Early life lesson. The want of more was not a good thing. I'd climbed up on the counter and lifted the lid off the jar. As I reached in, Mom's sharp voice cut like a blade. "Caught cha' in the candy jar, didn't I?" I sheepishly climbed down from the counter. I wasn't so sneaky after all. I'd been caught...again. Candy now and then was okay, but never before dinner (and certainly not a palm-full of it).
Oh, sweet enticements. Mom warned me about that. "You'll get cavities." She was right. And in Sunday School we learned about gluttony. That would become my toughest lesson.
As I grew up, despite the warnings, I craved what was not good for me. There was a lot of "candy" out there.
As a teen, the "candy" was makeup in the drugstore, or the obsession with my appearance. As a college student, the candy was a first sip of alcohol, or the glance of a boy looking my way. As an adult, the candy was the desire to "have it all." I wasn't content with what I had. I wanted more.
I reached for the jar of confections too often. The "O" of Overindulgence, was shaped just like my open, rounded, gluttonous mouth. I overindulged in--you name it--food, material things, desires, relationships. Later, I realized the overindulgence was an attempt to fill a void, to satisfy an unmet need that lay deep in my soul. The want of more was not going to fix that.
These days, I am more aware of what triggers temptation. In my walk with God, I've learned to reach out to Him, instead of to other things. I am nourished by His instruction, which is based on the word that begins with the long-extending letter, "L," for Love. It is in God's love that I find the sweet, good things He intended for me.
I will never be completely immune from the enticement of the candy jar, just as none of us can be free from temptation. But there is a helpmate, the One who created us to desire His goodness. We can savor those good things at any time.
I don't want to be caught with my hand in that candy jar again. Instead, if there is anything I'd like to be caught up in, it's God's love.
May you, too, savor that which is good. Thanks be to God!
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." - Psalm 107
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