Most of us ate until we were full … then just kept on eating until we were miserable. That brought on a vow never to eat again (well, at least not until Friday and then to eat more sensibly), a vow which lasted until Thursday evening when someone brought out the leftover pumpkin pie.
Yes, ‘tis the season to overindulge––whether it be eating or spending money, because Thanksgiving Day gives way to holiday parties and the Christmas buying frenzy. At some point during the season we say “ENOUGH!” as we determine that you can have too much of a good thing.
And as we tell ourselves every year, overindulgence is never the answer. We may be immediately satiated but we are rarely satisfied. We are either left despondent over our lack of self-control or anxious over the bills we have mounted.
The Bible is very clear on both not overeating and not going into debt. My favorite verses regarding overeating are I Corinthians 10:31 which reminds us that all we do should glorify God, even our eating and drinking, while Proverbs 23:2 doesn’t mince words: “And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.” That advice will make you reconsider your second helping of stuffing, won’t it?
Though the Bible encourages us to be generous with what we have (emphasis added), it strictly advocates not going into debt. Proverbs 37:21 says, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.”
God is not against giving––even sacrificial giving as we see with the poor widow giving her last mite, but still she gave out of what she had.
Finally, Romans 13:8 states, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
And isn’t that what these two holidays are really all about? Love? Thanksgiving is all about thanking God for His love and provision for us during the year and being with family and friends.
And Christmas? What greater love could ever be given than for God to give up His glory in heaven, to be born a human child destined to be a sacrifice unto death for us “while we were yet sinners.”
This holiday season rather than focusing on what our stomach or past gift-buying practices demand, let us focus on God’s greatest command: “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)