Back to the 16-day holiday. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I got on the scale. I had picked up 4 kg! And not only me – nearly everyone had picked up so much.
It’s probably not that bad. You normally pick up weight when you go on holiday. Then you just have to make sure that you drop those extra kilos after the holiday, otherwise it will end forever in all the wrong places. And then it becomes a struggle. Just walking from point A to point B leaves you gasping for breath. To stand up you now have to press on something. And tying your shoelaces …
Once again, I realise that you have to be on your guard all the time. Because even something enjoyable like camping, switching off and enjoying good food can turn around and bite you. It can even become so bad as to affect your health.
I read the verse again: 12 We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honouring life. The word “indulgent” jumps out this time. Indulgence can so easily push us into a corner, and eventually take a lot from us and push us completely off the road.
This is not a nice topic, but we have to talk about it, because indulgence can cause a lot of damage in our lives. Even food can shorten your life. I often lecture my pals about their bad eating habits. Because of their life style, they were eating at the wrong times and that made them fat and look at them now. Food became an indulgence and it is damaging.
But obviously there are other damaging indulgent desires too. Pornography breaks the beauty that God gave to mankind in pieces. Suddenly the spouse becomes boring, because pornography creates a very skewed picture and reduces intimacy to an animalistic activity. It might be bad to put this into words, but the desire to look at increasingly rough and nude pictures and videos breaks, smashes and destroys.
And we can make this list much longer. Alcohol, money, clothes, car, house, work, status, food, sex and many more. Have a good look at each of these. In itself there is nothing wrong with it, but when it becomes an indulgent desire, the positive turns into a negative. That is when it becomes destructive.
There is nothing wrong with needs. These are the things we need to cope with life, and many of these we need to survive. The problem arises when we allow the needs to become so pervasive that they grow into desires. We must work hard to provide in our needs, but we should leave the desires alone, because as we’ve heard a few times now, it is destructive and destroys us and those around us.
Maybe it is time to go somewhere quiet and make sure that desires do not get a hold of our lives. Ask a friend to reflect on this with you, because before you know it, the need can develop into a desire and destruction waits around the corner.
The Spirit will help you with this if you want to.
How do you understand the difference between needs and desires?
Is there something in your life that is inclined to become a desire?
How can you get rid of it?
Lord, there are some things I simply cannot refuse. Please help me to free myself of those things so that You control me and I don’t run after every desire that rises up in my heart. In Jesus’ Name, amen.