Yesterday, I read a quote from Samuel Johnson. It brought to mind an ad for Lay’s Potato Chips, from years ago.
Many Christians have problems, not because they started doing something wrong, but because they did something harmless and kept doing it to excess.
Exercise Self-Control or Be Controlled
The things that gain power over us may have no more moral or spiritual significance than a potato crisp. It might be reading, a hobby, Internet usage, sport, physical fitness, or any of a host of other things. But suddenly, you find “you can’t eat just one.” That which was good to enjoy becomes bad, that which was moral becomes immoral. There is more than one kind of gluttony….
Too many Christians get trapped by thinking, “I can handle it.” “It won’t happen to me,” but the next thing they know, they are enslaved to something, something which may be harmless in moderation but is destructive in excess.
Abstinence Guards Self-Control
“Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.”
Some will read those words, and say, “That’s Samuel Johnson. That’s not me.” Yes, he admitted as much when he included those words, “to me.” Samuel Johnson was wise to recognise his own weaknesses, and modify his behaviour accordingly. Do we acknowledge ours?
We can be honest with ourselves, and say, “I can’t eat just one, so I won’t eat the first anymore.” Or, we might say, “It’s only a potato crisp, and I can handle it,” and eat one, and another, and another….
I Corinthians 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.