Television commercials can be tantalizing… and at the same time, reflect what we wish wasn’t true. One long-running ad featured a bag of potato chips with the tag line, “Bet you can’t eat just one!”
This fascinating commercial featured different people who, after tasting one chip, were prevented from having another. Oh, oh, oh, the agony! First they would fidget and sweat… then leap over obstacles, tackling grocers to get to the chips. Finally, when they got their hands on those tasty tidbits … oh, the ecstasy of finishing off the whole bag!
We all share one common characteristic: When we find something we especially like, we simply want more! If our common desire becomes a compulsive demand—if our natural drive to eat becomes a notorious slave driver—then we are out of control. The fact that our God-given appetite can turn into an all-consuming fixation is an example of this principle…
“… ‘people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.’ ”
2 Peter 2:19
The potato chip commercials were memorable for the clever way they showed people losing self-control—specifically, losing all sense of portion size. They always ate the whole bag! For those caught in the cycle of compulsive eating, the craving is for quantity, not quality. Consider ice cream: If one scoop is good, two would be better … if two are better, three are best! (Or why not the whole carton?)
This same compulsive mind-set applies to cake and candy … doughnuts and drumsticks … bacon, biscuits, and brownies—in spite of this common sense caution …
“It is not good to eat too much honey.…”
It all began in the 1980s.…
The collective waistline of people throughout the world began to spread at an unprecedented pace. Literally millions of people packed on millions of extra pounds because of food saturated in fat, sugar, and salt … driving folks to eat more fat, sugar, and salt. Increasingly, country after country became inundated with compulsive overeaters.
Apart from poor food choices, other factors contributed to this worldwide weight gain, including the exploding availability of fast food, larger menu portions, and eating on the go rather than eating slowly around the dining table.
No wonder weight gain is out of control. We are controlled by the fruit of overeating instead of the “fruit of the Spirit.” The Bible explains it this way …
“The fruit of the Spirit is … self-control.”
“A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”
“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.”
“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
1 Corinthians 10:31