October 28, 2019

Snack Time

Devotion for the Week...

I love eating crackers for snacks. Crackers with hummus, crackers and cheese or just plain crackers, it doesn't really matter. The problem is, those crackers aren't exactly great for me, especially not in the quantity I like to eat them. I often go for mindless eating, straight from the box, even though I know that's not a good idea.

I also love eating fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, whether together or not. Both of those make great snacks, with the added benefit of not being full of empty calories. I make sure we always have fruit and yogurt in the house.

Unfortunately, I almost always choose some form of cracker rather than the fruit and/or yogurt. No matter how often I think in the morning, 'I'll choose healthy snacks today', I still find myself gravitating towards the satisfying crunch of the crackers. While thinking about this habit a few days ago, I though of Romans 7:14-20, in which Paul says:

"The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it."

I have always loved this passage for two reasons. First of all, as a writer, I just love the way it's written. There's something about the structure and Paul's word choices that really appeals to me. The biggest reason I love it, though, is Paul's honesty. Here is a man who could easily be held up as an ideal Christian, as someone who never gets it wrong and who lives a life that normal people just can't relate to. He wrote a large chunk of the Bible, after all! But instead, he shows us in this passage that he's no different than we are. He understands what is right and wrong, just as we do. He knows the things he should be doing, just as we do. Even still, he finds himself not doing the things he should and doing the things he shouldn't. Can you relate to that? I know I can, and not only when it comes to choosing my snacks.

Our sinful nature lives right there alongside the Spirit, fighting against how the Spirit wants us to live. Our sinful nature is selfish and wants nothing more than to gratify its every desire. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, lives inside believers to give us the power to live as God wants us to live, to deny sin and serve Him. "The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions" (Galatians 5:17).
Our sinful nature wants us to do one thing. The Holy Spirit offers another option. Which will we follow? | DevotedQuilter.com
The background is a small portion of the quilting on my Pinwheel Whirl quilt.

Whether I choose an apple or crackers for a snack has no spiritual implications. It really doesn't matter, aside from the extra running I may have to do to keep my weight in check. Giving in to the temptation to gossip does have spiritual implications, though. So does giving in to the temptation to lie to make ourselves look better, or letting anger control our responses or letting our inability to forgive someone create bitterness in our hearts. Those are all things that go against how God wants us to live and they're all opportunities to choose to listen to the Spirit instead of our sinful nature.

Our sinful nature wants us to do one thing. The Holy Spirit presents us with a different option. Which one will we follow?

1 comment:

  1. Your cracker-snack analogy is great. Very insightful. I am reassured whenever I think of Paul. He was a real person, like us, and he struggled too. I wish that snacking was the worse "sinful nature" I have to deal with. But we keep persevering, don't we? Thank God for his never-ending grace.

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