On this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, created the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a “Book of Merit”.
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Today I overcame temptation and wanted someone to award me with the purple heart (or something similar). This morning I was standing at the counter in Starbuck’s looking at all the really great espresso and lattes on the menu board. I was tempted to order something other than the tall skinny mocha latte I usually get.
Here is my thought process: For nearly FIVE YEARS I have tried to be good with my diet to support my husband on his diet. But guess what? I am here at Starbuck’s and I am all alone. If I did order something more yummy than the tall skinny mocha latte – he would never have to know about it! What harm would it do? I’m the only one that would have to know!
Then my brain paused and I caught a glimpse of my reflection (profile – eek!) in the shiny glass where they keep all the decadent pastries and things – and it dawned on me. I would know. Me – and my size 16 petite jeans that I fought so hard to get into… we would know.
I’ve not had to buy women’s sizes for almost 3 years. I’ve exercised myself silly and eaten healthy and for just a moment I thought I could sneak in a 500 calorie beverage. I was tempted.
Did I sin? Praise God – NO, I did not sin! See, those “temptation tunnels” are costly! There is a toll you pay before you enter in. And – if you make a choice to go in, it gets more and more difficult to turn around in there – the passage gets more narrow and darker as you go. You aren’t aware it’s going to do that (you think Satan’s going to tell you?). You just think it’s a tunnel and you’ll go through and come out on the other side into just as much sunlight as there was when you went in.
That’s not how it works. Think twice before you pay the toll and go into that tunnel. God loves you and He will help you out if you’re stuck. There’s no other way out but through Him. Pray and ask God through Christ to help you. He wants to make a way for you.
Some people think that freedom would be choosing the 500 calorie beverage. I think the REAL freedom is choosing the right – choosing FOR MYSELF – what I know is best for me. I choose the skinny mocha latte, not because I’m forced to choose it, but because it is the best choice. I choose to follow Christ because He has my best interest in mind and HE keeps me safe and away from the tunnel of temptation. Praise His Name! I don’t really need the Purple Heart – I just need God to keep helping me do the right thing. 🙂