Swinging on Fish Hooks by Julie Arduini

Don’t you love those little a-ha moments God gives? Or if you’re like me, sometimes they are more like ahem. I tend to listen to a sermon or read a devotion and think how the material would be perfect for so-and-so. The reality is, the person who needs to receive and apply the information is me.

Our Sunday School class is studying James via a DVD study from Francis Chan. During the discussion we talked about temptation. The video session talked about lures and bait, fishing terms I’m familiar with. But temptation?

My mind wandered with the people I know struggling with it. And failing.

Then a scene came to mind. My kids, and okay, even my husband, find Spongebob Squarepants funny. I’ve seen many episodes and although I’m not the hardcore fan they are, one episode played out the temptation visual to perfection.

Spongebob lives in Bikini Bottom, so he’s surrounded by water. One day he found a hook. His boss, Mr. Krabs, told him to never go near the hooks. They look like fun, but they are death. The exact message Francis Chan was sharing about temptation.

Spongebob and Patrick come across another hook and the temptation is too much. Why would Mr. Krabs want them to stay away from a fun swing? Next thing you know they are on those hooks 24/7. They are so much entertainment Spongebob is missing work, and his job is very important to him. Mr. Krabs warns them, but they won’t stay away.

And then the hook grabs them and starts pulling them toward land.

What was great fun suddenly became a weapon of death.

Still, the memory didn’t seem personal. I’m a positive person who doesn’t struggle with language, gambling, or alcohol. God has done such a work through Christ in me with all these things and more.

Then yesterday hit. I had a lot of tasks around the house to accomplish and I took on more than I should have. When I am tired, I become vulnerable. When I have too much going on, I look for quick fixes.

Yesterday transitioned to a day starting with protein and exercise to a glance at a loaf of Italian bread set aside for dinner. I typically don’t eat bread. By dinner, I still didn’t eat bread.

I inhaled it.

It wasn’t just one piece or even two. It was probably four or five. Followed by more chocolate than I’ve probably had in months.

I didn’t just take the bait, I went swinging on hooks.

You might think that it was a harmless carb load, and for most people, you’d be right. Me? It is a descent into a lifestyle that leaves me even more tired, sick, depressed, and in need of bigger clothes. I have insulin resistance so the last thing I need is more sugar.

But, it’s the first thing I usually go to when I’m tempted.

Today I started the day in God’s word and this time I looked through the eyes of someone who needs to learn, not who else this might apply to. I’m trying to approach my choices through spirit led decisions, not my proud, fleshy ones.

How about you? Is temptation an issue for you? What helps you overcome or steer clear of it?
Here’s a YouTube snippet showing how easy it is to fall into temptation. SpongeBob Squarepants is a product of Nickelodeon/Viacom.

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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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