To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.
   
-Augustine
       
      
I have a friend who chose to quit golfing all together some years ago now and he’s serious about it.  He kept struggling to demonstrate self-control and in turn it was causing problems in his marraige.  Finally he just decided the best thing for him to do was quit altogether and join golfaholics anynomous.  Well, he didn’t do that, but he did quit.  For me—I have decided to golf in moderation and it’s working out quite nicely (actually I need to get out and golf more—if anyone happens to be looking to treat a poor writer to a round this summer).  Too much golf is only one of a plethora of issues I struggle with.
 
Moderation is the ideal.  If moderation is not possible, abstinence is obviously the wisest course of action.  Besides, abuse is disobedience and it is destructive, painful and costly.   As one nutrionalist put it, Practice moderation, not total denial.  Life is too short to do without a slice of pizza or a piece of cake once in a while.  It may seem trite, but we deny ourselves simple pleasures God intended we enjoy, and sadly in the name of serving God.  God never intended a life in which we day in and day out begrudgingly wade through our daily living walking on egg shells, ever afraid of savoring one iota of God’s wonderful creation.  That’s one sad way to live.  With hearts of gladness we can partake in what God not only has created, but that which he also invites us to enjoy.  
 
I don’t claim to be the expert on abuse, addiction, recovery—or on the subject of moderation.  I do, however, have some experience with it all.  Maybe enough experience to be dangerous.  
       
Jesus had some things to say on the subject—here’s one: 
           
Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.    (Matthew 5:29-30, The Message Bible)
          
Experience is no replacement for the truth. 
                   
Oh yeah—and I’m still hoping my friend can get a handle on his golfing addiction and join me for a round of golf if he does. 
 
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