If you find honey, eat just enough—
too much of it, and you will vomit.
Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
too much of you, and they will hate you. Proverbs 25:16-17
Even good things in excess can turn sour. I vividly remember a meal at my grandparents’ house as a child. As soon as the prayer was said, I greedily loaded my plate full of macaroni and cheese before anyone else had a chance to get any. I was sternly told that I was going to eat every bit of the macaroni on my plate. And they made sure I did. By the time I was finished, I didn’t care if I never ate macaroni again. It lost its appeal.
Many things in life are like that. A little chocolate cake is good. A lot will give you a tummy-ache. Lessening your caloric intake can be good for you. Going drastically overboard can cause an eating disorder. Going on a friendly visit to your neighbor’s house is a good thing. Overstaying your welcome or showing up too often when they have other things they’d rather be doing will cause them to dread you coming by. Even things such as serving other people can turn sour if you don’t learn balance. If you don’t learn to say “No” sometimes, your family, who needs you most, can suffer.
In the past few years, I have been trying to embrace simplicity and get rid of excess. It’s hard to do in today’s society. Commercials and advertisements play with our minds making us think that we need the latest and greatest. But the fact of the matter is, we just need enough.
“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God. Proverbs 30:7-9