If there is anything I’m sure of, it’s that I have many weaknesses in my life. Like the saying, “the mind is willing but the flesh is weak”, I’ve been guilty of succumbing to my weaknesses, in particular guilty pleasures, time and time again despite my utmost efforts to not give in. One perfect example is my (literally) unhealthy love for potato chips.
Those who know me from my earlier days have been astonished by the amount of weight I’ve gained since my earlier days as an active athlete; some even have difficulty recognizing me. I blame it on my current deskbound job that doesn’t afford me much opportunity to exercise—but really, it’s just my lack of discipline and those dreaded potato chips.
Having reached the stage of my life where I am planning to get married, the reality of not being able to fit into my wedding suit has started to sink in. To counter this, I’ve started on a fruit diet where I eat mainly (or only) fruit for breakfast and lunch. I’m glad to say my efforts have not been in vain and my pants have gotten looser around the waist. I have even begun jogging a mile thrice a week. Yet, despite my attempts to get back in shape, the one thing that is threatening to undo all that good I’ve done so far is my unbreakable bond with potato chips. The rustling sound of a bag of chips about to be opened is enough to get my gastric juices churning.
I have tried a couple of ways to overcome this weakness:
Just. Stop. Eating. Chips. Unfortunately, like flies attracted to a blue light, so it is with me and chips.
I once tried placing many bags of chips in front of my laptop so that I would get used to the sight of chips and not be tempted in the future. It wasn’t a good idea. Obviously.
When the urge to eat chips came, I ran away from the problem (in the literal sense). The only problem was that I got so hungry after a run, I opened a bag of chips.
Chips are my Achilles’ heel and my countless failed efforts at avoiding them have always given me fleeting moments of pleasure, but left me feeling guilty and lousy about myself afterwards.
That’s very much the way sin is in our lives. It presents itself as an attractive, pleasurable option that stands against our desire to live godly lives. We struggle against it but falter and fail so many times. The one thing I have realized about guilt however, is that it represents the presence of a conscience. Without the sense of guilt each time we sin, I am just like those whose consciences are seared (1 Timothy 4:2.) They leave the faith, follow after falsehood, teach wrong doctrine, sin repeatedly and think very little or nothing of it.
It is a wonderful truth to know that when we give our lives to Jesus, He gives us His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts (1 John 4:13), to prompt us each time we fumble, and to bring to mind all that God has taught us (John 14:26). It is also reassuring that Jesus continues to intercede on my behalf each time I fail to live up to God’s standards (Romans 8:34). Because of Jesus and what He has done, we can live guilt-free lives and focus on striving towards godliness. The reality is that we will never stop struggling with sin as we live on earth but we can rest assured that there is relief and power in Christ, whom we have pledged to follow faithfully, all the days of our lives.
When the chips are down, I know that I can depend on Jesus.