It would seem like church should be a place that is free from temptation. However, when you are a food addict at a Baptist church, then that is definitely NOT the case.
No matter what we are doing, there is food involved. If we have a meeting, someone brings donuts or brownies. When we have a special speaker come in, everyone is asked to bring a dessert to share. During Sunday School, certain people often bring breakfast or a snack of some sort. We have communion meals, bridal showers, baby showers, small groups, parent meetings, and a variety of other events which all revolve around food.
Facing My Biggest Temptation
This is great when you aren’t trying to lose weight. In fact, breaking bread together is Biblical, right?!? There are lots of verses about breaking bread in the Bible such as Acts 2:46 which says, “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.“
When you struggle with indulging in unhealthy food, however, it is extremely tempting to be surrounded by it so frequently.
And not only are we surrounded by it but we’re surrounded by people who are enjoying it, and making satisfied noises while eating it, and talking about how good it is.
I’ve brought up the fact that I’m trying not to eat that kind of food at various times and that doesn’t seem to lessen the amount that it is brought in.
What Does the Bible Say?
Now, if I were an alcoholic, would it be a sin to constantly bring alcohol to drink around me? Aren’t there Bible verses which talk about how certain things are permissible unless they cause someone else to fall – and then it becomes a sin?!?! Yes, there are several. Here are just a few of them which stuck out to me.
- Romans 14:13 – “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.“
- 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 – “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.“
- 1 Corinthians 8:9, 13 – “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.“
Yes, I’m weak when it comes to food. I admit it!
I’ve never been addicted to alcohol or drugs or cigarettes. But it seems to me that being addicted to food is much more insidious. I mean, we have to eat, right?!?! So, rather than cutting food out entirely, we need to make wise choices.
Fortunately, if we make wise choices in the grocery store, this eliminates the majority of our food temptations. It’s much easier to resist junk food for an hour in the store than it is to resist it if it’s in your house!
But how am I supposed to continually avoid the food that is being eaten at church?
Here are some ways that I’ve found to fight the temptation of unhealthy food:
- Pray before you go – Ask God to give you the strength to resist these temptations. It also wouldn’t hurt to pray that hearts and minds would be changed so that others would no longer feel compelled to bring these sugary treats week after week.
- Bring your own healthy snack – I always carry a few almonds in my purse.
- Carry around a glass of water or mint tea – Having something to sip on helps to kill cravings and keeps your stomach from feeling too empty.
- Avoid certain events such as potluck dinners – You need to decide what events are beneficial for your family.
- Eat before you go so that you won’t be as hungry – This helps tremendously when it’s possible. The less hungry you are the less likely you will be to cave in to temptation
It’s sort of ironic that church is one of the places where I face the most temptation in this area. However, I can’t use that as an excuse to just give in and eat whatever food is tempting me. I know there are other people who are fighting this same temptation around me – and when I am strong, I help to strengthen their resolve as well.
What Am I Doing?
By the way, facing this temptation has caused me to wonder if there’s anything that I’M doing that may be causing someone else to stumble. I’m sure that when I respond to someone in less than a kind tone, that could cause them to have unkind thoughts. Or when I point out the negative in a situation rather than focusing on the positive. Or when I complain or take the easy way out. All of these actions could cause issues for whoever is watching.
It’s important that we try very hard not to do anything that will cause anyone else to fall into temptation. Try to keep this in mind as you go about your day. It’s an important thing for us to consider whether we’re at church, at work, at home, waiting in line at the grocery store, or behind the wheel of a car. Our actions and attitudes have consequences – for good or for bad. We want to do everything in our power to build people up and not tear them down.
Where do you face YOUR greatest temptation? Do you struggle to resist food temptations as much as I do? Do you have any other suggestions for staying strong against the lure of unhealthy food? Please leave a comment below.