I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Abstinence helps me stay in the present. I am better able to develop that relationship with my Higher Power, and that’s what OA is all about.”

It seems counterproductive for the tools to argue about which is more important in the building of a house, when what is really important is the relationships of the family who will live there.  The hammer may very likely be the one most used in the process, but in the end, the structure isn’t even the most important thing, and even it renders the argument between the tools moot.

When abstinence is defined as someone’s adherence to a plan of eating, it can no longer be considered a contender for the highest priority.  However, when it is appropriately defined as self-denial, the kind that removes the trinity of Me, Myself, and I from out of the place of God’s, then one may have a legitimate claim that it is more important.  If I do not turn from me, I cannot see God.  Abstinence, faith, prayer, action, fellowship, humility – these are a few of the tools that help build relationship with God.

From Proverbs 26:

17 Like one who seizes a dog by the ears
is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.”

…and so I deleted and re-wrote a large part of my VOR response.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 59:

I find that this chapter is very confirming of the spiritual principles of the 12-Step program of recovery.

Step One – admitted we were powerless over food (enter your obsession here, or substitute “sin”); that our lives had become unmanageable.

  • But your iniquities have separated
    you from your God;
    your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.”

Step Two – came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

  • 1 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.”

Step Three – made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

  • 11 We all growl like bears;
    we moan mournfully like doves.
    We look for justice, but find none;
    for deliverance, but it is far away.”

Step Four – made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

  • 12a For our offenses are many in your sight,
    and our sins testify against us.”

Step Five – Admitted to God, to ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

  • 12b Our offenses are ever with us,
    and we acknowledge our iniquities”

Step Six – Became entirely willing to have God remove all our defects of character.

  • 19 From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord,
    and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.”

Step Seven – Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

  • 16 He saw that there was no one,
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
    so his own arm worked salvation for him,
    and his own righteousness sustained him.”

Step Eight – Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

  • 13 rebellion and treachery against the Lord,
    turning our backs on our God,
    fomenting oppression and revolt,
    uttering lies our hearts have conceived.”

Step Nine – Made direct amends to such people, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  • For your hands are stained with blood,
    your fingers with guilt.
    Your lips have spoken lies,
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.”

Step Ten – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

  • So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
    We look for light, but all is darkness;
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.”

Step Eleven – Sought, through prayer and meditation, to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

  • 20 ‘The Redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,’
    declares the Lord.”

Step Twelve – Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

  • 21 ‘As for me, this is my covenant with them,’ says the Lord. ‘My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,’ says the Lord.”

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 25:

“When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.”