Why’d You Do it?

The dark-haired woman sees me enter the jail room. Standing up, she flings her cards on the table and tells me, “Don’t even ask.”

We go to another table and sit across from each other. I study her downcast eyes, and wait for an explanation.

 “I couldn’t do it. I got lonely and anxious. So I went back to my old friends and habits.” She covers her mouth with her hand while she speaks. But it doesn’t hide her missing upper teeth. I never realized she wears dentures.

I touch her arm, remembering her joyful mood the previous month. We had praised God because she was clean of drugs, leaving jail, and determined to follow Jesus instead of her peers.

She’s not the exception. I’ve watched too many women leave jail with great intentions only to return again and again. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is the culprit. Ruined lives, and families ripped apart, are the collateral damage.

I leave jail despondent. Will these women ever break free of the lifestyle they’ve chosen? Where’s their will power?     

Days later, I come home after a long day. I’m alone. Hungry, I open the refrigerator. I don’t want to cook. I’m tired of salads. Looking for leftovers, I open a container of homemade onion dip. My mouth waters as Will Power shouts “Put it back.” But the onion-flavored sour cream lures me like a Greek Siren.

 Why not? I’ve been on a strict diet for a month. I’ve lost weight.  A few bites shouldn’t hurt.

Instead of spooning small portions of dip and potato chips onto a plate, I grab the bowl and a half bag of chips on my way to the couch.

Will Power warns, “You’ll regret this tomorrow.”

“But it tastes so good tonight.”

One bite, another. I’m hooked. Soon, I’m craving nachos. I cave into desire and smother tortilla chips with melted cheese and fresh jalapenos. If it weren’t midnight, I’d order a pizza.

At bedtime, my breath reeks of onions. I must chew Tums.

Disgusted, Will Power shakes her head. “You knew better. Why’d you do it?”

Groaning, I rub my stomach….

And weep for the dark-haired woman.

  “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do; but what I hate I do. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:15,18,24,25)  

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

10 thoughts on “Why’d You Do it?”

  1. Chips, dip, meth, chocolate, oxycontin, ice cream, alcohol. The one defining difference between food addiction and drug addiction: food is required for life; recreational drugs are not. But the obscene calling for both is the same. Great post.

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  2. I don’t know, Karen. While it’s true meth will mess up your life more than onion dip, the temptation is similar. We both want something that’s not good for us and we want it ALOT!

    You made a great point that we shouldn’t judge people with compulsions different than ours when we struggle with compulsions ourselves. I’ve seen a lot of that going on in the church and it hurts people – you pointed out the wrongness of that in a loving, grace-full way.

    It’s hard for all of us when there’s so much temptation around! Good job resisting the twinkies. 🙂

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  3. This is a beautiful post, Karen. In a way I’m glad I’ve dealt with food obsession because I can always relate to people who have other obsessions – I’m just glad mine isn’t alcohol or drugs or pornography because those have so much more potential of destroying lives. I’m also glad that God has set me free from my food obsession – but it sure took a lot of renewing of my mind to get there!

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    1. Yes, it’s a stretch to compare onion dip with meth. But when I’m trying to lose weight, or eat healthy, the temptation to eat is everywhere. I went into a convenient store to buy a bag of ice and there was two shelves of Hostess sweets at the counter!! I normally don’t eat twinkies and cupcakes, but knowing I shouldn’t eat them, enticed me. 😦 I resisted!

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  4. How did you know I like onion dip? 🙂 Our sinful nature lures us like Pinocchio was lured to the circus…but the only thing Satan can deliver is regret and emptiness..yet his promises are so full and inviting…..good read!

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    1. Exactly right! So easy to judge others and forget we all have addictions. Whether it’s alcohol, making money, overspending, eating … Even the good things we pursue can control us.

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