We thank Brendan Armitage for writing this week’s email devotional!
“I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.”~~ Romans 14:14 (NRSV)
“Oh, Martha! That cake is sinfully delicious!”
Insert your favorite decadent foodstuff here (mine is red velvet cake with buttercream frosting, but pick your poison), we individually and as a society have decided that some foods are so calorie-rich or fatty that we’ve decided they’re…sinful.
That poor word “sinful”. Two meanings. You’re either looking at “tainted with, marked by, or full of sin”, or “such as to make one feel guilty”. Short of being actively infected with a Russian nerve agent, I doubt that even your mother-in-law’s Thanksgiving dinner was “tainted”. But does eating some food make you feel guilty? Do you feel that the food will be damaging to your health? Drive your cholesterol or weight up? Have some foods just become “sinful” to you, no matter what Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil say? Have some other things in your life become “sinfuls” too?
Here’s a way to take the “sin” out of your sinful foods this holiday season. Share them. When you give someone else some of your sweet, you share the taste of eating it, you cut the calories, and you receive the joy that comes only from giving. That which would have formerly made you fat and unhappy now keeps you thinner and happier.
Give and ye shall receive.
Where have we heard that before? Maybe it was your pastor’s sermon about “time, talent, and treasure” at St. Peter’s?
Sharing is a cure for a lot of what ails us. We can be gluttons to food, or to time, and binge-watch an entire TV series in a day. We can be gluttons to work, and spend so much time at the office that we ignore our families. We can be gluttons to Facebook and Instagram. (Enough said there.)
So, in this time at the beginning of our church year and the end of our calendar year, pray that you’ll share some of your “sinfuls” – with others. Pray for the willingness to offer someone else part of what is “sinful” to you, as part of your day. Sharing what you love makes that something less “sinful”, doesn’t it? Whether it be “a little something sweet”, or money, or time, pray for the understanding that when you give from what you hold close, you lose the anxiety about that food, that thing, that thought…and you gain the joy of giving, the joy of discovering common loves and sharing no-longer-guilty pleasures.
When you give of your life, you receive relief from guilt, freedom from stress, and joy in your everlasting life as a child of God. That’s part of Our mission together, here at St. Peter’s. Share it.
See you in church.