No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
– 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.”
– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“I would like to explain how it came to pass that I got fat.
Ladies and gentlemen, I got fat as a public service.
When I was a child, my mother said to me,
‘Clean the plate, because children are starving in Europe.’
And I might point out that that was years before the Marshall Plan
was ever heard of.
So I would clean the plate, four, five, six times a day.
Because somehow I felt that that would keep the children from starving
But I was wrong. They kept starving. And I got fat.
So I would like to say to every one of you who is either skinny
or in some other way normal–
When you walk out on the street, and you see a fat person,
Do not scoff at that fat person. Oh no!
Take off your hat. Hold it over your heart.
Lift your chin up high. And in a proud, happy voice say to him,
‘Hail to thee, fat person!
You kept us out of war.’”
– Allan Sherman (with Lou Busch), Hail to Thee, Fat Person
The only thing about the ‘lighter side’ of Christmas that is ‘light’ is the empty plate after a hefty Christmas dinner.
One of my greatest temptations is my temptation to follow one of my mother’s orders, “Clean your plate!” In those days, she dictated what went on my plate. These days, I follow a seefood diet. I see the food. I eat the food. Whatever goes on my plate is eaten. As Allan Sherman said, “four, five, six times a day.” Just kidding. … Snacks never reach the plate.
To top that off, I have a sweet tooth. My wife has one too, but since her open-heart surgery and the increased blood flow, she is working hard to keep the pounds off.
Yes, all this good food and not-so-good-for-you food is temptation. We all have temptations. Notes in my study Bible say that the Greek word for tempting or temptation is also translated as testing. God says that He gives us a way out. Already, we have given our neighbors, the mailman, the staff at the cardiac rehab center, and the crew at the credit union, where we do our banking, some of our excess, but there is so much delicious temptations left.
There are all those traditional things that we get at Christmas time. I am in a small minority. I love fruit cake! But then there is German stollen. There is chocolate covered marzipan or marzipan decorated as pieces of fruit. There are the wrapped truffles that we get each year. There are the Dutch and Belgian cookies that we get each year.
The trouble is that we bought all that stuff out of tradition even though my wife refuses to eat much of it. That leaves the rest for me.
Now, I have two rules that I have before me. Which will guide or which will tempt? Rule 1. What passes the lips stays on the hips. Rule 2. Do not waste food or the money used to buy it. Clean your plate!
I just hope that I am not trying to lose the weight that I gain this week come next Christmas.
So, if you see me on the street. Do not laugh. Do not scoff. Hold your head up high and say, “Hail to Thee, Hat Rack! You kept us out of war!”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.