If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. Proverbs 25:16
This world is filled with good things and bad things. The bad things can be fairly easy to determine (ex: murder, driving drunk, child abuse, adultery, etc). As Christians, we know that we’re supposed to stay away from those ‘bad things.’ However, we have a harder time with the good things that life has to offer. We are quick to forget that good things can quickly become bad things.
Proverbs uses honey as its example. Honey is not bad. In fact, it’s loaded with health benefits. Until it makes you vomit.
While I’m not a huge consumer of honey, I do love ice cream. Not just in the summer heat and not just for dessert. Any time, any season, and for any meal. I love ice cream. I’ve eaten it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not all in the same day). I eat it in the summer, spring, winter, and fall. For me, there’s not a bad time to consume ice cream.
Although there are some out in this wide world that would disagree with me, ice cream is not a bad thing. After all, it’s got lots of calcium. Right? Right?! Despite my love affair with ice cream, I am careful with how much I consume.
Ice cream has a lot of sugar and the good stuff is loaded with calories. So, while I could sit down and enjoy a whole half gallon (don’t judge), I don’t. This habit would make me sick and eventually overweight.
Let’s take it a step further with something that seems really, really good. Exercise. It’s no secret that exercise is beneficial for us. It keeps us healthy, develops strong muscles, and releases endorphins. The benefits of exercise are vast and large. But even exercise can become an addiction and can create a sickness within us.
We can become so consumed with always having to exercise that it warps our body image or creates guilt. When I was in high school, one of my teammates became addicted to running. She would run several miles in the morning, run during practice, and run a few more miles before bed. This addiction consumed her life. It effected what she ate, the fun she had with friends, and her school work. Exercise is a good thing but too much of it can be really bad.
Honey is frequently spoken of in the Bible. God promised the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey.’ (Ex 3:8). Honey wasn’t a necessity, it was blessing from God. It was above and beyond basic nutrients. It was simply good thing until the Israelites came to expect it, think they deserved it, let it control their thinking, or overindulged in the blessing.
My husband, Jay, frequently quotes one of his college professors, “All extremes are dysfunctional.”
Too much honey makes a person vomit. Too much ice cream makes a person overweight. Too much exercise can warp a person’s self-image.
Too much blessing and not enough giving can make us forget that we don’t deserve the blessing. Too much ‘faith’ and not enough ‘works’ makes us forget that the world is dying outside our church doors.
On the other hand, not having any of that can also be dysfunctional. No honey and no understanding sweetness. No ice cream and no understanding the small pleasures in life. No exercise and we become unhealthy. No blessings and no reminder of God’s unending love. No faith makes our works meaningless.
An extreme in any direction makes a person dysfunctional. https://ctt.ec/KamGh
The pleasures and responsibilities of life are filled with perks and benefits. In moderation, those pleasures and responsibilities are okay but without moderation they become something warped and perverted. Even though it may be difficult to keep these things in check, we must.
Proverbs was saying the same thing thousands of years before Jay’s professor was ever born. We must be aware of the things, no matter how good they seem, that are beginning to make us sick.
Self-awareness is imperative! Whether it be with food, exercise, thought patterns, social media consumption, or even time in the sun, we must be conscious not to allow ourselves to be consumed by the behavior.
We must become more aware of the dysfunction that is arising because we are leaning toward one extreme or another.
What things in your life are become too extreme? What sickness is starting to develop in you?