Indulgence is one of the those words that carries a negative connotation. It’s like a 4,000 calorie triple bacon cheeseburger with a side of cheese curds and extra-large milkshake. Worse yet, it’s like running with arms wide open into destructive behavior. People indulge in alcohol, heroin, and pornography. And hey, we don’t endorse that sort of behavior. It’s naughty.
But indulgence doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can be reasonable about it.
I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy chocolate milk. Not a small glass with lunch, mind you, but an entire quart that was intended for a small family to share.
Maybe you’ve seen the commercial. I’ve got my own chocolate milk loving influencers that want me to make bad decisions that are actually good for me. If you haven’t seen the commercial, it’s cute. Stupid… but cute.
This isn’t like the gallon challenge, where a person tries to drink an entire gallon of milk, only to vomit the most vile cottage cheese known to man. No, this is just enough to fill my stomach, give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, and make me wish I had skipped lunch. It’s quite a bit of milk to drink in one sitting (okay, in fifteen minutes…), but it’s not enough to ruin my day.
Maybe you’re ready to write me off as a gluttonous, milk-bibber. But here’s the thing. While I love drinking a quart of chocolate milk, I don’t do it every day. I don’t even do it every month. It might literally happen once every year, give or take, because I know that if I did it all of time, it would be harmful. But in moderation, it’s not a bad thing. Yesterday, I drank 560 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 32 grams of protein. Starbucks is more harmful, and some people guzzle on that every day.
As a treat, chocolate milk is great. It brings me great joy and fills my heart with gladness. However, I suspect that if I were to drink it everyday, it would instead fill my heart with cholesterol and life-sapping plaque. A little can be good, but a lot can be quite detrimental.
The same is true for just about anything. It has been said that variety is the spice of life, and it’s true. And while the Bible never actually says that we should “in all things practice moderation” as many would believe, the concept is there. Too much of a good thing really is a bad thing.
Too much salt will kill you, but a little bit makes your food delicious, and also can provide your body with iodide, which is actually necessary to stay alive. Apples are good for you as well, and eating the seeds can provide your body with vitamin B-17, which many believe has cancer fighting properties. However, if you eat enough apple seeds (and by enough, 200 or more seeds), you can die from cyanide poisoning, which will also prevent you from getting cancer, but it won’t matter because you’ll be too dead to enjoy your cancer-free life.
Yes, absolutely there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. But this does not mean that you should deprive yourself of all good things. Ecclesiastes 8:15 would quite literally advise you to “eat, drink, and be merry,” because life is hard, and times of refreshing will help you get through it.
Indulgence isn’t wrong, but excess is. Be reasonable in what you do, and enjoy it for what it is. God didn’t create you to be miserable. He loves you, and wants good things for you. This is so much more than chocolate milk, but it is absolutely chocolate milk.
Excess in almost every situation. Many of you are guilty of talking about politics in excess. Others are prone to share a thousand pictures of your kids every single day. (We know. They’re cute. Stop.) I could go on, but I don’t want to gripe in excess.
The reality is that politics are okay, and if you’re into that, then you need to enjoy them. But there is life beyond your candidate. And yeah, kids are wonderful, and yours are the absolute best, but give it a rest. If you had never had them, you’d still be here, and your life really would be fulfilling, albeit in different ways.
Remember always, the only place where excess is impossible is in the love of God. Receive it liberally, share it liberally, enjoy it liberally. There is plenty to go around.The love of Christ can infiltrate every part of your life, making each dark corner brighter, each… Click To Tweet
Indulge in His goodness. It’s always fulfilling, and will never leave you with a sour stomach (unlike other indulgences…).