(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
Sugar: Secret Addiction
By Michele Massie
“Delicious? Toxic? Addictive? What’s the deal with sugar?” I read this line the other day and my mind drifted to thoughts of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. This day of celebrating love typically includes “sugar” of some sort.
A lot of times, our fondness for sugar goes back to childhood. Maybe we have memories of our mom giving us candy money as a reward—we would go down to the corner store and get our candy bar or special treat. Maybe we associate candy with comfort and good memories. When we became adults we continued associating sugary foods with those things. It is common for people to set patterns in their behavior that they allow to become coping mechanisms.
It may seem harmless at the time—getting us through various seasons of change in our lives—but ultimately the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, and I made plans like a child. When I became a man, I stopped those childish ways.”
As we mature in life and in the Lord, one of the things we want to ask is, “Does this still work for me?” And if this doesn’t, you want to rethink your coping choices and come up with better ways to deal with your emotions. You always want to ask God for His help, because He makes all things possible.
Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’”
He will replace and perfect your weakness with His strength. Here are some practical tips to help you move towards the victory that is already on its way to you.
Begin by reading Daniel 1:8, “purposing in your heart” to limit the sugar intake into your life by beginning to read food labels and educate yourself on the amount of sugar in the foods you buy. Check the nutrition labels and try not to go over 10 grams of sugar in each serving because sugar is one of those substances that makes you want more with the more you get.
Secondly, you want to see if there are other ways you can raise those “feel good” chemicals in your brain, because when you eat sugar it raises two pleasure neurotransmitters in your brain called endorphins and serotonin. There are other ways you can make yourself feel better without sugar. Getting 15 or 20 minutes of sun exposure will do that. Laughter is another way to raise serotonin and endorphin levels in your brain.
Surround yourself with the presence of God through opening up His Word and listening to some uplifting praise music. These types of things will activate the pleasure centers in your brain. It is difficult to experience true joy and peace as long as you allow any sort of addiction to reign in your life; you want to be sure you get those things under control. As we grow up and begin to mature in the Lord, we learn our bodies are actually the temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”
Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)
“There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. It’s been said that, ‘As believers in Christ, our lives will shine far beyond this world, all the way into eternity and it is wise to daily keep our ultimate accountability to the Lord in mind concerning the choices we make.”
So beloved, we remember John 3:16, which tells us that the love we experience here on earth is because “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life.” I pray this Valentine’s Day 2017, you may know in your heart that you are God’s masterpiece, created in His image. He gave you the strength to move mountains, and shaped the desires of your heart. By His design, He made you the amazing person you are! May I be the first to say to you… Happy Valentine’s Day.