I know better.
I know better than to eat any food with gluten in it. I do. I know what happens when I eat such food, and let’s just say it ain’t pretty. I know that if I eat a lemon square, a brownie, chocolate cake, pasta or banana bread I’m gonna feel so sick I’d need two beds. I know I need to stick to a no-fun, no-frills, boring as all get out gluten free diet.
So I know better.
But I have a weakness, and the enemy knows it.
My weakness? Cake. Cake of any kind. The simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my favorite, but I’m always up for pound cake, carrot cake or the dreaded variety that did me in this week – strawberry cake.
Now I didn’t just go buy myself a piece of strawberry cake. I do have enough self control to stop that from happening. But Wednesday some friends and I were celebrating the birthday of a lady in our tennis group who is turning 80 this week. (Yes, you read that right. She’s 80 and still plays in our tennis group. Motivation to get off the couch, isn’t it?) And then it happened. Some very thoughtful person put a large piece of strawberry cake right in front of me.
And I might have been able to withstand the temptation, had it not been for the “Oh my gosh that is the BEST cake I’ve EVER had!” coming from my left and the “This cake is unbelievably moist – it just melts in your mouth!” coming from my right. I felt my mouth start watering just a bit and I think the words in my head were something like “Oh come on. Once piece won’t hurt you.” (I can now clearly see the little devil sitting on my shoulder whispering that in my ear. I didn’t see him on Wednesday.) Call it peer pressure, call it abandoning rational thought, but really…
I know better.
And I paid dearly for that piece of cake Thursday morning. Felt like death warmed over all day. I rallied enough to go to 2 business appointments and our high school graduation (two of my “sons” graduated Thursday night and I wasn’t missing that) but most of the day I felt like I’d have to get better to die.
And as I lay there wallowing in my self-loathing, I was reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15-19)
Preach on, Brother Paul.
I think we can all relate to that passage – and on a much bigger scale. I have lunch with friends and have no intention of gossiping and then I open my big mouth. I trust that God will provide for our family financially and then I freak out about a big bill that comes in (call that one college tuition). I rehearse calm discussions with people in my head and then I let anger get the best of me.
That which I want to do, I don’t do…
But praise be to Jesus, because He knows me and loves me no matter what. He forgives ALL my sins so that I don’t have to live in bondage to guilt and shame but instead I can live knowing I have the secret to FREEDOM – God’s unending grace.
So every day let’s wake up thanking God for His unending grace and forgiveness. Let’s start each new day with our focus on Jesus, not on this earth. And when we do that which we don’t want to do, humbly seek His forgiveness and then let it go. He never intended for you or me to live under a cloud of guilt, shame or unforgiveness.
Even when you know better.