that struggle with it. They seem to think I’m so good because I don’t eat much of it. In reality, it’s because I’m so bad that I have to forbid myself even to touch it because I know that once I start, I can’t stop. So, with that in mind, I’d like to give you my story about my own issues with sugar and the observations I’ve made in my own life.
The topic of sugar is a touchy subject and when frowned upon can be quite offensive in our Christian circles. The problem is there, but no one wants to talk about it because many of us love it so much. It’s one of those things you don’t want to know the truth about because if you don’t know, then you don’t have to change anything. Ignorance truly is bliss, and the Bible communicates in Ecclesiastes 1:18 that with much knowledge comes great sorrow.
First of all, let me clarify my definition of the sugar I’m talking about. It is the chemically processed white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup that is found in most of the empty calorie snacks and treats that we love so much. It is not fruit or honey or the natural sugars to which I am referring.
I have asked myself countless times, “How do I stop eating sugar?” Maybe you’ve heard this one: “I know I shouldn’t be eating this, but… oh well,” or “I’ll just have a bite.” Typically, I don’t have to try to stop doing something if it is right or if it’s not an addiction. Hmmmm!
As I’ve observed my own behavior with sugar, these are some of the conclusions I’ve drawn for myself:
- I eat too much of it because it tastes so good.
- It’s a reward for a very stressful day.
- It’s cheap and fits into my budget.
- It’s a quick food I can grab when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to fix something healthy.
- It’s a food I offer others as a gift.
- It’s a food I offer my children as a reward or maybe even a bribe.
Here are a few other observations I’ve made in my own life about sugar. First of all, the thought of eating sugar to make myself feel better psychologically often makes me feel worse psychologically. For instance, it tastes so good when I eat it, but after I eat it I’m mad at myself for eating so much; and now I feel terrible.
Another thought is that if I eat sugar I’ll have energy, but as soon as I eat it I feel tired and want to take a nap. Here’s one: “I’ll just have a bite to satisfy my sweet tooth.” It’s funny how I don’t satisfy my sweet tooth with one bite. It actually takes eating the whole bag of sweets before I feel satisfied, and then I feel sick to my stomach. Do you see the lack of logic? Does God want me to eat something that causes me to be ineffective for Him? Does He want me to eat something that will cause me pain or sickness? Does He want me to eat something in excess that doesn’t glorify Him? The Bible says,
“Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
My last observation is not that I can’t, but that I don’t want to. It’s too hard. I like bingeing on my wonderful sugary treats. In Deuteronomy 12, God had commanded the Israelites to destroy all the places where the heathen nations had worshipped their gods. These places were called “high places.” Sugar for me was a high place, and it became a god. I knew that because I would hide when I would eat it. I had no control over it. I didn’t want anyone to know (Psalm 69:5). Sugar was and is that addictive for me. I had to stop eating sugar if I wanted to be obedient to God with my health. That’s how drastic I had to be with myself. I would feel so guilty after eating sugar because I would gorge myself on it, and I knew I was not taking care of the temple that God had given me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This might not be the case for many people, but it was for me and I truly had to treat it as a sin problem.
Hebrews 4:15 states that Christ was tempted in all points like we are, yet without sin. It goes on to say in verse 16 that we can come boldly to him and find grace to help in time of need. Sugar might not be a temptation for you. It could be something else that has a grip on you. As a child of THE KING, don’t you want to be excellent in everything you do? If God promises to give us a way of escape from our temptations in 1 Corinthians 10:13, then by all means, let’s TAKE IT!!!
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
This article was written by Tammy Blumenthal. To contact Tammy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook.