Years ago I was friends with a woman who was overweight. I couldn’t understand it. She hardly ever ate anything when I was around her. She would pick at the food on her plate and seldom finish a meal. I assumed she had a sluggish metabolism or a thyroid condition.
After we became close friends she felt comfortable sharing her secrets with me. I was shocked to learn that even though I seldom saw her eat, she often got up in the middle of
the night and ate whole loaves of bread or half-gallon cartons of ice cream or entire pies and cakes. No wonder she had difficulty losing weight!
Although I haven’t seen her in many years, I often think about her when I read Proverbs 9. The first part of the chapter personifies wisdom as a woman who is inviting people into her home. The last verses of the chapter picture foolishness as a woman as well – loud and brash – doing everything she can to get us into her house…
“To someone weak-willed [the foolish woman] says,… ‘food eaten in secret is pleasant.” (v. 16-17)
Many people who struggle with weight control (self included!) can fall into the habit of eating while others are not around. Self-control may be exhibited in public, but once alone, when no one is looking, it’s a different story. This can become a foolish and destructive habit. (see v.18)
In contrast… “Wisdom…has set her table.” (v.1-2)
She invites you to sit at a table and eat, out in the open, no pretense. Many dietitians will offer this same advice. Think before you eat; sit down at a table and make wise choices; don’t just fill up on junk to satisfy unhealthy cravings.
Don’t think for a moment that you are off the hook if you do not have issues in the area of eating! Anything you do in secret; anything done impulsively without forethought is also foolish behavior and will lead to trouble and eventual destruction. (see v.18)
Wisdom teaches us to “proceed in the way of understanding” (v.6). IOW, before you do something, think about the outcome and where your choices will eventually take you. This will put you on the path that leads to life and peace.
And who wants to keep that a secret??