Wednesday, 2/17/21 – Pressing on… Is there Pride in your Portions?

Is there Pride in your Portions?

C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters is a fictional yet insightful account of the training of a junior demon, Wormwood, in the fine art of tempting and destroying souls, by a senior demon Screwtape. In it, Screwtape lauds the work of the demon Glubose in instilling ‘delicacy’ in the heart of an elderly woman. ‘Delicacy,’ as we shall soon see, is a more insidious sin than ‘gluttony’ because it appears so much to be its opposite. Screwtape explains…

“She is a positive terror to hostesses and servants. She is always turning from what has been offered her to say with a demure little sigh and a smile ‘Oh please, please . . . all I want is a cup of tea, weak but not too weak, and the teeniest weeniest bit of really crisp toast.’ You see? Because what she wants is smaller and less costly than what has been set before her, she never recognises as gluttony her determination to get what she wants, however troublesome it may be to others.” – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, chap. 17

Adds Screwtape, “The woman is in what may be called the ‘All-I-want’ state of mind. All she wants is a cup of tea properly made, or an egg properly boiled, or a slice of bread properly toasted.”

Note what has transpired in this woman’s heart. This woman is now as proud of her abstentions as the glutton is proud of his indulgences — as the champions of eating contests worldwide so quickly demonstrate. She has become a textbook Pharisee!

Fasting, however, eliminates both extremes. Fasting removes the plate altogether. There is no place for pride in the true Biblical fast.

Isaiah best describes the selflessness of right fasting:

“…this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. / Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. / Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. / Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! / Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” (Isa. 58:6-10 – NLT).

Is there Pride in your Portions?

Press on…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

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