I Control My Appetite or It Controls Me
. . . Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it. Genesis 4:7
The one who controls his appetite eats something perhaps because it tastes good, but also because it is good for him. The one who is controlled by his appetite eats whatever his appetite craves, which is usually not the healthy choice. Where the one in control eats what he should, the one enslaved, simply cannot avoid the cookies, candy and chips that should not have been setting around in the first place.
In my drug addiction, as I was enslaved to it, I never set my alarm to get up early to spend time with God or go to the gym before work. I struggled just to get out of bed. Then, when I did, I did not pursue that which was healthy for my spirit or body. I pursued only my addiction because it made my decisions for me.
God, speaking directly to Cain, in today’s passage, described this same predicament. God told Cain that it was his own desire, his sin nature, that was continually knocking at his door, seeking entrance and seeking destruction. If Cain opened that door, he would become enslaved to it. God commanded Cain, as He commands us, to master his appetites or to be mastered by them. These are our two options. There is no third.
Cain did not heed God’s warning and succumbed to his own destructive nature, culminating in the murder of his brother, Able.
Paul, four millennia later, echoed God’s admonition: For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:13). Both passages reinforce this universal principle: We must continually take control of our appetites and desires, or they will take control of us.
Daily, we must abandon self to follow Christ. If we are not continually finding freedom in following Christ, we have likely become enslaved to our appetites, perhaps without even realizing it.