You’ve seen the queues. You’ve smelled it roasting. You probably can taste it as you read this. It’s the almighty bak kwa! Also known as 肉干 (dried meat), the salty-sweet barbecued meat is the king of CNY delicacies when it comes to price, queues and caloric density.

Originating in the Fujian province in China but sweetened and smoked to local flavour, bak kwa is usually a new year’s treat in every sense of the word – people wait in line for hours, pay a premium for a kilogram or two (think an average of $50/kg) and at 370 calories per slice, we suggest you also treat yourself to a good long jog when CNY is over.

Bak kwa
is great and we’d eat it every day if we could. But while one piece of bak kwa probably won’t trigger a heart attack anytime soon, six slices of it would already bust the recommended calorie intake for the average adult. Unless you’re eating only those six slices and no other food for the rest of the day, that can’t be good news.

So here’s another exercise to try: Self-control.

The fruit of the spirit is self-control, not self-denial. Everything in moderation.

Even good things can become bad things when in excess. It’s a theory that can be applied to almost anything in life, not just food. We love our media in all its forms, but too much media … You know the answer. What about hanging out with friends, or ministering to people? Our Introverts’ Guide to Extroverts will tell you. (Hint: It’s not good.)

Like bak kwa in all its goodness, many things we consume and spend our time on are great. They bring us pleasure and are a real treat for our souls. That’s why the fruit of the spirit is self-control, not self-denial. Let the good things be good for us. Everything in moderation.

This CNY would be a great time to practice that.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)