When Mayonnaise is on Sale: The Battle of Self-Control
I went to the grocery store hungry. I am not sure exactly what I was thinking. I was only supposed to go in and get a few items then come right back out. All I know is a ton of items that I had not originally planned to purchase somehow ended up in my cart! Some items were on sale. Others were not. I suppose I grabbed items not because I necessarily needed them, but simply because of their availability. I could not resist the buy one get one free items. And I had an instant notion to try a lot of new recipes located on the item packagings in my cart. "Oh, this casserole recipe looks good," I told myself. Then, I noticed the mayonnaise was on sale! I like mayonnaise and so do my kids. "I think I have two jars at home, but I will get two more jars because, after all, they are on sale and it's mayonnaise!" I carried on a full-fledged conversation with myself rationalizing items as I put them in my cart.
About 45 minutes into my grocery store adventure, I finally made it to the checkout counter. I sure was tired! My feet were achy. My back was hurting. I was thirsty and hot. By this time, I was overly hungry. I came in hungry, stayed too long, became even hungrier! As I placed all of these items on the conveyor belt I began to wonder what was I thinking? This was ridiculous! I had way more than I needed and these groceries cost me far more than I had anticipated. In my weakened frame of mind, I lost all self-control while grocery shopping.
Have you ever thought about how living a life without self-control is somewhat like grocery shopping while hungry? We impulsively pick up things that are not needed. The lack of self-control is quite evident in such situations. I was hungry. So, I picked up a lot of stuff. Life is the same way sometimes. For example, I have been angry and as a result, I picked up hatred and put it in my cart (heart). I have been frustrated and picked up a bad attitude and carted it. I have been fearful and I picked up a few bad decisions. I was tired and I purchased a few bad things.
When you go to the grocery store hungry, you end up with too many jars of mayonnaise, not enough meat, and an assortment of nuts. In the end, the lack of self-control is quite burdensome and costly. Often, decisions are made that cannot be reversed. Additionally, when you live a life without self-control, your vulnerability is exposed.
Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
A cities walls were for protection.
Self-control is for our protection.
Fortified walls symbolized strength.
Self-control symbolizes discipline.
Without its walls, a city was very vulnerable. Without self-control, not only are we vulnerable, but we are also are more prone to making bad decisions, and are far too easy prey for our enemies.
ACTION STEP- Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. This may sound funny but true, some things need to remain right where they are, on the shelf, at the grocery store, but not in my house. Likewise, some behaviors, attitudes, people, and activities, need to remain right where they are, away from me, and not in my house, and most definitely not in my heart.
TAKEAWAY- Determine today that you will refrain from making impulsive decisions. Ask God to help you make wise, self-controlled decisions. As you go about your day, pause and pray before you act, speak, do anything, and definitely before going to the grocery store. Understand that everything is not meant for you. Practice abandoning the unnecessary. Unnecessary has someone else's name on it. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Again, some things are better remaining on the shelf.
1 Cor 6:12 You say "I am allowed to do anything"- but not everything is good for you. An even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything.