The very first calorie counting diet book was written by Lulu Hunt Peters, copyrighted August 14, 1918. Diet and Health: With Key to the Calories was a best seller. Dr. Hunt knew what it meant to be overweight and to diet. She lost 70 lbs. on her diet plan of maintaining 1200 calories a day. Her book was witty and entertaining. Just a for instance, the title itself was a parody of Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health: With Key to the Scriptures.
Keith and I do more calorie counting these days. Our activity level has decreased due to illness and just being too old and tired to do as much. That means we have to be much more diligent than before when Keith was riding his bike 50-75 miles a week and I was jogging 25-30 miles a week. Something about being in your 60s slows you down a bit.
The other morning I was making a light version of baklava—half the calories and a third the fat of the ordinary Greek pastry. I had phyllo dough leftover that I needed to use up and a brand new jar of raw honey. Such was my excuse that day—but at least I had found this lighter version. After I poured the honey syrup over the baked dough, Keith came along behind me with a spoon and started scraping the pan. In between licks he said, “This doesn’t count, right?” Oh, if only…
I heard a chef say one time that he had to work out about two hours a day to burn off the estimated 6000 calories he took in just tasting the dishes he made before sending them out to his customers. I get it. My local brethren have so many potlucks (at least two a month for some of us), plus company meals and family meals, wedding and baby showers, that I am sure most of my extra calories come from that tasting. No way will I send something out there that I don’t know is good. And if I took diet food to a potluck I just might be excommunicated.
Yes, those calories count. And so do those little bitty sins—you know, the little white lies to keep yourself out of trouble, the little bits of gossip that you just can’t seem to keep to yourself, the pens and paper clips you “borrow” from work, that side job you did for a little extra cash that doesn’t get reported the next April. We seem to think that because we assemble on Sunday mornings and don’t do the big bad sins—the ones in the Ten Commandments—that nothing else counts. The fact that our language makes people think less of the body of a Sacrificed Savior never seems to cross our minds.
The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge states that the Jews believed that “he who observed any principal command was equal to him who kept the whole law.” Their example was idolatry. If you didn’t worship an idol, you were good to go! The little stuff didn’t matter. All you have to do is read about Jesus’ dealings with the Pharisees in the gospels and you can see the results of that doctrine.
First century Christians must have had the same problem. “He who keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it,” James said in 2:10. The context? People who said they had faith but didn’t take care of the sick and needy, or visit the fatherless and widows, or welcome the strangers to their assemblies. The same God who said, “Do not kill,” also said, “Do not commit adultery,” he reminds them. All sins count in God’s eyes.
This is not new with God. Ezekiel said in chapter 33:12,13, “The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression…if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his iniquity which he has committed, therein shall he die.”
Yep, all those calories count, no matter how small the spoon or how tiny the taste. And so do all those sins. The only cure for the problem is to quit sampling the goods.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19