For the past few weeks, I have been taking a nutritional supplement. Replete with ingredients as diverse as licorice root, organic reishi mushroom, maca root, and a smattering of probiotic bacteria, this green powder was touted as an energy booster, antioxidant, immune system booster, a digestive aid, and a counter to the effects of stress and aging. All it required was one scoop mixed daily with one’s favorite beverage. After about a week, I did feel a perceptible increase in energy. Wow! If I felt that the beneficial effects after only a daily dose, why not have this supplement replace more of my regular diet?
As if the manufacturer anticipated my statement, I spied an intriguing sentence listed under the warning label.
Do not exceed recommended dose.
The company was trumpeting the amazing benefits of its product yet issued a warning that I should not indulge my desires. (Wink wink!) The duplicitous statement almost beguiled me into disregarding it. If a little is good, isn’t a lot better? As a physician, I was keenly aware of some of the deleterious side effects of excessive doses of some of these ingredients, yet, I was downplaying the risks. Even a later statement on the label appeared to offer little resistance, stating that the claims of this product were not approved or verified by the FDA!
For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.
Proverbs 7:6-9 (ESV)
Why was this foolish man, described in this passage from the Book of Proverbs, leading himself into a situation that could easily ensnare him? A moth to a flame? Was it inevitable? We later read the woman seduced him into having an affair but these sordid events did not need to occur if he did not deliberately place himself into the pathway of temptation.
Like this foolish man, I deliberately place myself into situations where I am fully aware of the risk of falling. This trivial example of exceeding the minimum dosage of a nutritional supplement and ignoring the warnings, in spite of my medical training, could easily have been transferred to casually gossiping about a colleague or exaggerating a deduction on a tax return. If I place myself in a situation in which I am prone to succumb, I am playing with fire, overconfident in my ability to resist a temptation that has conquered me in the past.
Psychologists aver that we are not responsible for our actions. We, like the animals we supposedly evolved from, are driven by basic primal instincts. The truth is we are different from other animals and the answer is not found in theories of evolution but in the essence of our very nature. We are sinners, helpless, by our own abilities, to escape from the inexorable downward spiral of our actions. What hope is there in this life?
God has provided the answer. Sin ruptured the tender and beautiful relationship between God and mankind. By our own efforts, this relationship could not be restored. No amount of good deeds, acts of kindness, or charitable activities could ever make us right with God, the author of infinite Goodness and Perfection. For such a devastating separation, only an omnipotent God could repair the damage. He did it by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the full penalty of our sins against Him. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life and by dying and being resurrected from death, He showed us the pathway to salvation and eternal life. By confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can restore the relationship with God that our sins have destroyed.
Praise God for His Grace and Mercy!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.