Today:

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:

“‘…After all, nobody expects us to be perfect,’ we say. ‘We strive for progress, not perfection.’ Such reasoning only delays our recovery. The Sixth Step calls for us to be entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character. Those of us who take this Step with the total commitment required to make it work do indeed strive for the ultimate refinement of our character.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 55

 

Many of us who have been wounded by our own perfectionism and its corresponding disappointment will tend to view perfection as another tool of our torture and, as such, use phrases like “progress, not perfection” with disdain.  But perfection is not our enemy.  On the contrary, it is our heading, the compass point for which we should be aiming once we have taken and learn to continually take Step Six.  Being “entirely ready to have God remove all (our) defects of character” means acceptance of the clean lives it is God’s will for us to live.  Applied with proper humility, perfection leaves no wounds at all.  It is only when we hold ourselves to the standard of perfect achievement that we find our egos battered and our emotions bloodied.  Perfection is a compass heading, not a destination.  I cannot reach it as long as I am human.  Yet I will strive toward it as long as there is breath in me.

 

From Proverbs 3:

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.”

 

As I was reading this chapter I noticed that there are several mandates (suggestions if you prefer) that take up one verse, and the promise is often in the next verse or several verses.  The promises outnumber the directives every time.  This particular combination I found particularly relevant: Health and nutrition through humility and abstinence!  It’s almost as if the founders of Overeaters Anonymous had read this book before!

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 1:

At Jeremiah’s calling, he was told by God that he was known and specially chosen from before he was even born.  Jeremiah had “but I” disease like many of us – that is, he only saw his limitations and weaknesses.  God instructed him not to even mention his weakness but to trust God to be with him and deliver him.  It was important for Jeremiah to understand that God is enough in every circumstance, because he would be ministering the Word of God to His People even up to the time of Jerusalem’s exile.  Much of what Jeremiah would have to say would be bad news, but God strengthened him and remained faithful to His promise.

 

God was with me and knew me even in my mother’s womb, just as he did David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others who wrote of God’s similar address to them, and every other creature on earth, whether they know it or not.  He has always been, and will always remain enough.  He will see me through whatever may come, even trial or exile.  No matter what comes against me, whether political institutions, financial concerns, personal relationships, or my own character defects…

 “19 ‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.”

 

My part is readiness and courageous obedience:

17 Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.”

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 14 and 15:

“For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.”

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