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:
“Some of us did not believe in God. We despaired of finding a solution to our problems if that meant we had to ‘find God.’” – The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 13
I am convinced that many of us are so convinced of our own superiority that we even decide not to believe in God as payback for some of our resentments toward Him. Rather than cut myself off from Him, I decided to act-as-if He had not actually done the things for which I blamed Him. Later on, I realized there is a reason we were instructed to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” The reason is simply because His will is not always done here on earth as it is in Heaven. The will of man, combined with His promise to let man choose, works against His perfect will. So, “Thy will be done,” is not just a request, but an act of surrender that actually makes God’s will possible.
From Proverbs 16 (NKJV):
“3 Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.”
This sounds like “act as if” to me. It also reminds me of another recovery program slogan, “You can act your way into the right thinking, but you can’t think your way into the right action.” (William James)
From my reading through the Bible, currently in John 13 (NKJV):
“34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This new commandment is the part the Church has a hard time with. We seem to be great at correcting one another, criticizing, berating; but loving? Not so much. Loving, however, is the defining characteristic of a true disciple. Perhaps this would be a good target at which to aim some acting-as-if. Loving is tough enough, but the phrase, “as I have loved you,” means a self-sacrificing love, a preference for the other. Such love is not accomplished without diligent effort, some serious acting-as-if!
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 46:
“We looked upon this world of warring individuals, warring theological systems, and inexplicable calamity, with deep skepticism. We looked askance at many individuals who claimed to be godly. How could a Supreme Being have anything to do with it all? And who could comprehend a Supreme Being anyhow? Yet, in other moments, we found ourselves thinking, when enchanted by a starlit night, ‘Who, then, made all this?’ There was a feeling of awe and wonder, but it was fleeting and soon lost.”
*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.