We are addictive by nature. If something thrills us, we automatically want more. We must be on guard against the enemy, who baits us!
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! 32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Pr 23:31-32
Solomon is specifically talking about alcohol, but there are many things that tempt us to excess. Many people who ski wrap their entire vacations and weekends around trips to the mountains or the lake. Many people play video games for the thrill they give, but take them to the extreme in time and resources. Looking good makes us feel good, but many go overboard with the process.
I see two ways to discern areas of excess in our lives:
The first is by having a daily time set aside for just us and Jesus where we lay our lives at His feet and ask Him to order our steps. As we read His Word and listen to Him, He will reveal areas that need to be surrendered to Him, and He will instruct us in what to do about them.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Ro 12:1
The second is God bringing other people into our lives to help us distance ourselves enough from those things that are dominating our lives for us to break free from their bondage, from those tentacles that have woven their way into our hearts and minds.
9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel. Pr 27:9
For those who have friends who are “out of proportion” in an area of their lives (and we ALL have our areas of weakness), be “lovingly obstinate” with them, patiently striving with them through the process. God will lead us in what to do.
19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. Jas 5:19-20
Life is messy. We will get gunk on our feet along the way (usually by us not getting things completely right and others responding in anger rather than repentance). Now we see where washing each other’s feet comes into play. Let’s go to Jesus and let Him wash our feet so that we can go and wash others’ feet.
14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. Jn 13:14-17