When 2018 arrived, I jumped on the bandwagon with a lot of other people and decided to lose some weight. I joined an accountability group on Facebook and became very conscious of everything I put in my mouth. Of course, I encountered some temptations the past week but none so threatening as Oreos!
For you to fully understand the situation you have to know about my history with Oreos. When we were children Mom took me and my brother grocery shopping every other week on Thursday. We got to pick out the cereal and cookies we wanted. We always chose Oreos. Once we tried Hydrox but there’s NO comparison! We went home and consumed most of the Oreos the first night. We dipped them in milk and ate one after the other until we couldn’t eat one more. It was an art form with us. We dipped half of the Oreo into the milk and held it there just until it was ready to crumble and fall to the bottom of the glass. At that point we transferred the cookies from the glasses to our mouths and the cookies melted in our mouths. The experience was intoxicating.
As I grew to adulthood my addiction to Oreo cookies didn’t wane. I continued to buy them from time to time and would eat so many cookies at one sitting that I’d have a dark chocolate hangover the next day. Yes! You can get a hangover from cookies! I speak from experience. Something had to be done. I made Oreo cookies a “red light” food in my house. They were not to come into my house for any reason. I just wasn’t able to resist them and if I was exposed to them, I would succumb to the temptation.
Just before the end of 2017 my husband brought Oreo cookies into our house. As a connoisseur of Oreo cookies I quickly noticed they were not the original Oreos. Somewhere along the line Nabisco decided to expand the Oreo line and added “Double Stuf”, “Triple Double Chocolate”, “Chocolate Creme”, “Chocolate Mint Creme”, “Chocolate Berry Creme”, and “Fudge Cremes”. I could go on but I won’t, except to mention they even added Oreo “Golden” and “Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme”! Do I need to emphasize the obvious? These are not Oreo cookies! All of these variations are an abomination to the original. My husband brought home Oreo “Thins”. Not only was the cookie thinner but it was filled with chocolate instead of the rich creme filling that filled the first Oreo cookie when it was created on March 6, 1912! My emotions overwhelm me when I think of the various changes they’ve made over the years! It’s wrong I tell you, it’s wrong. I did give in and try a few of the “Thins”. They did not satisfy. I was not tempted by the near full bag as it sat there for almost a week.
But just after I made my commitment to eat healthy and lose some weight, my husband showed up with a bag of original Oreos. Is he Satan or merely an angel of Satan? It matters not. I was faced with the ultimate “red light” food sitting on the counter. The problem was real. I had to face it. I determined that I would not eat one Oreo from that package and I succeeded. My plan was perfect. I had studied about good nutrition. I acknowledged my shortcomings and was aware when I faced a difficult hurdle. I had an accountability group and I wanted to give them a good report. Good job, Connie.
My plan for eating was perfect. I wasn’t perfect in my execution of that plan but being aware of certain stumbling blocks helps me resist the temptation when a red light shows itself. And ultimately I will succeed if I stick to the plan.
God’s plan is also perfect. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11. We face all manner of temptation every day. Start out 2018 by identifying the red lights in your life. Remember a red light is something you should stay away from. We can’t remove ourselves from the world, in fact we’re commanded to go into the world. But if alcohol is a red light for you, don’t go into a bar. If sexual sin is a problem for you, stay away from that temptation. We can’t always avoid our red lights and when they present themselves, we don’t always resist them. Being aware and acknowledging our weaknesses is the first step in resisting those weaknesses.
Another part of keeping on track is having an accountability group. Your church should be that accountability group. Relationships are important to accountability. Simply attending and never developing close relationships with people who can help keep you on track is not enough.
And in the end, if we do the very best we can, God’s perfect plan will come to fruition and we’ll be made perfect because of the hope of the future. I so look forward to hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” – Matthew 25:23