I love biscuits and gravy. I don’t know whether you see that as a proud proclamation or a gross moment of confession, but either way, it’s true. I love them.
You know what other foods I love? Anything that is really bad for me. I love cholesterol. And sugar. And dye. And the word, “fried”.
Oh, and not exercising. I really love that.
Obviously, I’m a pretty self-destructive person. We all are, though aren’t we? I mean, before you roll your eyes and lecture me about the chemicals I’m putting in my body and the cholesterol I’m putting in my arteries, ask yourself the question – do you always follow the path you know is wise?
When you’re away from the dinner table, what is the “junk food” you crave? Is it bad movies? Bad relationships? Sex outside of marriage? Alcohol? Tobacco?
What are you putting into your mind or your body or doing with your body that you know is wrong or foolish? You’ve got something. We all do. We can all identify with Romans 7:15, where Paul writes: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Do you get the point? We all eat biscuits and gravy.
This blog really isn’t about stating the obvious, so here’s the real question I want to pose: When you make a choice that you know is unwise, do you think God will bless it?
Here’s what I mean: every time I sit down at the table with a heaping plate of biscuits and gravy in front of me, I pause, bow my head, and ask God to bless the meal. Let that sink in. I ask God to bless my junky, unwise meal. Not only that, I usually use the words I learned from my father: “Lord, use this food to nourish and strengthen my body.”
Do you think God ever hears that prayer and says, “Seriously? You want me to bless that? Look at it! You want me to take a steaming pile of grease and chemicals and artery-clogging fat and give it nourishment? Son, if you want to strengthen your body, eat some oatmeal!”
I don’t know that God says that. In fact, I do know that God can take what is bad and use it for good, so He is certainly capable of giving nutritional value to my junky food. God is so good.
But there is something else I know about God, too, and that is this – He never promises to shield me from the consequences of my actions. Never. He may bless my breakfast to some degree, but without question, if I continue to eat those types of foods, I will find myself at the heart doctor sooner or later.
That’s how this world words – gravy is filled with cholesterol, and cholesterol blocks arteries. Hence, if I don’t want a blockage, I need to make different choices.
Seems simple, doesn’t it? It’s not, though. So many people go through life asking God to bless their bad habits – to sanction their illicit relationships or smile on their greedy pursuit of wealth or keep them safe even when they know their behavior is risky and wrong. And then, when He doesn’t – when the crash inevitably comes in the form of an STD or a drunken wreck or a shattered marriage or a wasted life – they turn to God with clenched fists and wonder where He went.
Here’s the bottom line – God is good even when we are not. He is able to work in us despite our best efforts to derail Him. But God never promises to keep us from the consequences of our actions. On the contrary, He usually allows them.
That’s why those of us who want a healthy future need to push back from the table and order something different.