Posted on Mon, Dec 3, 2007
What is keeping you from experiencing joy this season? Could it be that your joy is being hindered by feelings of guilt? Feelings of guilt are God's gift to you to help you to realize that you are missing God's best for you.The Cookie Jar Syndrome
Have you ever gotten caught with your fingers in the cookie jar? Moms,
spouses and grandmothers can be quite protective of their baked goods
especially if they are for a special event like a Christmas gathering.
What is it about the cookies in a jar, or Christmas candy on the counter
that is so irresistible?
We think they will bring satisfaction, and they may—for a time. It is so
difficult to leave the cookie jar alone once you have tasted the
contents. The root cause of the cookie jar syndrome is that by nature
you and I seek self-gratification – which is the root of all sin: the
desire to fulfill our own longing, regardless of any affect on others,
myself or my relationship with God. In Genesis chapter 3, Satan tried to
make Eve think that sin is good, pleasant and desirable. She _looked._
Knowledge of good and evil seemed harmless to her – and appealing. The
battle is often lost at this point. Like Eve, you and I often choose
wrong things because we have been convinced that those things are good.
You may struggle with temptation because you have not learned that
_looking_ is the first step toward succumbing to it. See 2 Timothy 2:22
and I Corinthians 10:13.
After Adam and Eve sinned, they felt guilty and embarrassed over their
nakedness. (What ever happened to that?) Their guilt caused them to
attempt to hide from God. A guilty conscience is a warning signal God
placed inside you that goes off when you’ve done wrong—a call to
repentance. The worst step you can take is to eliminate the guilty
feelings without eliminating the reason you are having them. That would
be like eating all the cookies in the jar, getting a stomach ache, then
taking an antacid just so you can feel better about eating them. I can
guarantee you will be back at the cookie jar again.
All sin is against God and therefore all sin leads to death. (Romans
6:23) However the Bible teaches us that there are some sins that are
more addictive in nature than others. Psychology confirms this. Sins of
immorality, pornography, lust, alcoholism, etc. are more addictive in
nature because they rob a person of self-worth. (All other sins are
outside the body--1 Corinthians 6:18) If you have little self-worth you
will descend deeper into your inner longing for approval.
The interesting thing is that although you and I know that one more
cookie is the last thing we need, (have you stepped on a scale lately?)
once we have one cookie, it becomes harder to resist one more, and then
another. Sin is like that. Sin is always progressive if left
unconfronted and unconfessed. Sadly, pornography, which is considered
the most addictive sin, is growing rampantly in our society. Once porn
establishes a foothold, it craves more intensity to get the same result.
Every day countless lives are being destroyed through rape, incest, and
murder, and it often starts with a _look_.
In their book, /The Sacred Romance/, Brent Curtis and John Eldredge
point out that humans are designed for intimacy with God. Sometimes we
allow the world to drown out God's voice, but our need for communion
with Him never goes away. Instead of seeking fulfillment in Christ, the
addict tries to fill the emptiness with other things: pornography, an
affair, or a fantasy life. That's why addiction expert Gerald May calls
addiction "the most powerful psychic enemy of humanity's desire for
God." And nothing can free the captives of addiction except God.
You can tell yourself “No more cookies!” However your resistance wears
down and you find yourself wondering, “Does anyone know how many cookies
there actually were in the cookie jar, and since I’ve already broken the
rule, what difference will one more make?” Sin causes you to rationalize
your own behavior. Before you realize it, you are justifying that
additional cookie. Unconfesed sin leads to more sin, while admitting
guilt (repentance) acknowledges hate for sin and love for God.
The Bible is clear that sin is disobedience to God’s rules, which are
there to protect us. The problem is that I have a tendency to like
cookies more than I like rules. If I am to keep my fingers out of the
cookie jar, I need a bigger motive than simply telling myself I’m
breaking the rules.
I remember a time when my brothers and I did something that required
discipline. As my mom explained the reason for the discipline and
prepared to administer it, *I saw tears forming in her eyes.* The
correction she was about to administer was more painful to her than it
was to us. We felt the physical pain briefly, while mom saw our
disobedience as lack of love for her. Her love for us did not change
because we were disobedient; her prayer was that we would love her
enough to know the rules were for our own benefit.
God loves you in spite of your sin. It’s the sin God hates because it
draws you further and further from Him. The most amazing thing is no
matter how far from him you have drifted, He will accept you when you
turn from your sin and look to Him. There is incredible hope for those
who will honestly bring their sin to Jesus. He loves you so much that He
gave his life for your sin. You may not be able to keep your hand out of
the cookie jar even though you know it is wrong, but once you see the
tears of love on your mother’s face, obedience isn’t nearly the burden
it used to be. When you accept Christ’s love, it is a far greater
motivator than anything else the world has to offer. (Galatians 5:16-26)
We all have a heart problem. Mark 7:20-23 tells us that the heart needs
to be changed, and seeking Biblical guidance for your life enables you
to build your life upon faith, hope and love, which will last for
eternity. May you have a Christ-filled Christmas regardless of the
status of your cookie jar.
You must first create an account to post.