Bible Passage for Meditation: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Key Verse: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
We talk a lot about the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, and meekness, but what about temperance, which is another word for “self-control”?
Self-control is easy to preach about until it steps on your own toes, or until it touches your own plate.
Recently, a friend and I were studying out different principles of healthful living, and I was priding myself on my self-control in a number of areas, until I began to realize that I still have a long way to go when it comes to truly embracing the health message as I should. I can talk a lot about the “fruit of the Spirit” and about “surrender,” as well as the many ways that God has worked in my life over the years, but—well, just don’t touch my dessert plate!
In most circles I would probably be considered quite conservative. I’m a vegan (most of the time), and I eat my salads and greens pretty regularly. So I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, right? After all, I take pretty good care of my body. But recently, God’s been convicting me about my love affair with sugar. Yes, I really do love that sweet stuff. It’s so good, so comforting, and surely a little extra now and then (as well as an extra helping of dessert on Sabbath) isn’t to be scorned, is it? Or is it?
Actually, as I have studied further, I’ve discovered that not only is sugar super addictive but it also has an effect on the brain similar to certain drugs. And when used with dairy products, it is even more harmful. The same is true for many of the rich foods we delight in.
Now sugar may not be your weak point, but God is calling us to keep our bodies in upmost physical health so we can serve Him fully. Are we truly willing to give Him our all? Are we willing to allow Him to touch even those sensitive points in our lives, even what we put on our plates? Hmmm.
Ellen White writes, “Christ began the work of redemption just where the ruin began. His first test was on the same point where Adam failed. It was through temptations addressed to the appetite that Satan had overcome a large proportion of the human race, and his success had made him feel that the control of this fallen planet was in his hands. But in Christ he found one who was able to resist him, and he left the field of battle a conquered foe. Jesus says, ‘He hath nothing in Me.’ His victory is an assurance that we too may come off victors in our conflicts with the enemy. But it is not our heavenly Father’s purpose to save us without an effort on our part to cooperate with Christ. We must act our part, and divine power, uniting with our effort, will bring victory” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 153).
Yes, where Christ began is where He asks us to begin as well, and it’s in the surrender of appetite. So, my brothers and sisters, it may not be easy, but I encourage you, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Heavenly Father, we really want to serve You with all our hearts, but it’s so difficult to let go of things we love, especially things we love to eat. Please forgive us for abusing our bodies, Your temples, and for keeping back this part of our lives from You. We cannot overcome in our own strength, but You promise that what we cannot do, You will do, as we surrender to You and as we choose to walk a new pathway (Philippians 4:13). So as we continue praying for our church, and praying that You would do a thorough work of reformation among us at the upcoming General Conference Session, let the reformation continue in our own hearts today, in our own homes, and in our own food closets. May You be Master of the things that master us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Melody Mason
(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)