Burn the Sugar

Burn the Sugar

And he shall burn the garment, or the warp or the woof, the wool or the linen, or any article made of skin that is diseased, for it is a persistent leprous disease. It shall be burned in the fire. Leviticus 13:52

It’s the Fourth of July week, which has meant family, fellowship, fun, and food – lots of food. The food we make for family get togethers unfortunately often involves a lot of sugar, which I generally try to avoid. There’s just so much of it though, and it all looks so wonderful, that eventually, I eat just one delicious sugary snack. Then I wisely stop and return to my healthy eating. Just kidding – once I eat that first one, I continue eating until I’m ready to burst. It’s been a wonderful week of family – just not a wonderful week of eating healthy. So, as the weekend draws to a close, my wife and I will be unloading all the sugary snacks that have accumulated in our home. If it’s here, it will eventually end up in our bellies. If it’s removed from our presence however, its destructive power over us is gone. So, today, if we no longer want to be tempted by all that sugar, we need to cleanse our house of it.

Today’s passage teaches this principle, though it’s not about sugary snacks. Instead, the passage refers to clothing which has been tainted by leprosy. In the narrative, God commanded his people to burn that which has been found to carry the disease. For their own good, the Israelites needed to destroy anything that was believed to be infected. To cling to those diseased articles of clothing was to put themselves at risk of infection. So, for the health of all, anything infected with leprosy had to be burned. That which was destructive needed to be radically excised from their lives, or they risked getting it on themselves.

We may not have to worry much about leprosy, but the same principle applies to us. When we recognize the presence of any destructive force in our lives, we must do whatever it takes to rid ourselves of it. The problem is that by the time we realize that thing is bad for us, it has often been incorporated into the fabric of our lives – we’ve become addicted to it. We may recognize that drugs, alcohol, pornography, excessive shopping or screen time are unhealthy, but often, we’ve allowed them to become part of us and to cut them out is terribly painful. Still, if we desire physical and spiritual health, we must daily do whatever it takes to rid our lives of the self-destructive.

So, today, all the sugar must go.

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