How do you feel about this old adage: “Everything in moderation”? What is moderation? The online definition of moderation is “the avoidance of excess or extremes”. So essentially it means permit everything in the avoidance of excess or extremes.
Should we partake in everything that is permissable? 1 Corinthians 6:12 states “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
Many people practice “everything in moderation” because they are experiencing a craving or temptation and they simply want to permit the craving, but avoid extremes of partaking in it.
Pondering this addage, I’ve come to realize we abuse the old “everything in moderation” mentality. We would never advise others to use moderation when tempted to lie, cheat, steal, murder, gossip, drunk driving.
For some reason, we don’t apply this rule only to what we as a society term as “bad sins”, probably because we would never do those things. However, we do use them for what we consider to be “little white lies” or other actions against the laws and convictions of God that we justify?
Predominantly, I hear this old addage being spoken when it comes to food–“everything in moderation”. We treat food differently than we treat anything else because eating is a necessity of life. However, many of the things we claim to eat “in moderation” aren’t basic necessary foods. They are indulgences. Should we indulge in moderation? Should we give in to a little temptation to head off an ever bigger temptation?
I’ll be honest. Everything in moderation would make me sick. I have many food intolerances that exacerbate my health issues. I also know God’s Word states NOT to give in to temptation even in avoidance of an even bigger temptation.
When I give in and eat even a little something with sugar (which I am addicted to), then I am feeding my addiction, making myself sicker, and disobeying God’s Word to take care of my temple so that I can serve Him better. Sugar also affects my thyroid and digestive system, causing me to feel ill.
My children have food allergies. Since they were very little there have been constantly offered “treats” everywhere they go. You know how it is. Every class, church, sport, activity, party they attend they are offered sugary and salty “treats”. These aren’t treats.
They make every child sick because they are full of chemicals our children should not eat, but even worse is the battle my children have to face when people don’t understand why they don’t partake. Sometimes we bring our own healthy treats. Sometimes we don’t, but children politely turn down the offer of the “treats” offered to them. It’s not because they are trying to be ungrateful or rude. It is because they don’t want to be sick for days on end or do further damage to their bodies by consuming a food they are allergic to.
It can cause a lot of ruckus. People just don’t understand and sometimes they have hurt feelings. We try to be as polite and gracious as possible, but others have that “everything in moderation” mentality. They say, “Can’t you just have one little bite?”.
Thankfully, their allergies aren’t life threatening and I’m hoping they don’t increase to that extent. I know of one time regularly each month my children do make an exception for their allergies for the sake of not drawing attention to themselves at church communion. It’s just one minute morsel once a month that has very little soy or gluten, so we just pray over it each time and so far The Lord has blessed but I am not pushing their bodies any further.
One “moderate” bite might mean my children are in the bed for days with headaches, stomach cramps, flu-like symptoms, sores in their mouth, itchy tongues, and I don’t want to even think about what exposing themselves to the allergen is slowly doing to their organs and how it is increasing their allergy.
This is a difficult concept for to grasp. We always want to make exceptions in society. The world has a way of doing things and that is how most people want to carry out their lives. I’ve learned I cannot make exceptions in this area. It leads to more compromises which leads to trouble. Just because something is acceptable doesn’t mean it is beneficial. And sometimes the acceptable and “moderate” can be deadly.
Do I want the permissable to run my life or the beneficial? I want the decisions of my life to be beneficial for God, others, and myself.
When God advises us to take care of our temple, it helps to remember food is NOT for pleasure. It is for nourishment. Thankfully, The Lord’s created foods are pleasurable and healthy for us, but they are not meant to be abused to avoid deeper temptation. We don’t have to belief the lie of the enemy that we should partake in the permissable to avoid the impermissable. Not only are many of the foods we eat today distorted from God’s original creation, but they are also abused by us.
We are meant to seek and utilize God’s power to resist temptation. We tarnish our witness when we make exceptions. Everything we partkae of, say, think, do should bring honor and glory to God. Remember it may be permissable but it might not be beneficial. If it’s not beneficial, we should avoid it altogether using God’s power as our strength and witness.