By Melissa Wuske
Food is pretty much the only way I reward myself for anything. A second way to reward myself is money—but I usually use it to buy food. Not surprisingly, this sometimes leads to excess, like eating quantities of cheese that may be far more than a dietician would recommend.
In the last year or so, my propensity for sugar has started triggering migraines. While I used to be able to eat whole pans of brownies, now eating a single cookie is risking hours of pain. As a result, I’ve largely stopped eating sugar, and I suspect if I would’ve learned moderation sooner I could’ve skipped these migraines. So why didn’t I?
Simply put: I think my body is mine. God can tell me how to relate to other people, but when he tells me how to relate to myself, I resist. It’s my right to do what I want.
The human mind says that the more personal something is to me, the more I should fight for the right to do what I want with it. But God calls for a different standard: The more precious to me something is, the more I should commit it to God rather than clinging to it myself.
Sugar and Sin
Glorifying God with your body isn’t a path of austere asceticism. Brownies aren’t a sin; they’re a gift from God. But when I claim a gift as my right, I’m not using it in the way God intended.
When I claim my body as my own, giving it to God seems like a sacrifice. But when I see it as a gift, glorifying him is no longer a burden—it’s joyful and freeing. If I care for myself and enjoy God’s gift, it brings him glory. The effects of this attitude are far-reaching: the way I treat my body mirrors the way I show respect for God’s other gifts.
God wants to free people from the human trap of pursuing good enough, and equip us to get the most out of his gifts. But to do that we have to relinquish our perceived ownership of the gift.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor, writer, and the communications director for Stop Traffick Fashion. She lives in Boston with her husband, Shawn.