Ouch, now even my dictionary convicts me of sin. In studying 1 Peter, part of our homework was to look up dictionary definitions for words in 1 Peter 4:3. “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry” (ESV).
It would be an understatement to say I was shocked when I saw the definitions for some of these words. Verse four calls these sins a “flood of debauchery,” a nasty sounding word. Debauchery is extreme indulgence in bodily pleasures.
Big sins, little sins; it’s all sin. All my life I’ve struggled with overeating and the resulting excessive weight. I knew it wasn’t good but I never acknowledged it as sin and certainly not debauchery. In my Rooted group I was able to see and acknowledge my overeating, particularly
my love of sweets, as an addiction.
However, even that acknowledgment of addiction did not change my consumption levels. It took 1 Peter 4:3 and Webster’s Dictionary.
Sensuality, according to Webster, is consisting in the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of appetite.
Idolatry has been the clincher for me. Idolatry is immoderate attachment or devotion to something. Some synonyms for idolatry are deification and worship. My God, my good, good Father used a dictionary to tell me that I had pushed Him off to the side of His throne in my heart by allowing my tastebuds to dictate my control over that aspect of my life.
Notice I used the word "convict" in my first paragraph; not "condemn." Romans 8:1 declares: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Condemnation and guilt come from Satan. God who loves us beyond measure, brings conviction which leads us to repentance, the action of change.
This same week, the Holy Spirit used my First Place 4 Health lesson to teach the much-needed solution to remove this idolatry from my heart and from my life. I had to give God control over my eating, which meant giving up my tight control called dieting.
Freedom! God has control. I don’t know how He does it, but He does. I need not even concern myself with how He does it. He is the God of all the universe and He can accomplish this in me.
He works in ways I’ll never begin to understand. Yet as I walk with Him in this, He will instruct me through His Word and His Spirit.
Why in the world would I tell you of my food issues? Even more, why tell you what I learned through various sources just this week--dictionary definitions yet? One reason is that possibly as you read my lessons there might be something here that could help you in your particular need, whether your need is food addiction or any other controlling idols.
The second reason is selfish as it meets my need for accountability. Writing is commitment and all the more, writing for others to read. Since you now know, I’ve got to walk the talk.
Thirdly repentance leads to change, with an additional necessary step in between–confession. This is a piece of my repentance.
“Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!” Psalm 23:1 (The Living Bible). I choose to give the Good Shepherd control over my eating. Now I know what I should have known all my childhood; that is, I need not eat whatever is available before it is gone. The Lord,
my Abba Daddy, is exceedingly able to provide more, in His time.