Abstinent Today:

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

All my family is returning to work today and I go back tomorrow.  This leaves me today to finish my household chores and preparation for the work-week.  I’ve got much to do.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“In light of the Seventh Tradition, we begin to see more clearly what our boundaries need to be. We begin to share our vulnerability with others in OA without expecting them to shoulder our responsibilities.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 167

If I’m not careful I can take self-sufficiency too far and become isolated again.  The Seventh Tradition encourages participation in community, not sole-ownership and feudalism.  Accepting the help of others when necessary, taking responsibility for myself but sharing the burdens of the group, is key to cohabitation with my fellow humans.

From Proverbs 26 (NKJV):

17 He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.”

Meddling is one of my defects of character.  I even disguise it as peace-making or heroism, but it’s really just an affinity for arguing that comes out of my fear of not being appreciated or recognized.  My sick brain thinks that, as I ride off into the sunset, those left behind to suffer in the wake of my meddling will praise me in awe of my visit, like in the closing of so many Western films.  “Who was that masked man?” or, as my warped mind actually has it, “Who was that all-seeing, all-knowing, right-all-the-time, amazing fellow, whom we shall all now love and adore and long for the moment when he visits again?”  The problem with such delusions is that when I leave, people are usually more like the villains in a Scooby-Doo episode, barking about “those meddling kids!”  What’s wrong with taking a dog by its ears is you can’t let go, and even if you don’t, your face is in harm’s way as well as your arms.   It’s just a foolish posture to be in!  Tiger by the tail, dog by the ears, rhino by the horn, regardless of the metaphor, it’s better to lovingly minister to those with legitimate needs than to press oneself on those who do not wish for it.

Lord, I thank You for saving me from myself.  Please save others from me too; but let me go by Your will and serve by Your power those to whom Your providence should direct me.

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Amos 1 and 2:

Amos, a shepherd before the exile, got a revelation from God, two years prior to the great earthquake, of the wrath to come to the cities of Israel and Judah, specifically in Chapter One: Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, and Ammon.  A phrase that was repeated in his vision was, “For three sins… even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.”  It reminded me that, once we miss God’s mark, it doesn’t matter by how much.  There is no one righteous, not even one!  (Romans 3:10, Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20)

Chapter Two similarly calls for the destruction of Moab, Judah and Israel.  It was important for me to note the reasons God would destroy Judah and Israel, His own precious inheritance, though their idolatries are well known.  The “because” statements for each follow, respectively:

(Judah)  “4b Because they have rejected the law of the Lord
and have not kept his decrees,
because they have been led astray by false gods,[Or by lies]
the gods[Or lies] their ancestors followed”

(Israel)  “6b They sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals.
They trample on the heads of the poor
as upon the dust of the ground
and deny justice to the oppressed.”

Jesus warned that there would be many false prophets and false “christs” that would go out with the specific purpose of deceiving people, even the elect if that were possible.  (Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:22)   James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”   These are primary concerns of God, and therefore should be those of His people: to keep from deception and to concern ourselves with the needs of the needy.

I was convicted by the history of this setting.  I looked up King Uzziah, who was serving Judah at the time of Amos.  (2 Chronicles 26)  He was one who pleased God and served a long time, except that he disregarded the rules of the Temple and entered in a forbidden area to offer incense in worship.  He was stricken with leprosy which he had until his death.   This serves to remind me that there are no degrees of good that keep any from needing the salvation and grace of God.   Getting almost all of God’s will right but missing a little won’t help.  Being mostly good, above average, or better than some won’t help.  The entire world stands convicted of sin and is in need of a Savior.  Thanks be to God, He has provided a Redeemer in Jesus Christ our Lord!

God, keep me from sinful disregard of those whom You regard!  Save me from delusion!

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

“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 shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to the New King James Version (NKJV) just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.  

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