It’s time for me to start fighting Peppermint Patty. I don’t mean the Peanuts character. I mean the candy! Yes, every Halloween it comes to this. We buy gobs and gobs of candy, with the intention of handing it out, but then we end up eating a LOT of it ourselves. This is probably the scariest part of Halloween—not the ghosts and vampires and ghouls that knock on our door. It’s coming face to face with our arch nemesis and it usually appears in a shiny little wrapper.
How do we avoid the temptation to eat those sweet little treats at this time of year?
My first thought comes from the kids in costume, actually. I see superheroes left and right in our neighborhood on Halloween night: Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman, Batman, Catwoman. Kids love the idea of having a power greater than their own. I love that, too! I need it actually. I can’t resist the temptation of sweet treats, let alone be patient with my daughter, or love my coworker, without it.
Did you know that there’s a verse in the Bible that talks about the superpower that is available to us? It’s in Ephesians 1:19 “[I pray that you might know] his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength God exerted when he raised Christ from the dead.”
Read that again! Yes, it says that the same power that rose Jesus from the dead (that’s resurrection power, life-changing power, supernatural power) is in those who believe. Do you think that that kind of power is strong enough to help you resist M&M’s (or Peppermint Patties)? I’m guessing it is! Actually, there’s no doubt, right?
Okay, so the power is in us. We tap it by reaching out to the ultimate Power Source through prayer. But how do we apply that power in practical ways? Listen to this promise from I Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
There is a way out. This is good news. We are never stuck!
1) Don’t buy candy! Scandalous thought, I know! Seriously, though. Buy glow sticks, bouncy balls. Pass out clementines with jack-o-lantern faces. Anything but candy. The way out here is simply not having the candy in your house.
2) Buy your least favorite candy to hand out. No kidding. Personally, I hate Neccos. I don’t see how anyone can like those powdery tasteless candies. The good news is that the less yummy candies are often the cheapest. So you’ll save money, too! The way out here is buying the yechy stuff.
3) Buy your candy at the last minute. Consider it your own private game of “hot potato.” The less time the candy is in your home, the less time you have to munch out. The way out here is a quick turn-around.
3) Get busy with other holiday crafts. Instead of eating candies, get to carving pumpkins, baking pumpkin seeds, making holiday wreaths. Get ahead on Christmas shopping. Do anything but sit by the t.v., mindlessly noshing on the candy you meant to give out. Make dates with friends to do these things, to keep you on the straight and narrow. The way out here is activity and friendship.
Do you have any other strategies that have worked for you? Please put them in the comments below. And if you are still struggling in this area, we want to hear that, too.
For all of us, I have one final word of encouragement. If you are a person that feels dread, concern, or even fear about the temptation of upcoming ubiquitous sweet choices, this verse is for you: “Perfect love casts out fear.” I John 4:18
Superpower. A way out. Love. These sound like the perfect antidote to a scary Halloween!