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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Trials of the Flesh

I “heart” chocolate. Virtually all day long, I battle a nagging inner voice whispering, “Get some chocolate. Now.”

Behold my unsuccessful strategies for taming my habit: Cold turkey. One ounce per day. Fake chocolate. Caffeine. Fruity water. Vitamins and minerals. Candy. Chocolate-scented candles. I can’t believe I’m revealing this, but I have even opened up a packet of Splenda—the sugar junkie’s methadone, and poured it directly on my tongue. Oh yeah, this habit is bad.

Yesterday I was jonesin’ for some no-bake chocolate oatmeal peanut butter cookies, my personal tipping point when it comes to chocolate bingeing. I can make these cookies in my sleep. And eat them in my sleep.

I worked my magic. Guess how many my husband and daughter ate? Zero. Guess how many I ate? Whatever you guessed, you’re wrong, because I ate more than you guessed.

The morning after a night like that isn’t pretty.

I promised myself that when I came home from work today, I would not eat the remaining three. Can I just say in my defense that if cookies could wink with a flirty come-on, these did. So I wolfed them down.

Obviously, I cannot have cocoa, peanut butter and oatmeal in my house simultaneously. So I pitched the cocoa into the trash and grieved over it like it was a grave.

In Romans 7, Paul expresses how remorseful I felt in that moment. In fact, he communicates the whole human condition precisely: “I know that my selfish desires won't let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong. What a miserable person I am!”

Although eating chocolate isn’t exactly a sin, my habit wields enough power over me to disrupt my life. God is concerned about our struggles because left unchecked, sin kills us, spirit and body. No loving father wants to see his children wither away or hit the wall at full speed.

Some people erroneously believe they must first clean up and straighten out their lives before God will be interested in them. But God is not stunned by our habits, weaknesses, and hang-ups. It’s all old news to him. First, he wants a relationship with us. Then, if destructive forces are compromising our lives, he will reveal them and help us say “no” to one thing in order to say “yes” to the ultimate good thing.

After his confession of moral impotence, Paul offers this hope, “Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me! If you belong to Christ Jesus, you won't be condemned. The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death.”

As long as I’m in this body, I will never be completely sinless. Sometimes I’m more successful than other times in battling my weaknesses. But when I find myself in yet another self-dug pit, knowing that a forgiving, compassionate Father wants to lift me up and dust me off gives me courage and hope for the next leg of my journey.

Please visit my personal blog at 2nd cup of coffee.

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Blogger Tammy said...

Linda, may God give you strength and may you hold on to the reality that there just has to chocolate at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! Don't you think? (ha!)
Great post!

September 22, 2007 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Susanne said...

What great hope you finished off ths post with Linda. I love your last sentence.

September 22, 2007 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger lori said...

THAT was fabulous...
made me laugh and think at the same time..I LOVE when that happens!

Now I have to go find my secret stash...I have a craving myself!:)
peace in HIM,

September 22, 2007 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

I love this, so true.

September 22, 2007 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Amen, Sistah!! I am absolutely with you and I love the fact that God's Grace is so AMAZING.

:-) Susan

September 22, 2007 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Oh, my you describe me to a tee...except that oreos are my personal nemesis. Speaking to me today, girl!!

September 22, 2007 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...


just what I needed to hear today...

thank you

September 23, 2007 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Alas, there is no chocolate i haven't loved, either. Thank you for the funny, but real reminder that we need to keep it real with God and that He does come first--even before chocolate.

September 23, 2007 at 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...



Your story telling is so much fun. This is also a reminder for me as I struggle with the body. Great message and the scripture was just for me today. Love you, Lynn

September 24, 2007 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Kit Kats - That is all I have to say and yet somehow I know you will understand..:))


September 25, 2007 at 10:58 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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