It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and that means plenty of sweet treats and holiday parties.
I don’t know about you, but I’m approaching this season with both joyful anticipation and sinking dread.
OH THE COOKIES!!!!
And… oh… The cookies. *sigh*
Do you ever feel that way?
For sure, we need to guard against overindulgence and care for our bodies, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy holiday treats.
Food is not the enemy. Every food is blessed by God when we receive it with thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:3-5). Is there a certain cookie you look forward to ALL. YEAR. LONG? Eat it. Enjoy it. Thank God for it. And then move on.
Don’t allow that cookie to control your thoughts, feelings, and self-worth. It was never meant to have that much control over you.
The key to enjoying our favorite holiday foods without guilt and regret is to receive them as a good gift from a good Father meant to turn our hearts to Him in worship.
Because here’s the crux of the issue: when we invite God to satisfy us with the sweetness of His presence, we release treats to fulfill their humble and lowly job (that is, gifts to be enjoyed, not an enemy to be feared, and definitely not lords to rule over us and control us.)
Peter puts it this way:
“But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)
We are no longer slaves to fear. We are not slaves to treats. And we will not allow holiday foods to have ungodly control over us. We are joyful servants of and co-heirs with Jesus Christ, and we will receive His gifts with grateful hearts, being content with just enough. One cookie. One serving. One treat. And then we move on, focusing our hearts and attention on the Real Reason for the Season.
So how can we enjoy our favorite holiday foods without guilt and regret?
1. Set apart Jesus as Lord
Treats will not be our master. We will not fear them and we will not be controlled by them because we are not under law but under grace (Rom 6:14). So we invite Jesus’ Spirit to lead and control us, and we focus our hearts on Him.
2. Enjoy food as an act of worship
Whether you eat snowball cookies or drink eggnog, do it all for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). Let your eating magnify Him and point others to His surpassing sweetness.
3. Learn to be content
More isn’t better (Prov 25:16). Savor the goodness of your one treat, and then redirect your thoughts, your attention, and your affection to the goodness of God, the Giver. If you’re at a party, walk away and look for someone you can encourage. If you’re at home staring at a tray of cookies, package them up and give them away. Practice saying, “This is enough for today.”
Here is Paul’s take on this: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:11-13 NIV
We can do all things, sweet sisters. Even enjoy holiday treats without overindulging or guilt-tripping.
May your holidays be HOLY and WHOLE in Christ Jesus,
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