The Problem With Over Indulgence
Too Much Consumption
During the Holiday seasons, it is so easy to get caught up in the back to back festivities of eating, drinking, gift splurging and having a merry good time which is why Over Indulgence goes unchecked. Anyone's question can be, 'what is the harm in that', 'Bah, hum bug! Scrooge!'
Well the problem is Over Indulgence, an issue that creeps itself into our daily lives in many forms and comes across just as innocent as it was when it came in but don't let it fool you because it is as deadly as it is alive.
Titus 2:12 teaches ...us to live a self controlled life that is not given to ungodly desires.... (the NIV Bible states more)
Feelings of well wishes, holiday cheer and outreach ministry saturates the atmosphere promoting warm fuzzy feelings that opens our heart up to want to do something out of the norm. We often negate the fact or the necessity to do such things on a continual or daily bases. We shouldn't wait for Christmas to be a blessing to someone but we often feel guilty because we have waited and now the problem toppled with mixed emotions comes about.
The holidays, brings people closer together, no doubt, from all walks of life being thankful, grateful, helpful and mindful in some cases. The giving of gifts has little value compared to the real gift that does not rot, decay or loses it's value as time goes by.
This should be a time of reflection on our lives, past, present and what is to come, as oppose to the obvious, but instead we choose to do otherwise which has allowed us to missed the true meaning of why we celebrate in any season and degrade our value system of beliefs.
God gave because we needed a Savior to save us from ourselves and the real enemy, not because we needed any more clothes, toys, tv's, or fancy electronics.
Here's the problems:
1. Eating habits out of control results in poor health, overweight and eating disorders;
2. Drinking binges that go unchecked result in bad health, destructive behavior, additional addictions, poverty and the loss of life;
3. Overspending and hording of goods takes over like a cancer and depletes household resources from a healthy environment to an unhealthy one;
4. Sexual appetites out of control results in diseases, broken relationships, lack of trust, violence and in some cases death;
Food, drink and the getting of goods was meant for our enjoyment, as a fruit of our labor not to distort our value system. Sex is for the bed of the married and is not defiled unless we breach it with things contrary to Godly belief.
Life goes on when the turkey's gone, the lights are turned off, the tree is recycled and the toys are half but destroyed by now. What respect for the money, that we have earned, are we teaching our children when we give them so much that it sickens them.
These days for some of us, come around every year and for us to consider otherwise would be an insult to our intelligence. There is so much more to life that we don't even realize.
We can have the cars of our choices, vacation homes, outlandish furniture and the best schooling for the kids but what does it profit us? It's just stuff.
They almost missed out
Ignoring it's Consequences
During the holidays I baked three batches of cookies, 3 dozen in each batch which were warm, chewy, oatmeal, raisins with nuts. Because I baked the warm, chewy, oatmeal, raisins with nuts cookies does not mean that I should have eaten a third of them. I did manage to save five cookies from the last batch for my grandkids.
Nobody can eat just one mouth watering delicious cookie without justifying the second and third cookie. Now if I cannot justify my actions for something as sinless as a cookie, how could I possibly justify my actions if it were something else. I would always have a reason as to why I think I should deserve it.
My Grandmother use to tell me that my eyes were bigger than my stomach when I was a child. I thought it was a big eye joke because my eyes were big so instead of asking her what did she mean by such a statement, I took offense to it and was left with an unresolved issue. I had been known to eat myself till I was sick on my stomach with excruciating pain until I regurgitated.
When I grew up I had a habit of going shopping when I had emotional Issues, spending money that I did not have to spare and even if I did my bank account was at zero.
Over Indulgence has many faces like that of multiple personalities that operates past the better judgement of the individual at hand. Whatever got me to Over Indulge in the first place is the place where I have to go back to make amends. I wasn't born that way to be self indulgent and it is by the Grace of God that I will no longer continue in that realm of life.
Underlying Issues/No Structure
When we are children we process information based on what we see, how we perceive it and understand it to be so with actual facts that is lived before us. As we advance in life we conclude that what is presented before us is something we either embrace or reject based on actual facts.
Children learn what they live so we can't blame them if they become Over Indulgent. We have the power to tell our children, 'no,' even if we can afford it. They don't have to have everything that they see. Why not keep their lives simple and untainted. They will appreciate you more in the long run. This makes for better principles to live by.
We live in a society that loves keeping up with every one else instead of minding our own business. If we train our children the way the bible tells us to, then we are less likely to experience some of the ills that we see in a society that has rejected God on just about every platform and every level. It is not a shameful thing to seek outside help from neighbors and or friends who are doing it even if they are single parents.
It's hard but not impossible to attack one problem at a time. We have to stop lying to our children and most of all ourselves. Most of our problems if not all come from troubled relationships, having children to young and the standard breakdown in trust and love that fades away. Most of all but not least is exposure to outside influences. Be the voice of power and influence that your children adhere to other than learning the voice of God. You will never be the only voice but let words of wisdom be the overpowering voice.
If I tell my child that drinking a lot of pop and or juice drinks is not the best way to consume fluid and I bring home empty 40oz cups from the restaurant, every other day says something else and is clearly a mixed message. The above picture shows my Indulgence of a 40oz drink that was my morning fix just about every other morning. It surely felt like a delicious icy, sweetened just right, morning fix too. I had to get a hold of myself and fix my own morning drink and take it with me which was much less expensive and more healthy for me. Bottled water was one of those choices as well.
Underlying Issues of Over Indulgence
Some Underlying Issues are more obvious and therefore better able to be addressed.
2. Learned patterns of behavior.
These are some but not all only because they are more poignant than others.
OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS - Has a twelve step program that is parallel to AA in using some if not all of it's same principles for application.
Life Discipleship Resources From Dr. Henry Brandt
The above site is by no means a counseling site as they clearly indicate on their page.
The resource above is where I got my biblical cross references from. They had a listing of verses pertaining to what God has to say about being Over Indulgent in various areas of our lives. We are not alone in our struggles, zillions of people experience Over Indulgence at some point in their lives and have managed to overcome it by and through the Grace of God.
We no longer have to carry the burden of our lives upon our shoulders because
'He told us to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us.' 1Peter5:7
Over Indulgence - Conclusion
It may not be a thing of the past when it comes to delicious oatmeal cookies straight out of the oven, but as for the rest of my life, I have surrendered to God so that he can help me in the areas that present themselves to be overwhelming when under pressure.
Birthday celebrations, lover's special days and so many other days on the calendar that we celebrate are just that days that God has made and I don't have to be consumed by it. I am free one more day to be alive and in the company of good people and friends.
Each day presents it's own set of opportunities and challenges with it's mountain high and valley low experiences, but it clearly does not change who I am. 'I can walk and not be weary' because of who is in control. I like when God drives, he knows the way to go and has less accidents. I am stronger now and the wiser as one song writer would put it because my driver will not steer me wrong.