competing with worldAbstinent Today:

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

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

Showing love and respect for others as they make decisions in their life’s journey leaves me free to make better choices in living my own life.

Shortly into our marriage, my wife identified “the Three ‘C’s” that were my error and her weakness. Though they are easy to remember, they are hard to stop. The Three ‘C’s are: criticize, condemn, and correct. She asked me not to do them anymore. She told me it was important. But her entreaties fell on ears of shallow soil along with all the medical dietary advise I got over the years. Though I meant well, and even sprang into action quickly, my new behaviors never took root and quickly died away, occasionally to spring up again sporadically, but never to gain any depth or height, nor bear any fruit.

Maybe I’m looking at it wrong. Maybe instead of trying not to think of a red balloon (See? You just did!) I should concentrate on doing the opposite – purposefully seeking opportunity to encourage, bless, and lift up.

I don’t think I abstain well. But if I build my positive plan far enough away from my behavioral abstinence, I will not be likely to cross the forbidden line. With food, I do not concentrate on what I will not have, but on what I have; with behaviors I should try it the same way. Showing love and respect are positive behaviors I can actively pursue. “Live and let live” is not the same as “stop killing yourself and others” but it has the same effect.

 

 

 

From Proverbs 7:

26 Many are the victims she has brought down;

her slain are a mighty throng.

Sin, the seductress, in this chapter played by a wayward wife, presents herself as a harmless bit of pleasure but captures her victims in everlasting doom. Papa’s warning here is clear: avoid her at all cost; and to do that He recommends a close kinship with Wisdom, our sister, who will lovingly guide and encourage us along a path far from the one that leads to the venomous vixen (vs. 4-5).

Dear Father, today, help me remember that there is a war going on in the earth, and souls are dying for lack of understanding and a lonely pain the human spirit alone is powerless to satisfy. Help me remember that the dying will not be saved by my criticism, but by Your love. Help me be an extension of that love, that the hapless victims of sin might be transformed into the happy children of God.

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Corinthians 1:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[Isaiah 29:14]

 

25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Here is another reference to the perishing and the understanding that eludes them. It is not for lack of intelligence that they are suffering their blindness, but for lack of spiritual light. It is not because of their lack of human strength that they struggle under the weight of the world, but because none of us were ever meant to carry that weight. God’s power and wisdom infinitely surpass all our needs, yet we humans struggle and try with all our muscle and might, thought and theory, to outsmart, outdo, and outperform the world designed to make us long for God.

The doctrinal instruction of Paul in this chapter is that spiritual light eclipses wordly darkness, but the call of this chapter is for unity with each other (v. 10), and the promise is of unity with God in Christ Jesus (vs. 8-9).

8 He will also keep you firm to the end…

9 God is faithful… (excerpted for emphasis)

Papa God, thank You for doing all my heavy lifting. When I crumble Your strength is magnified, and when I’m stumped Your wisdom is revealed. Thank You for being patient with me when, in my folly, I flex against the pressure that would otherwise draw me to You, and contemplate by my human understanding some rational explanation for the so-called realities of this world. Help me offer myself more freely to the Light and Power of Your Spirit, letting go of the fear of the unknown and unseen, and resting instead in the security of Your providence.

 

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 13:

I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great measure.

 

 

 

 

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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