The Duck Donut Dilemma
In North Carolina, we have Duck Donuts, a creative little chain of stores that’s doing amazing things with cake donuts. Last week at work, we had a fresh, hot dozen of these brought to us. Do I toss aside my convictions about eating healthier to honor Christ and go all out with these tasty treats? Or do I play it safe and skip them altogether? Can donuts be on any healthy eating plan? Then again, I could have just one donut, but in the past, my weak willpower has never allowed for that. What’s a health coach to do?
With my co-workers partaking, I decided to do the same and have a vanilla-glazed cake doughnut with strawberry icing – still hot of course. As I enjoyed the delectable dessert with the fellowship of my co-workers, I realized I wasn’t regretting the decision to indulge. The connection with my co-workers was nice and I had room in my daily calorie allotment for the single splurge.
However, after the first doughnut, my spiritual battle began. It was a Monday and with that came some stress, so I instinctively began wanting another donut to get me through the day. I began to think how God doesn’t want us turning to such things in our distress. No, God says: “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak…” (Ezekiel 34:15-16) If I ate the second donut, it wouldn’t be for the sake of good fellowship with my co-workers or any other honorable reason, but I’d be turning to a donut for the comfort, strength, and healing that our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, has promised to offer; I’d be putting a fried piece of bread covered with sugar on the throne of my heart.
Ultimately, I didn’t have the second donut and the Holy Spirit taught me I could enjoy my favorite treats, but not as a replacement for the peace of Christ. After all, food makes a terrible god and a lousy remedy for anxiety and depression. To endure the temptation, I meditated on Christ’s superiority to all the created gods we turn to: food, sex, entertainment – Jesus is better than all of it. The second donut made a promise of peace, but past experience told me it couldn’t deliver. In contrast, 1 Corinthians 1:20 says all God’s promises find their “Yes” in Jesus.
I’m praying with God’s strength and illumination from the Holy Spirit, we’ll be able to discern between enjoying food and turning to food.