I recently recruited a girlfriend to help put an end to my mindless overeating. I’d been wanting to kick the habit for a while but, without anyone to hold me accountable, even the best intentions weren’t enough to overcome my weak resolve. Lack of self-control in this area is not something that I’m proud of. This is probably a good thing because Proverbs 16:18 makes it clear that pride comes before a fall.
The opposite of pride is humility and there is nothing wrong with admitting when you need a little help. Mine came in the form of a pact that I made with a friend to write down everything we ate. Knowing that I had agreed to bare my “caloric all” the next time we got together made a noticeable difference when I went through the drive-through at McDonald’s and ordered one cheeseburger, instead or two. Later that day, while playing pitch with my family, I experienced equally positive results when I passed over a handful of peanut M&M’s and opted for a bowl of grapes.
After one day of mindful eating stretched into three, I began to wonder: Why didn’t I reach out to someone sooner? As much as I want to think that I can handle everything myself, Romans 7:15 makes it clear that no man (or woman) is an island. We are all a part of the human race where we, despite our best efforts to keep from sinning, wind up doing it anyway.
The futility of the situation is something that the apostle Paul seemed very familiar with in Romans 7 when he said: “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.”
“Oh, what a miserable person I am!” Paul added. “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus is the answer, but other people are also part of the equation. We know this from Matthew 18 where, in verses 19 and 20, our Lord and Savior said: “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers I am there among them.”
I will never cease to marvel at how statements like this one, penned nearly two thousand years ago, can be so relevant today. Everything we need to know to live a godly life really is in the bible.
What I know from this experience is that all roads worth traveling lead to Jesus; and for every roadblock on the journey, we get by with a little help from our friends.