I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
In an amazing incidence of coordination, the Holy Spirit gave me the same message in two different settings today. It was that the devil is lying to me on a constant basis, by several different voices, sometimes even my own. I need to recognize that he is a bully, and bullies seek to steal the value of their victims. I need to intentionally put myself in a position to hear affirming truths, then receive them, and repeat. God is truth and the devil is a liar! God’s love will improve my life, while the bully’s lies will rob me of joy, power, and life. My pastor read this quote this morning:
“The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what it could be.” (Waking the Dead, John Eldredge)
Praying, reading, listening to others, going to meetings, sharing affirmations with others, I find myself affirmed and encouraged. Left to my own, I am easy prey. We stand better against the attacker when we stay in positive, loving groups.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Sometimes we fail to be all that we could be, and sometimes we aren’t there to give you all you need from us. Accept our imperfections, too. Love and help us in return. That is what we are in OA—imperfect but progressing. Let us rejoice together in our recovery…” — Overeaters Anonymous Second Edition, p. 6
I am surprised at the use of the word “fail” in this passage, and the contributor’s notes about failure to be available as though s/he had caused harm by not being omnipresent and omniscient. First and foremost, recovery requires that we acknowledge we are not God. I promise my sponsorees that I will never answer the phone if I cannot talk. That way they never have to guess if this might be a good time to call or not, or whether they will be a bother to me. The very thought that they might disrupt me dissuades them from calling, and none of us needs that excuse. When they need someone who is always there and can always help, I encourage them to “Go to the throne instead of the phone!” Prayer is the only method by which we can always reach the One who can help. Any failure of mine regarding your expectations that I will be all-knowing and all-seeing is no failure but yours. I need to make no amends for not being God. I’m still making amends for pretending I was in the first place!
There are no perfect people; only a perfect Savior! That’s why He gets to be the Higher Power.
From Proverbs 21:
3 To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
I have mistakenly thought that maybe when I become enough or get enough or somehow am good enough, then I will offer a sacrifice to the Lord. There have been times when I have considered myself inadequate, but God is teaching me that what He wants from me is my best right now. I could never repay God for what He has given me and the love He has shown me, so how can I muster enough resources to try? What arrogance to wait! He wants no barbeque bull, no snowy white lamb; He wants me and my next right thing done in search of His will.
I was thinking about that a lot today and yesterday: we need to be praying for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, because His will is not always done on Earth as it is in Heaven. The events of this past week stand as evidence of that fact. His purposes will prevail, but His people ought to be praying. What is wrong with this world is the rampant running riot of the nearly seven billion individuals living according to their own wills rather than God’s.
Dear Father, today, help me to seek and to find Your will for me, and to have the power to carry it out. May Your will, not mine, be done!
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Romans 2:
1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
The Twelve Step Program of recovery is built to alleviate the spiritual sickness that comes from harboring just this kind of resentments, both against others and the ones that cause shame in ourselves. The true nature of forgiveness is that once received it must be shared in order to be preserved.
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15)
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 64 and 65:
Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principle with who we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships (including sex) were hurt or threatened. So we were sore. We were “burned up.”
*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.