When you sit to dine with a ruler note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies for food that is deceptive. Proverbs 23:1-3.
I make this awesome chocolate mint whipped cream cake. It is three layers of chocolate cake with lightly mint flavored sweetened whipped cream filling and incredible chocolate buttercream frosting. There is something light tasting about the mint whipped cream contrasting with the luscious chocolate that makes me think it is just fine to have more than one slice. I am happily deceived every time until I go put on my jeans. Gluttony works that way: just one more bite, one more toy, just 5 minutes more of tv or Facebook or this or that. Truth is I want to be deceived. It feels good, even if it is temporary.
I can joke about the chocolate cake, but it is no laughing matter when my cravings take more serious but no less subtle forms. I am specifically thinking of how I enjoy the approval of others. It feels oh so good to be liked and to be well thought of. It’s as delicious as that second piece of cake. Not to beat up on Facebook, but its rocket to success was largely because I am not alone in my craving. Paul points me in a different direction:
We are not trying to please men but God who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed- God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6
God, I confess that living to please you is not the first thing that comes me. Change my heart so that you are more important than the immediate gratification of the approval of others. May I love others more than my own ego, so that I do not water down the truth when I need to speak up or step out of an activity that denies the wonder of who you are. Amen