No one actually said these exact words but suffice it to say that when I spent longer than planned with a wonderful new friend this morning, “someone” wanted to get going with the rest of his day. I think the exact text was, “Hey, when are we going? I’m eating Ikea cookies for breakfast and lunch. Dry! Yum…” I chuckled when I read “someone’s” gentle push to press on and head home but it also got me thinking about that side of Christianity that so many of us don’t like to talk about – self discipline.
Nobody MAKES us eat too many cookies, right? We’re hungry, there appears to be nothing else around so we eat cookies… too many of them. Now, Chris ( I mean, “someone”) and I have been known to eat popcorn for dinner the odd time so perhaps a meal of Ikea cookies aren’t much of a stretch but really?… you HAD to eat cookies for breakfast and lunch?
Now, I know this video is going to REALLY date me but anyone out there remember Flip Wilson? This guy was one of America’s most popular entertainers in the first half of the 1970’s.
In the public mind, Wilson was most identified with the characters he created on stage and on screen, most famously Geraldine–in the words of Washington Post writer Bruce Britt, ” ‘a streetwise soul sister’ clad in mini-skirt and copper-colored wig who brimmed with sheer enthusiasm and favored the unforgettable statements, “What you see is what you get,” and, most famously, “The Devil made me do it!” http://www.answers.com/topic/flip-wilson
Take a minute – actually, take two minutes and forty five seconds and watch one of his finest moments.
The thing is there’s some real truth to Flip Wilson’s famous words, “the Devil made me do it.” Flip Wilson managed to communicate in a way that caught peoples’ attention. 1970’s humor, similar to 2012 humor, dealt with issues with which we all identify. Since the beginning of time, it’s been difficult to say “no” to the pleasures of this world. Finding balance in life on this earth requires self discipline.
It’s not God, who tempts us with destructive, self indulging behaviors. James 1.13 says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”
Geraldine struggled with the same stuff that we do. Temptation is temptation, no matter when it happens.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, or love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1.7 NIV