Summary: Message makes a comparison between an overpriced, unhealthy cheeseburger to that of the sin of overindulgence using the book of Colossians.
CHEESEBURGERS & THE GLORY OF GOD
If you live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for about twenty bucks you can treat your family to a minor league baseball game featuring your hometown team called the West Michigan Whitecaps. After picking the right opponent (feel free to choose any game against the Beloit Snappers, Lansing Lugnuts, Fort Wayne Tincaps, or the Burlington Bees), then look through the schedule to get the right promotion. There are special prices for senior night, college night, peanut free night, Pink Floyd night, or even Gerard R. Ford Museum baseball night. While there, feel free to walk up to the concession stand and order the typical hot dog, soda, popcorn, or even the famous “Fifth Third-Pound Burger.” This burger happens to be 4,889 calorie, 299 grams of fat monstrosity that has 5 third pound burgers, 5 thick slices of cheese, a cup of chili, salsa, sour cream, Fritos, and almost a whole tomato. The bread is made from an entire pound of dough, and the $20 price tag matches what it would cost for the entire entrance fee for a family of four.
Moving from cheeseburger to Biblical interpretation, let us take a look at what Colossians 2 says about indulgence. Verses 20-23 state, “If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence.”
Now, I am not stating that buying this burger is wrong. Buying this burger for your family and splitting it many ways would be a great memory. If someone did devour the whole thing, they should wear their free T-shirt with honor. But the example of “bigger is better” that seems to always permeate through our subculture leads us to the worship of things and not towards Christ. What I am saying is to be careful with our indulgences. Sometimes our indulgences separate us from the love of the Lord. Here is how.
The word “humility” used above the author Paul is the word, “tapeinofrosunh” (pronounced: tap-i-nof-ros-oo-nay). Though this word for humility is used elsewhere in scripture in a positive text, here it is in the negative, and it is in response to misguided opinions. False “tapeinofrosunh” humility primarily implies that following the world’s standards of indulgence leads to Godliness in some way, which is obviously NOT the case. When giant blessings are received or bought, such as a fast car, a big house, or in this case a whopping cheeseburger, fame is given to the purchaser. We must use this fame, not for our own glory, which could serve only serve as false humility. But instead use it as an indulgent blessing given by God for His glory.
Various civilizations have vastly different, and sometimes unusual ways of hunting their prey. But none may be more bizarre than the technique Eskimos use to kill wolves. These Inuit people take a large knife and plunge the handle down deep in the snow, leaving the sharp blade visible. After covering the knife with a thin layer of ice, fresh blood from a recently killed animal is poured over the top and is layered together to form somewhat of an ice & blood popsicle.
As the wolf approaches, the frozen blood is as tempting to him as a whip cream covered, double scoop chocolate sundae is to us. He begins to consume his bright red dinner by licking up & down, eventually cutting his tongue on the knife blade. As the sharp edges slice into his own mouth, the wolf fails to realize that he is endangering himself and eventually chokes to death on his own blood.
We humans, are really not the different from the wolf. Though we will probably never scavenge for food in the Arctic Circle, we do have this annoying habit of not knowing when something that can be good has become dangerous. In this nation, overeating is enormous, alcohol flows like rivers, sex prior to marriage is the common place, & our level of financial achievement never seems to be satisfactory. It’s almost like Satan is in his evil kingdom giving our nation anything it wants, knowing that our hunger for it will eventually devour us.
Let’s spend this next week analyzing our lives, really searching inward to see what habits we have that may be hurting us or those around us. Let’s look to purify our mouths, as well as our hearts. And if wounds are discovered, seek comfort in your family, church, or Christ for new guidance.