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Today’s devotion is based on 1 Corinthians 10.

“Everything is permissible — but not everything is beneficial.”
1 Corinthians 10:23

For a long time, Easter Sunday was my least favorite day to attend church.

Yes, that’s the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. It’s the day when kids hunt for Easter eggs, girls wear new dresses to church, and boys are forced to wear plaid vests in a variety of pastels.

But something else was different on Easter Sunday too. The array of desserts next to the coffee and tea was something you’d normally find on a cruise ship. The women in this church could seriously bake. And they would create the most amazing buffet of desserts you ever saw.

I hated it.

Every time I walked through the courtyard, I’d have to pass the smorgasbord of sweets. So I’d slow my pace to a casual stroll and sweep up a few jelly-filled rolls on my way to teach Sunday school. After Sunday school, I’d have to pass by the buffet again, so I’d handpick a few chocolate-covered strawberries on my way to the nursery to check on my young son.

Before the main service would begin, I’d make a quick tour through the courtyard — again — just to see if anyone was there I could chat with. And while I was there, I’d nonchalantly grab a couple of glazed donuts. I’d even put them on two different plates so it would look like the second one was for my husband.

For me, Easter Sunday meant self-indulgence. And a little bit of false-representation, too, because the second donut on the second plate was really for me.

I know this sounds ridiculous. And it is. But it’s also my reality. I’m a glutton for glucose. And it seemed as though the church was deliberately trying to cause me pain (by providing a lavish spread of sugary perfection that would only induce further guilt that I had, once again, failed at moderation).

I’m sure the kind ladies who baked all the goodies had no intention of causing someone discomfort. I’m sure they only wanted to serve others with their talents in the kitchen. But I was really thankful when that tradition faded. Because then I wouldn’t have to avoid all the junk food at my disposal.

I love that Paul says, “Everything is permissible — but not everything is beneficial.” This is especially true when it comes to potato chips and cookies. It’s fine to eat these things, but it’s not very beneficial. Which is why the idea of moderation is so critical to a healthy lifestyle.

The same is true of a lot of things. The amount of time we spend watching TV or playing video games is time we could spend doing something else — perhaps something far more meaningful, like spending time with our Creator.

Denise J. Hughes

A lover of words and the Word. Author of #DeeperWaters and the #WordWriters Bible studies.

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