How Scraps of Peanut Butter and Jelly Taught Me Wisdom

About a year ago my wife and I decided to try the Whole 30 program for a month. If you’ve never heard of Whole 30 or if you’ve never tried it for yourself, it is a really strict meal plan that doesn’t allow you to eat, among other things, anything with added sugar, dairy, legumes, or anything containing wheat.

Peanut Butter Jelly Wisdom

So, it’s not an easy diet plan to follow. Almost everything you eat has added sugar, and I love bread.

It’s a challenging program, but totally worth it in the end.

I was doing pretty good…for the first couple of days. But after that, all I wanted was some carbs.

It got pretty bad, y’all.

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time

I remember coming home from work one day, and my daughters (who were two at the time and who weren’t on the Whole 30 Program) had eaten peanut butter and jelly for lunch.

And sitting on top of the kitchen counter were the scraps that remained.

I’m talking about dried out, stale, two year old handled peanut butter and jelly crust.

And my mouth started salivating. It was as if Wolfgang Puck himself had prepared a gourmet meal for me in my own kitchen. It looked like a delicacy. And everything in me wanted to take those scraps and consume them in an instant.

It’s crazy because on any other day and under any other circumstances, I would never desire to eat old, dried up peanut butter and jelly scraps. But in that moment the cravings were unbearable. I wanted those scraps to get in my belly.

The Importance of Choice

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t eat the scraps. I demonstrated a little self control, and I made it through the madness. But it wasn’t easy.

That got me thinking about something.

There are so many things in life that we want. And sometimes those things even look good, feel good or seem good to us. But in reality they’re nothing more than table scraps.

The truth is we are constantly presented with choices in life. Choices that require wisdom and discernment. And the choices that we make matter because every time we make a choice for one thing we make a choice against another.

Wisdom Says

The other day I was reading Proverbs 5. Solomon writes to his son to warn him against a seductive woman. As he describes this woman, he says her lips “drip honey,” and her speech is “smoother than oil.”

In other words, she looks good and sounds good.

But she isn’t good.

He goes on to say,

But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death.

Not everything that looks good, feels good or seems good really is good for us.

But if we’re not careful we will find ourselves making decisions on impulse rather than in wisdom, and that always leads to bad choices. And you can only make so many bad choices before you find your self in a hole too big to climb out of.

The good news is the Bible says God gives wisdom to those who ask.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5).

I want to make wise choices. Choices that honor God and benefit me and the ones I love.

Lord, grant me wisdom and discernment so that I can choose what is best for me and for those you have entrusted to me. And be honored in the life I lead. Amen.

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