Who's the Boss?
by Ann Musico
Out of Control
1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV: Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
NLT: You may say I am allowed to do anything. But I reply, "Not everything is good for you." And even though I am allowed to do anything, I must not become a slave to anything.
This is such a powerful verse when you relate it to our cravings and appetites. There is a huge difference between physical hunger where we need to refuel our bodies and our appetite, which is our cravings and desires rearing their ugly heads!
According to this, we have no limitations to what we can eat. We won't go to hell because we eat a pork chop or lobster tails! But, they aren't the best choices nutritionally no matter how much your taste buds are calling out for them. It’s the same with sugar. The only way to break a sugar addiction is to stop cold turkey. There are only two choices: You either control your body with its appetites and cravings, or it controls you. And if you allow your appetites to have the upper hand too often, a habit is formed and you become a slave to that desire.
There's an Indian saying that you have to "starve the right wolf." That fits perfectly here. If you get in the habit of eating a chocolate candy bar every day, your body comes to expect that and when you don't have it, you experience full-blown cravings! Well, the only way to get free
from that bondage, is to "starve" it - show your body and appetites who is boss!!
1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NLT says: “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.” We are all athletes in this race of life. I suggest we must be much more aware and intentional about how we run our race.
This is part of the reason I try to do a three-day juice fast every month. It's good for you to give your digestive system a break every now and then and fasting periodically has been proven to extend your life; I like to use the time to pray or worship and commune with God as well. But a large part of my reason for doing this regularly is to keep firmly in control of my body. It's so easy to slip into bad habits. I always feel a great sense of peace, strength and accomplishment every time I've finished the three days knowing I am in control of my body – not the other way around.
Pay attention to what the Father tells us and don't allow your appetites to overtake you and become “a slave to your whims,” as the Message Bible translates this verse.
So I ask you – who is the boss – you or your appetites?