Don’t Negate the Benefit

The other morning I read an article which said pistachio nuts can help lower triglyceride levels. Yay. I enjoy eating pistachio nuts, so this is good news.

Not too long after reading the article, I thought, now I can eat more pistachio ice cream. Yum. Maybe not. That would probably negate the benefit gained from eating pistachio nuts, don’t you think? It’s a nice thought, though.

As I considered this, I thought about how sometimes we take the good God permits, twist it to our liking, and negate the benefit we could gain from it. In 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 Paul talked about food and drink. He said everything was permissible for him, but not everything was beneficial or constructive.

He went on to say everything was permissible for him, but he would not be mastered by anything. Although Paul was talking about food and drink in these instances, he said whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble. Seek the good of many instead of our own good.

Moderation. Restraint. Anything we overindulge in can negate the benefit.

Like me thinking about eating pistachio ice cream to lower my triglycerides. Or me buying one more writing journal, when I already have a shelf full I haven’t written in yet.

Overindulgence can become an addiction regardless of what we overindulge in. It doesn’t have to be food. What about overindulging in social media or television? While neither of these are necessarily wrong, too much can be. Given the past few years we experienced, I’d say many of us have weighed in heavy on the too much end of the scale with these two.

Those who have read this blog for any length of time know I post gluten-free recipes. I don’t eat gluten-free to follow a trend. I eliminate gluten from my diet because I am allergic to wheat. It literally makes me ill. The pain gluten causes me is not worth indulging in anything that contains it.

Yeah. I miss eating a lot of things I used to take for granted I could eat, but there are so many more gluten-free foods available now than there used to be. It isn’t quite as painful.

Like the teen aged fast-food worker said when I explained why I needed my meal without the bun, if he had to be gluten-free, he would tell God, “Take me, now. Because life wouldn’t be worth living anymore.” I believe he had southern biscuits and sausage gravy on his mind when he said that. I laughed, knowing it’s kinda how I felt hearing my initial gluten allergy diagnosis.

I doubt Paul had gluten on his mind when he said everything is permissible for him, but not everything is beneficial. However, whenever we face a choice, perhaps like Paul, we can say even though Christ may not have said no, that doesn’t mean it’s beneficial for us. Why negate the benefit of what he gives us?

Pistachio ice cream is permissible, but if I eat it to excess, and claim it is healthy because it has pistachios in it, I’m twisting something good to suit my desires. I’ve allowed it to get a grip on me I can’t easily stop when I want to.

Moderation. Restraint. In all things.

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 I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (TLB)

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


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4 thoughts on “Don’t Negate the Benefit

  1. Moderation –such a good guide. Of course, I deeply relate to your gluten-free life struggles. As we embark on our upcoming travels I’ll be having plenty of conversations like you did with that fast food worker. More importantly, I do need to prayerfully consider what might all too easily “get a grip” on me.


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