Would you characterize yourself as hard-headed, stubborn, or rebellious? Are you able to at least tolerate, if not accept, constructive criticism? Do you get easily angered when a flaw in your character is pointed out, even when it is done respectfully and lovingly? Do you honestly think other people share your assessment of your attitude in those situations?
The truth is difficult for the best of us to hear, so more often than not, we do not respond well to it when we are the ones being cut by its precise blade. On the contrary, truth is frequently met with anger, hostile outbursts, complete denial, and even violence. Very rarely does a person stop to examine himself and prayerfully ask the Father as the psalmist did, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23). It is even more rare to find a person who will patiently wait for an answer from the Lord and change his or her behavior in accordance with God’s response to the inquiry.
Instead, we behave like petulant children, as did the stubborn and rebellious glutton in Deuteronomy 21:18-21. He refused to accept the truth about his behavior when his parents disciplined him. Consequently, he went from being merely stubborn and rebellious to a drunkard and a glutton. As a result of his unwillingness to change, he paid the ultimate price. He was stoned to death so that all Israel will hear and fear!
Have you heard about the people in your family who are on dialysis? Have you heard about the lady at your church who had a stroke? Have you heard about your neighbor’s leg amputation due to diabetes? If so, are you afraid that you could be next if things do not change in your life? The Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
Here is the truth, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The stubborn and rebellious glutton learned this the hard way. Do not be like him and the thousand who have fallen at your side or the ten thousand at your right hand (Psalm 91:7). Instead, allow the truth to not only convict you but also change you. Then you can claim the promise that eating disorders, diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks, “will not come near me! Only with my eyes will I look and see the reward of the wicked” (Psalm 91:8-9). I encourage you to repent from committing the sins of gluttony and making idols of food and your stomach. Conversely, obey the commands of God to take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is your body, and honor God with your body by eating and drinking for His glory (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 10:31).