Proverbs 25:16 (NLT)
Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
Today’s passage sounds like it came from Solomon’s mom rather than the great and wise king, himself, doesn’t it? This is a line of reasoning parents have used with their children for as long as any of us can remember, but especially on Halloween here in America…or Christmas morning with a stocking full of candy…or at a birthday party with lots of goodies, cake, and ice cream! I have a sweet tooth, myself, and have had plenty of experience with overindulging and then reaping what I have sown (or eaten). Can you relate?
Honey was in abundance in the land God had led His people to (“flowing with milk and honey”) and when consumed in moderation it was good for your health. But this proverb is about much more than honey – it is about anything that tempts you to overindulge. Every person’s “honey” is different. What is “sweet” to your taste but tempts you to overindulge in it? Perhaps it’s food in general or maybe a specific kind. It might be something really good for you like exercise…or something bad for you like smoking or vaping or porn. It could be a riveting series on Netflix…or Netflix in general. It could even be your favorite hobby like golf or fishing or skeet shooting or scrapbooking. Overindulging in just about anything can lead to trouble.
God’s Word has a lot to say about self-control, and for good reason: lack of it will corrupt virtually every aspect of our lives. Self-control is a Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and should be a noticeable characteristic of a follower of Christ (Phil. 4:5). We should be known far more for our restraint than our indulgences, be that with the good things God has given us like food and exercise and sex…or more obviously with the sinful “honey” offered by the world, our own flesh, and the devil. God is not some Cosmic Party Pooper who is always yelling at the neighborhood kids to stay of his grass and keep quiet. Rather, He is a loving father who wants us to enjoy the wonder of His creation while avoiding the harmful effects of overindulgence, gluttony, and idolatry.
If your “honey” is sinful, stop eating it! If it’s one of God’s many wonderful creations, eat up! Just be careful not to overdue it.