Hidden Risks

SodaSugarSThis photo is one I created for iStock, a web site where I offer my photography for sale. People buy images from iStock for all kinds of reasons and illustrative purposes. This image communicates how much sugar is in a 20 oz. bottle of soda. I removed the original label, created my own, and attached it to the bottle so there would be no copyright issues. Most people will drink an entire 20 oz. bottle of soda, not realizing the label says it’s 2 ½ servings. The amount of sugar listed on the label is per serving, and it doesn’t seem too bad. But do the math on how much sugar intake there is when you drink the entire bottle and it comes out to 36 sugar cubes worth of sugar!

Sorry that I’ve just exposed the sin of sipping too much soda! I wish I could leave it at that, but I’m afraid there’s more, lots more that we can be blind to besides calories. We humans have the amazing capacity to deceive ourselves in all kinds of creative ways! We may be on guard against being deceived by others, but self-deception is our greater enemy. As Pogo the cartoon character too aptly said in a classic statement, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

The prophet Jeremiah said it succinctly when he declared on behalf of God, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

I, for one, don’t like to have what’s wrong with me brought to my attention. In my saner moments, however, I realize there’s only one thing that’s worse than finding out what’s wrong with me and that’s not finding out!

Seeking to draw near to God and committing to walk with Him opens us up to a growing clarity of what’s hidden in our lives that can hurt us, others, and our walk with God. God does this. The psalmist states, “You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you.” (Psalm 69:5) This is a good thing! And how does God reveal the truth to us about ourselves? He has several options, and will use them all – the prompting of our conscience through His Holy Spirit, the input of others, and the insight from His Word.

We may not like reading the label on a bottle of soda, seeing the “check engine” light go on in our car, or getting a less than ideal report back on a medical test, but being unaware of such hidden risks is no answer. Let me try to put a positive spin on all of this for us. Living well not only means identifying the right thing I should do and doing it; it also means identifying the wrong thing I’m doing and stopping from doing it or correcting it. The pain of discovery can lead to the gain in our recovery! The present bitter reality can lead to a future better reality! Enjoy your next bottle of soda (hee, hee, hee).

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