Too Much

Oh listen, dear child — become wise; point your life in the right direction. Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk; don’t eat too much food and get fat. Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags. Don’t judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with - the splitting headache, the queasy stomach. -Proverbs 23:19-21,32-33 MSG

These verses speak to me about the importance of moderation in all that we do. They accent the words "drunks and gluttons" and teach us that there really can be "too much" of a good thing. Yet who cannot relate to having that last cookie or piece of pie? The temptation to overindulge is often great and the affect on our taste-buds intoxicating. Yet these verses warn us of the after affects of undisciplined behaviors and failures to control our appetites.

On the flip-side I think that Solomon is also teaching us about the power of self control. Drunkenness and gluttony are symptomatic of struggling lives that seem to be out of control. Often one self-medicates by over indulging in booze and food - sometimes this behavior is simply a response to deep unhappiness and pain. Such people are in need of the help of friends. It is why groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are able to help people gain self control again.

Teach us Lord how to live disciplined lives that are able to say no when we are tempted to overindulge.

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