As much as I love you, our relationship is not healthy for me. I am so weak when I am around you. Any boundaries that I’ve set quickly melt away. I make excuses as to why you’re good for me. I tell myself that if I combine you with healthy nuts, then you’re actually a healthy snack. I ignore the fact that you’re filled with sugar and caffeine.
I often boast that I stopped drinking coffee, which I was also addicted to, when I realized the caffeine it contains isn’t good for my body. I pretend not to notice that you also have caffeine. When others aren’t looking, I sneak into the pantry and steal a handful of chocolate chips, M&M’s or whatever else I can find that you are in.
Soon, my clothes become too snug. Then I am so sorry I had anything to do with you, and I promise myself that I won’t allow myself near you anymore. But sure enough, I stumble across you, and my willpower quickly crumbles and your deliciousness clouds my mind. I satisfy my longing for the time being, but once again I’m awash with regret.
So, please understand that you are no longer welcome in my home or in my life. You are not good for me. You bring me pleasure for a moment, but soon that pleasure is replaced with regret. I am stronger than you, and I won’t allow you to overpower me again.
You may think this is the craziest blog post ever. But stick with me. Do you have a “chocolate” in your life? Think about my letter to chocolate — does any of it also apply to your “chocolate”? Your chocolate may come in the form of a liquid, or it may be an inappropriate image on your phone or laptop. It may be something you breathe in, or it may even be a person.
If you’re relying on your chocolate to bring you the true and lasting happiness that only Jesus can, then it’s time to say goodbye.
My letter to chocolate is not a joke. It’s a true addiction. One that I have never gotten completely under control. Now, if I don’t sever my relationship with chocolate, then I don’t believe that I will lose my opportunity to live in paradise with Jesus, but engaging with it often steals my peace.
However, to be perfectly honest, I may have bigger chocolates in my life. If I don’t separate myself from them, then they may seriously impact my spiritual life. Have I stopped to pick the flowers along the way? Do I hope the flowers are drizzled with chocolate?
A few months ago, the Quorum of 12 sent a message to the Church: “Sanctify Yourselves.” I’m pretty sure that the brothers were not thinking about my chocolate addiction when they were inspired with that message, but it’s an important message that we should take seriously. In love, I urge you to turn away from your chocolate and sanctify yourself.
It’s not an easy thing to walk away from an addiction, but the peace you feel once it’s behind you is incomparable to the angst that the addiction caused you. Words from a song that Sister Arlene Buffington was inspired to write are now ringing in my head. “He changed my life completely in a moment. The road from which I came I’ll never look that way again, For all the tears, the habits brought are gone now, And Jesus washed off all the stains of sin.”
May God bless us all as we work together to sanctify ourselves.
P.S. Have a very happy Thanksgiving on Thursday, and enjoy some pumpkin pie for me! (Pumpkin is not on my list of must-eats!)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.