Abstinent Today:

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

I am learning that it takes more than just me working a spiritual program by myself to recover.  The support of my fellowship has been amazing lately!  Even those with whom I perceived a problem have, as I reached out to them, reached back to support me.  God’s hands and feet truly move with the loving interaction of His children!

Allow me to just add that you are a large part of that.  I am grateful for those who read and follow this blog.  Sometimes, the thought of someone looking at these humble scratchings of a mere man trying to follow God out of compulsive overeating are all that motivates me to keep writing.  Thank you!  You help God help me.  I pray that, in the process, God helps you too.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“…our fears usually stem from our inability to trust that our basic needs will be met.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, pp. 49, 50

The observations in today’s entry were pivotal for me.  I would copy and post the whole thing, but that would not be as therapeutic as telling you in my own words how it worked for me.  Please, if you have this book, I encourage you to read today’s entry in full.

I had a warped misconception that somehow my future was directly tied to my value, which was low or nothing.  Add to that mixture a belief that my behavior, which would never be perfect enough for my God, was a constant disappointment to the One who provides for my future.  All these perceptions were self-imposed, and as soon as I deposed self, I was freed from its dictatorship.  There was only one way to do it, and that was to inaugurate God as Ruler of my life.  As soon as I made that a living reality and not just a book-learned concept, I was freed to admit that, even if my worst-case fear scenarios played out, God would still be in charge of the universe and of my life and, as long as that is true, I will be content with the knowledge that His will is being done.

I had awareness of a Scripture that should have kept me from fear, but it did not become reality until I got tyrannical Me off the throne of my life.  It is part of Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body… 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (emboldened emphasis mine)

God, You have saved me from the eternal penalties of sin, but I ask that You free me from the bondage of shame and guilt again today, so that I may live the abundant life You came to unlock for me.  Clear away the fearful shadows of that shame and guilt that cloud my future, and let me rest at ease in Your loving hands today.  Make me useful not fearful.  Help me spend myself on others, not reserve myself in some warped sense of self-defense.  You alone are my defense and my provision.  I gratefully accept Your blessing on my life and return it to You with all that I am!

 

 

 

From Proverbs 4 (NLT):

14 Don’t do as the wicked do,
and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15 Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way.
Turn away and keep moving.”

I love the simplicity of this!  There is an old Southern Gospel song that this brought to my mind, the chorus of which said, “If you want to go to Heaven just turn right and then go straight!”  I know many concern themselves with finding the right pathway to take, or deciding which way to go.  I find that, when I have no clear answer at decision time, even though I have paused, prayed, and paid attention for the answer I was seeking, if I will consider which is most self-serving and just turn from that, I will almost always find a blessing for me in the opposite direction.  Self-serving is like declaring allegiance to that deposed dictator of Self.  If I will just “turn away and keep moving” or “turn right and then go straight” I will end up right where God wants me.  The last verse of this chapter really drives this point home:

27 Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.”

 

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Lamentations 4:

1 How the gold has lost its luster,
the fine gold become dull!
The sacred gems are scattered
at the head of every street.”

Jeremiah’s emphasis in this acrostic poem is the surprise of what everyone considered unthinkable coming about: the destruction of God’s holy city.  No one would have imagined that this could ever happen, and yet God brought it about.  God can and will do what we cannot imagine!  It makes me revere God’s connection with me and my devotion to Him.  I have a healthy concern that, if I turn away from God’s grace, the vitality I am enjoying might lose its luster, and the sacred gems might get scattered by my indifference.  I have to remain vigilant, but only in my dependence on God to do the work.  That is why a prayer from Psalm 51 is a part of my routine.  It says exactly what I mean regarding this:

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 98:

“Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: job or no job—wife or no wife—we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.

Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.”

 

 

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

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

In order to get a fresh perspective, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to a version I have not used before, the New Living Translation (NLT), just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.  I normally avoid switching, because it confuses my attempts at memorization, but I thought it might shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change.

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