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:
“Not until I began to let go of my old beliefs and open my mind to new ways of thinking did I begin to understand what ‘came to believe that a Power greater than myself’ meant. It meant that God is greater than me, that He loves me enough to restore me to sanity if I ask each day, and that I can trust Him to do it.”
Believing in God is not the same thing as believing that He is greater than oneself. In fact, for a habitually self-serving person like me, that is the far bigger obstacle. I had a lifetime of Christian belief and religious experience, but no spiritual awakening, just the emptiness of counterfeit righteousness dotted with failure and shame, which then had to be covered up with more false piety, the mask of hypocrisy. God’s opinion of me was overshadowed by my opinion of me and there was no way I would let up on my hatred of self until I somehow managed to become acceptable enough in my own opinion.
Thank God for Step Two! When I demoted self and promoted God, His opinion took charge and I assumed His value of me over my own. His purposes were prioritized over mine, and His simple, healthy, loving ways were preferred to my selfish, harmful, self-indulgent ones. Gradually, as I continued to turn myself over to Him in daily living the rest of the Twelve Steps, sanity was and is being restored.
From Proverbs 1:
“10 My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them.”
Misery loves company and those who do what they know to be wrong often seek someone else to do it with them to appease their conscience. I cannot be anyone’s eating buddy, and I cannot allow anyone, even those I am trying to help save, drag me back into the mire with them. This requires some of the discernment that my sister, Wisdom, offers in this chapter. When to reach out and when to let go is part of the answer given me when I ask. The command of this proverb extends beyond the “sinners” described in this passage, apparently a gang of street thugs or a band of pirates; it meets me on my smaller scale and reminds me that just because my social group orders nachos, or begins to gossip about an associate, or discuss filthy topics, doesn’t mean I have to reach my hand in with them.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Mark 11:
“24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.[g]”
The topic was a fig tree that had disappointed the Lord, but the lesson is universal, and follows His mandate of verse 22, “Have[f] faith in God.”
The fig tree curse was, according to Mark, uttered on the way to the Temple, where Jesus cleared the holy place of the money-changers, swindlers, and merchandisers. It was the day after His triumphal entry to Jerusalem, celebrated now by the event called Palm Sunday. On the third day, they found the fig tree withered, and Christ used it as an object lesson for faithful prayer. Interestingly, He had spoken to the tree, and not to God. This gives me an idea that concentrated utterances spoken in faith carry weight, even when not spoken as a petition to the Creator. I would imagine that, given this, it is extremely important to watch what we say and be intentional about speaking life and light into our own beings and to those around us. If I have an ailment or issue, I can pray to God about it, asking for His will and power in that situation, but I can also speak to the cellular structures and command, by the authority of God as His child in faith, that even mountains be removed. I have some speaking to do!
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 70 and 71:
“In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him.”
*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.