Abstinent Today:

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

My daughter, a recent college graduate, begins a new job today.  I am proud of her and excited about all the work God is doing in my family lately.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“The devout overweight, unable to apply their religious truths, are agnostic as to application.” — A Guide to the Twelve Steps for You and Your Sponsor, p. 6

I can admit that I have lived the reality of this statement.  The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous calls it “agnostic temperament.”  The Bible describes that kind of hypocrisy as being “lovers of themselves…having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)  Abstinence is a command of Christ.  “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23)  I and those like me, who have practiced self-denial cafeteria style, may choose not to partake in the notorious indulgences like murder, robbery, and adultery, but often reserve the most egregious self-indulgence: medicating our mistrust in God Almighty.  The sin is not the substance, it is the self-idolatry that puts cravings and feelings ahead of our Creator, a violation of Commandment One, “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7)

Today’s VOR contributor says it nicely:

“I was telling my Higher Power that I had more faith in food than in Him. It was easier to drown my fears in food than to trust my Higher Power to carry me through them.”

While the admission of the truth of this statement brings painful shame, it also rings with the hope of freedom when accompanied by surrender.  Thankfully, the Maker of the rules is forgiving, and He empowers those who earnestly seek His Way with the ability to live according to His will by His Spirit, for His glory.

 

From Proverbs 27:

20 Death and Destruction[a] are never satisfied,
and neither are the eyes of man.”

Greedy self-interest has been at the heart of every failure of man, and it is amazing to note how often it has been associated with food.  Adam tasted the forbidden fruit.  Cain killed Abel over a dispute about food sacrifice.  Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew.  Emancipated Israel suffered earthquake and plague because of their discontented whining for meat.  Samson defiled himself with a lion’s carcass for a taste of honey.  The list is long, but the record of those blessed for abstaining and relying on the provision of God is even longer.  Satan even tempted Jesus with loaves of bread!  The lusts of man, like the grave to which they beckon us, will never be satisfied.  There is one solution: to deny selfish cravings entirely – to abstain, to serve God rather than self-will.

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 23:

Have you ever been disgusted with hypocrisy in others?  Then your sentiments are well represented by those of God as described in this chapter.  The painful truth is that what bothers us in others usually points to a defect in ourselves.

1 ‘Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord.”

11 ‘Both prophet and priest are godless;
even in my temple I find their wickedness,’
declares the Lord.”

14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
I have seen something horrible:
They commit adultery and live a lie.
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one turns from his wickedness.
They are all like Sodom to me;
the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”

17 They keep saying to those who despise me,
‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’
And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts
they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’”

In addition to the woe in this chapter, there is a prophesy of the Ultimate Blessing, the Branch of David, the Lord our Righteousness!

‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness.’”

Precious Lord, forgive me for every attitude of self-sufficiency and every occasion of self-indulgence.  I confess them as the idolatry they are.  I am far too powerless to be served, but place my life at Your feet, eager to serve You according to Your will, not mine.  Thank You for redeeming me.  Fashion me into something useful for Your purpose and employ me to that end.  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “How it Works” page 68:

“Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.”

(For accountability’s sake, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.)

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