Abstinent Today:

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

I have been forewarned that I will be acting as the peer-supervisor at work today in my boss’ absence. I used to fulfill this role frequently before the Twelve Steps, and it robbed me and my coworkers of a lot of joy and community, but I am looking forward to working it today a new way: without insecure self-centeredness in charge. I am certain things will be different today, and I am prayerfully thanking God in advance.

 

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“If we can share what we have learned, if we can apply it to all areas of our lives, we will have indeed performed the task for which we have been placed on this earth.” — Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, p. 122

Recovery: love it, live it, share it! Awakening from spiritual death, as we have in recovery, only to watch the walking dead fall into their graves would be a shame and disgrace. The Big Book says, “Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 77) The Biggest Book, the Bible, says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV) I see a trend here. We are rescued to rescue, helped to help, and comforted to comfort. I know what happens when I begin serving selfish desires again rather than serving others: I become spiritually sick, and my mental and physical state soon follow.

 

 

 

 

 

From Proverbs 10:

16 The wages of the righteous is life,

but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.

This is amazingly congruent! As one calculates that “righteousness” is that quality of Christ that was self-sacrificing in preference for others, and that “wickedness” is the nature of the self-serving, this proverb confirms what the program material has said this morning. Even more, it takes it past sickness to death and separation from God (sin).

Dear Father, today, make me an instrument of Your righteousness. Breathe into me new life, not just so I may contain it, but so that others may see it and want what I have: a relationship with You.

 

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Acts 18:

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.”

There is some arguing the case of the Gospel going on here, and it is commended by God in these passages. Paul’s contemporary, Apollos, introduced in verse 24, is described as having vigorously refuted his opponents (v. 28), even as he is called “a great help to those who by grace had believed” (v. 27). There is apparently a time to argue and a time to refrain. I have a long history of arguing, but it was never the kind that was helpful, gracious, or in any way a promotion of anyone’s belief. I look forward to the day when, perhaps, I will be useful in instruction without being harmful in a contrary character. For now, the harms I have done leave me somewhat slow to vigorously refute any opponents, which is probably as it should be. Paul was addressed by God and encouraged to speak up. I am also encouraged to speak where my voice will be heard and where it may be offensive, let it rest. I am learning to look for opportunity without committing religious assault and battery.

 

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “The Backslider”:

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.

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