Abstinent 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:

“Service gives me practice at freeing myself from the bondage of self.”

That’s the kind of practice I need.  When I can’t get to an overeater who is still suffering, I can always find a way to practice the principle of service in my other affairs.  There is rarely a shortage of people in some kind of need near me.

The Alcoholics Anonymous purpose statement mirrors that of the Bible.  Rehearsing these helps me live them, and living them helps me feel useful and meaningful.

“Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” (AA, p.77)

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

 

 

From Proverbs 10 (NLT):

People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.”

Integrity means the same thing in any translation of the Bible.

Oh, dear God, keep me of one mind and one clear purpose!  In being multiple versions of myself I am torn by the conflict and worn out by the futility of it.  You, Precious Father, are great because your steadfast love endures forever.  Help me live singly, in gratitude for that constant love.

“All I want is to give You
A life well lived to say, ‘Thank You’”

(from Good to Be Alive, by Jason Gray)

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ezekiel 7, 8, and 9:

7:10 The day is here! It has come! Doom has burst forth, the rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed!

…  19 They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be an unclean thing. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them in the day of the Lord’s wrath. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it, for it has made them stumble into sin.”

In Chapter 8, Ezekiel was carried away in the spirit and shown visions of the appalling idolatries of the nation.  In Chapter 9, he watched as messengers of wrath were sent to the nation. The first was instructed, “9 Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”  The second was to kill, without mercy, any who did not have the mark of the first.  I was reminded of Christ’s words, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)  I was also reminded of God’s word through Jeremiah, condemning the unfaithful priests and prophets because, “‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14, Jeremiah 8:11)

I was convicted of my failure to mourn for those who are still suffering in the consequences of their own self-will, my rose-colored outlook that all is okay and will be okay, when it is clearly not.  The sins of man are huge, and they all have an effect on God and His creation.  As I read of Ezekiel’s revelation, my mind imagined all sorts of things going on in the temple: the abuse of people, the over-indulgence of one to the starvation of another, the defiance of God in preference for the exhilaration of momentary pleasures.  At every turn, we can see man perverting himself, numbing himself to the presence of God, in a never-ending attempt to prove to himself that “9:9 ‘The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see.’”

God, help me to be faithful to Your grace, but also to Your holiness.  Keep me from distorting the message of who You are and what You require: nothing less than the perfection that can only come by the washing of the blood shed by Grace.  I am corrupt, stained, and unworthy without You.  There is no “I’m okay, you’re okay” gospel, because the truth is none are okay without You.  Never let me be guilty of ‘selling’ Jesus on the feel-good merits of joy and grace alone, but help me to live out the daily sacrifice of self, ministering to the hurting as Your hands and feet on earth, having soberly counted the cost and willingly turned over my all to You!

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous:

“We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.” (page 63)

“The Episcopal magazine, The Living Church, observes editorially: ‘The basis of the technique of Alcoholics Anonymous is the truly Christian principle that a man cannot help himself except by helping others. The A.A. plan is described by members themselves as “self-insurance.” This self-insurance has resulted in the restoration of physical, mental and spiritual health and self-respect to hundreds of men and women who would be hopelessly down and out without its unique but effective therapy.’” (Appendix V, “The Religious View on A.A.”)

 

 

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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