Pride and Potato Chips

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NKJV

Anyone who knows me today knows that I strive to stay away from junk food. There are several reasons for that, the most important being my desire not to enter back into addiction of any kind. 

I am a recovered drug addict, alcohol addict, food addict, shopping addict, just to name a few.  I spent many years struggling to rid myself of these dependencies. Sobriety eventually came when I stopped trying to achieve it in my own strength and asked my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to help me. This gift cannot be taken lightly and must be faithfully watered so it will not wilt and fade away. 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:8 Paul tells us, “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”

We all know how stress can cause us to be a playground for the devil. He will sneak in the second we leave the gate ajar.  A recent incident showed me how true this is. It all served as a huge reminder that we never know what is around the corner and always need to be prepared. We must be suited up daily with the armor of our salvation. 

Ephesians 6:13 tells us, Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Before I left on a three-day trip to visit my son, I noticed a bag of Kettle Cooked Potato Chips in the cabinet; my favorite once upon a time.  I was not concerned about them being in the house when I returned. They usually last no more than a day.  The norm was not what happened. I would not be prepared for the encounter.

During my 7 hour drive to Roanoke and half of the ride home, I listened to an audio book.  Stress had gotten the best of me, and I just wanted a light-hearted distraction.  

The main character is a young female who makes her way to Nashville looking to make a new life for herself.  All her worldly possessions fit into a backpack and she is close to being penniless. Due to her limited amount of money and love of both, she sustains herself on potato chips and coffee. The mention of her eating potato chips pops up frequently in the story, all the way to the end.

My descent to Roanoke took me through two thirds of the book without a second thought at the mention of potato chips. During the drive home this was not the case. Every time I heard the words potato chips, I felt them calling to me.  My thoughts went to how well they would relieve some of the stress that was resurfacing the closer I got to home. These thoughts had no business in my mind, and I was not stopping them, although I knew I should.

I stopped for a coffee break. Making my way from the coffee station to the register I passed the chip aisle. A split second thought of getting a small bag of those delectable demons bolted through my head. Able to control the urge, I proudly left the store without them. I had conquered this small temptation myself!

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.”

I was on my way to seeing the truth in that statement.

James 4: 6-7 reminds us, “…God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.” 

How differently my day could have ended had I humbled myself before God and covered myself with His Armor, acknowledging I could not resist that temptation without Him.

Arriving home, I opened the cabinet to get my dog a biscuit, and there flaunting itself in my face was the bag of chips I believed would be gone. I stood there too long, debating, should I or shouldn’t I. The uncontrolled mind and emotions won. Just a few. Then a few more. Then a few more again. It was not until I had gone through half the bag that I realized what I was doing, and why.

You may think this silly, but for an addict it is serious. When I quit drugs, I went back to drinking alcoholically.  When I quit alcohol, I developed a shopping addiction. When I quit smoking, I became a junk food addict. All because I was not in relationship with my Lord. To rid myself of all addictions, I needed to learn what God’s Word says and write it in my heart. I had to develop a relationship with Him; so when temptation comes, I have my arsenal ready for battle.

My sin was not eating the potato chips. It came long before that.  It was pride that took me to this place. Not just the pride that came in the convenience store when I passed up that temptation. Pride had been festering for weeks, as I had been trying to handle a situation myself. I had not even realized I was doing so. In a matter of hours, I let my mind wander to places it shouldn’t, leaving God out and allowing pride in. I was not asking the Holy Spirit for a fresh filling every day, and not putting on my armor before I went out into the world. 

Ephesians 5:15-18, “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” David Guzik tells us, “Because the light was given to us we should walk carefully and wisely (circumspectly). Much of the weakness, defeat and lethargy in our spiritual life can be attributed to the fact that we are not constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

Are you feeling tempted in any area? Are you walking carefully and wisely? Try putting on your armor every day and asking the Holy Spirit for a fresh infilling. And remember the words from the apostle John, “God has already provided us a way back. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 

Be blessed! God is ready to forgive and restore and the Holy Spirit is ready to fill us if we humble ourselves, repent and ask. 

May the Peace of Christ be with you. 
Janice S.