“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
I was the guest speaker at a church conference and was attending one of those family-style banquets where they pass the platters of food and you eat whatever you want. I was sitting next to the minster of a local church. He filled his plate with a pile of potatoes, smothered it with gravy and all the trimmings, and ate it all. That is not what impressed me. He did it all over again! I could not get my eyes off that second plate.
Finally, he leaned over to me and whispered, “You know, Doc, I am a compulsive eater.”
What was I supposed to say to that? You cannot blame a man for being a compulsive eater, can you? I do not pass this way very often, so I wanted to give him a helpful answer.
I said, “Sir, I think there is a better word for it than that. It is called intemperance.”
That is a provocative thought, is it not?
I continued, “With reference to food, there is even a more drastic word than that – gluttony. There actually is an even more drastic word than that – sin.”
He smiled and finished his plate, but he was stirred up, spurred on, disturbed. I heard from his wife that he was very disturbed. The next time I saw the man was when he invited me to a banquet in his church a year later.
He had slimmed down. In fact, he looked great. There we sat – this time it was the pastor’s opportunity to challenge me. He leaned over me and said, “Doc, you are heavier than you were a year ago.”
I explained, “Yes, I cannot resist all this great food when I’m traveling.”
He said, “There is a better word for it. The word is intemperance, and with reference to food there is even a better word than that. It is gluttony. There is an even better word. It is called sin.”
That fellow stirred me. Whenever I head his way, I think about my eating habits. When I see him, I size him up and he sizes me up.
We need each other. People need to be reminded of what is right and wrong. It takes a happy person communicating these wonderful truths – not an angry, bitter, rebellious individual.
Our goal is to make people conscious of their good qualities and their liabilities. We must help people to realize that life stimulates whatever is in you – good or bad.
This story is taken from Dr. Brandt’s book, “The Power of the Call.” The names and certain details in this true case history have been changed to protect each person’s identity and privacy.