>I have a sweet tooth. That’s an understatement. All 10,000 taste buds on my tongue along with the 32 teeth in my mouth hanker for chocolate confections. Thankfully, my self-control is in top form at the grocery store. I can walk down the cookie aisle cucumber cool and give the bakery and frozen delight sections only a wistful glance and perhaps a moment of yearning without adding a single cupcake to my cart. Sure, I’ve bought a few pints, eh hem, gallons of ice cream in my life time and I do like to bake, but in general my “all in moderation” mantra keeps me balanced and on the low-sugar track at the local Piggly Wiggly.
In the comfort of my own home, however, my resolve is as firm as the Swiss Miss Cherry Chocolate Mousse shelved in my refrigerator. The pudding was purchased by another consumer, but as long as it resides in my territory its lifespan is limited to a week at best. Yummy surprises that The Professor sometimes brings home from a campus bake sale or better (or should I write worse?) yet a box of Girl-Scout cookies bought to support the daughter of a colleague threaten my willpower. In fact, just three hours ago my willpower wasn’t only threatened; it was demolished by a small rectangular box of Thin Mints. ™
I opened one plastic sleeve and sternly admonished myself “stop at two cookies.” About two-minutes and six cookies later I dug my fingernails into my palms and muttered “enough.” I then remembered a verse from my Sunday school class this morning “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7. This is where I am supposed to write that I closed that box. But I cannot write that without telling a lie. Truth is I pushed that scripture out of my mind and shoved two more cookies into my mouth, chewed furiously and swallowed with a gulp. Then I froze convicted by the Holy Spirit with another verse that darted my conscience. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Personally, I don’t think an occasional cookie does the body much harm, but thoughtlessly wolfing down 300 empty calories, 14 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of sugar in less than five minutes is far from reverent. I paused. Then I confessed, “Lord, please forgive me for ignoring your Spirit and the self-control you granted me. Please help me put this box of cookies away and not touch them for the rest of the night.” I repeated 2 Timothy 1:7, closed the box and stuffed it into my freezer. Then I smiled. For as delicious as those cookies tasted the sweetness stirred in my heart was far greater.