Sweet Tooth

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 grocery store.

In the comfort of my own home, however, my resolve is as firm as the gooey chocolate brownies on my kitchen counter. The brownies were made for guests, but as long as they reside in my territory their lifespan is limited to three days at best. Yummy surprises that my husband sometimes brings home from a campus bake sale or better (or should I say worse?) yet a box of girl-scout cookies bought to support the daughter of a colleague threaten my willpower.

A few months ago, I learned a lesson in self-control when 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 that 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. NIV

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 by 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. NIV

Honestly, 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.

13 Responses to Sweet Tooth
  1. Amy B
    September 17, 2008 | 7:22 am

    Self-control – I start every day with that in my mind and in my prayers. And every day I break it and every night I beg for mercy.

    Last night I broke before the Lord in prayer about somethings pertaining to self-control, and part of it was me not being will to do the ‘self’ part God gave me. Today is a new day, so we’ll see.

  2. Angie
    September 17, 2008 | 9:48 am

    I know the same weakness and have said the same prayer. We can’t be reminded of this too often. Thanks. Interesting that sin entered the world with food isn’t it?

  3. Shonda
    September 17, 2008 | 9:55 am

    It’s amazing how addicting food can be. As a food addict I have to consciously make decisions and be alert to the choices I make. At this point of my food addiction recovery, I can’t have those temptations in the house or I may fall into relapse. Today my son, whom I homeschool, has a science experiment that calls for M&M’s. That is one of my favorite candies. I needed this post today for it is right on time. The purpose of using the M&M’s is for color, so I’ll substitute Skittles instead as I dont like them. Have a blessed day today.
    Engrafted by His Grace-
    Shonda

  4. Melissa
    September 17, 2008 | 9:58 am

    Self-control has been the prayer of my heart for a while now. I need it in everything…eating, working, keeping my home, spending, etc. I do better when I remind myself that I only need to worry about being self-controlled for TODAY & take things one day at a time.

    P.S. – Brownies & thin mints… two of my greatest weaknesses.

  5. Cindy
    September 17, 2008 | 10:45 am

    This just stinks my friend. I was sitting here reading blogs eating a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie thinking about going to get another one (because the ARE my favorite) and smack! You had to do it, you just had to put, not only one, but two scriptures in front of my face.!! Whew! No more cookies for me today. Thanks for the reminder about self-control and being the temple of the Holy Spirit!

  6. Genny
    September 17, 2008 | 1:53 pm

    I loved this Angela! You have such a way of finding God’s beautiful lessons in the simple (and tasty! LOL) things in life!

  7. Mrs. Sidney
    September 17, 2008 | 2:17 pm

    I lOOOOVED this post!!

  8. Annika
    September 17, 2008 | 3:36 pm

    Thank you. Great verses and a great reminder that nothing is bigger and cannot be overtaken by the power of God and prayer.

  9. fowler
    September 18, 2008 | 12:05 am

    Hey! I just found your blog through Beth’s (A Quest for Relevance). You crack me up! And boy, have we had a lot in common lately! I have an enormous sweet tooth as well… it consumes me and I often feel the same feelings you do about it. It’s even worse that my husband doesn’t like much sugary stuff– why couldn’t I have had THAT gene??
    And it goes on… my car overheated last week– was also about $300 (there was a lot wrong. but we got a fantastic deal!) And two months ago, our refrigerator and freezer died a horrible death, in which all our food spoiled (doesn’t it kill you to throw that much food ($$) away?). Unfortunately, we were renting and never got a new fridge– and we now live in a different state (with a fridge!).

    Sorry for the long comment– I was just amazed at how common things have happened to us recently!

  10. gretchen
    September 18, 2008 | 12:45 am

    ‘scuse me while I take the knife of conviction out of my flabby stomach… 😉

    Actually, when I’m firing on all cylinders, I feel this way, too, Angela, but don’t say it as eloquently as you do. In fact, I was talking to my 10 year old dtr today about how we need to treat our bodies as God would have us treat them. They are His gifts to us. As such, they are also b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. no matter what size or color they are. You see, she’s feeling “fat” and is already starting to compare herself to her peers. Ugh! May God help me comfort and be an example to her by the pleasing way I treat myself.

    Not. easy. But very simple.

  11. fowler
    September 18, 2008 | 10:46 am

    oops– sorry– I just realize the freezer and car incident were by another poster– sorry!

  12. Lisa
    September 21, 2008 | 4:52 pm

    Excellent! Just what I needed to hear.

  13. Julie
    September 23, 2008 | 12:56 pm

    Wow. Ouch! That hit a bit too close to home…..
    Thank you.