Abstinent Today:

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

I have put the “T” in HALT, ‘cause I am one tired boy!  (HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, four conditions which should be avoided to strengthen recovery.)  Tomorrow begins my days off and, not to lean too much into the future or anything, but I predict a hibernation day is coming.

I made it to church yesterday before going to work, and it was good to be among the family of God.  I do like my church!  I caught myself saying about worshipping with my brothers and sisters, “It is by coming to this (worship service) that God enables me to do that (everything outside it).”  My most personal worship is not done at church, but at times when I am alone.  Even so, congregational worship and the fellowship that surrounds it is good for my soul!

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Our job is to be willing to let go of old attitudes which block humility, such as low self-esteem, status-seeking, and self-righteousness.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 62

…and God even helps us with that!  “We ask and we receive, first the willingness, and then the ability. We can count on this without fail.” (12&12 of OA, page 23)

It doesn’t seem logical that low self-esteem blocks humility, but it does.  Low self-esteem says, “I don’t care what God says, I know I’m worthless because I feel that way!”  It is a promotion of self as the assessor of individual value.  Status-seeking is no different, except that it has progressed from the despair of low self-esteem to an active attempt to influence that esteem by lying about one’s character.  Self-righteousness is one of the worst of all, because it is the most contagious form of low self-esteem.  It takes the fires of hell that live within its host and uses the brands as pokers of blame and shame to abuse others.  It is at the root of hypocrisy, which stands as the blockade in the path of so many seeking the Way.

There are really only two spiritual compass headings: self stands a polar opposite from God.  It is not self-harm to follow God.  Quite the opposite is true.  In the amazing paradox of mankind, to turn completely from self and follow God is the best thing we can do for ourselves!

 

 

 

From Proverbs 15 (NLT):

14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge,
while the fool feeds on trash.”

This just struck me differently than its NIV cousin usually does, especially after my prayerful statement yesterday, “The Word of God is the Bread of Life, and my spirit will eat none other.”

The chapter closes with a verse that ties in nicely with the VOR thought for the day.

33 Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom;
humility precedes honor.”

True value and reward are attained by completely letting go of the search for them, in preference for reverence of God.

I have to ask myself if I am faithfully following the “true North” of God and His Word, or if I have allowed selfish concerns to draw me off course.  Do I crave knowledge and wisdom, or am I preoccupied with the trash?  Even abstinence from the trash is not the end-goal, but one of the necessary processes to achieve an unencumbered connection with God.

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ezekiel 16:

This is a beautifully tear-wrenching allegory of Jerusalem as a rejected infant foundling, adopted, washed and nurtured into a queen who grew to despise her husband redeemer and prostituted herself in her selfishness.  God reveals His passion for His daughter, His bride, in this convicting discourse.

22 In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, kicking about in your blood.”

43 ‘Because you did not remember the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, I will surely bring down on your head what you have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. Did you not add lewdness to all your other detestable practices?

44 “‘Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’”

49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me.”

62 So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Many ask, “How can I love God and fear Him at the same time?”  The answer is the reverent awe and proper humility the likes of which comes when one reads this chapter and finds themselves described as the adulterous wife.

God, thank You for finding me writhing in the blood of my birth, helpless without You.  Thank You for washing me with the water of Your Spirit and cleansing me of my natural condition and nurturing me to royalty.  Forgive my selfishness, my prideful betrayal of You, and my sinful tendency to draw others to me rather than to You.  “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:12)

As I read this story, my mind washed over the stories of Hosea and Gomer, of Boaz and Ruth, and of the Wedding Supper of the LambThis chapter really draws a brief romance-novel picture of the Gospel of Grace!

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, from “The Back-Slider”:

“My friends came to my aid. They tried to help me, but I didn’t want help. I was ashamed and preferred not to see them come around. And they knew that as long as I didn’t want to quit, as long as I preferred my own will instead of God’s will, the remedy simply could not be applied. It is a striking thought that God never forces anyone to do His will, that His help is ever available but has to be sought in all earnestness and humility.”

 

 

 

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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