Jesus clears the templeAbstinent Today:

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

I got a lot of outdoor work done in the last three days, but I still have more to do.  Trying to get more done than I had daylight for yesterday caught me stumbling over a sprinkler head, which sent me on a night run to the local home improvement store to replace it and had me working in the mud by flashlight.  Frustrating, but my precious bride accompanied me, so it was not without its upside.

Today, I have more to do than I have hours in the day, but I will try to prioritize them and quit when I am out of resources.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Those who have studied them carefully have found that these Traditions can be applied effectively to all human relationships, both inside and outside OA.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 108

I have heard it said that the Steps help us live with ourselves, while the Traditions help us live with others.  I find this to be consistently true.  I am ashamed at the number of times, when first exposed to them, I recoiled from the Traditions as tedious.  Now, I recognize they were merely helping me focus on others, a chore I did not relish while I was steeped in my self-centeredness.  The principles of these Traditions are admirable no matter from what vantage point one comes, and I find them desirable and worth striving to attain in some form or function.  They are: Unity, Trust, Identity, Autonomy, Purpose, Solidarity, Responsibility, Fellowship, Structure, Neutrality, Anonymity, and Spirituality.

 

 

From Proverbs 31, NIV:

4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—

it is not for kings to drink wine,

not for rulers to crave beer

Young Prince Lemuel’s mother was a wise woman to teach her son from youth that his identity, his purpose, his calling made him different from the others.  We would be wise to listen to these words and recognize that, as ambassadors of supernatural vitality, the abundant life for which Christ came, suffered and died (John 10:10b), certain frivolous indulgences are simply not ours.  When I consider that certain things are not mine, they cease to be options.  If a jeweler asked me to stand watch over his store, I know that he could trust that everything would be in its place when he returned.  Why should a baker’s store be different?  Why, then, does it matter whether the baker is in the store or not?  The frivolous indulgences are not mine!  To partake is to steal, not just the item from the shelf although that is a possibility, but it represents a theft of will as it constitutes a taking back what I gave God in Step Three and reaffirmed at least daily if not hourly.  I laid my wants, wishes, and whims on the altar of sacrifice, in the hopes that He would transform the offering and the offerer to match His will.  To partake in anything but God’s best for me would be to snatch my charred gift out of God’s holy fire.

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Corinthians 7, NIV:

1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Wow! Sometimes my eyes pop when I see how congruent the Spirit makes my devotional string!  This verse follows well the thought from the Proverb today, the promises being the purpose and providence of God as we accept our role in Him as His holy and dearly loved children.  As the previous chapter poses, “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (2 Cor. 6:16)  There is none!  There is likewise no agreement between self-sacrifice and self-indulgence.  We cannot serve two masters.   We either remain devoted to God or we give preference to selfish gain.  The contaminants of my body and spirit are clear; besides the ones carved in stone by the finger of God Himself (Exodus 20:1-17), and those described by His prophets (Galatians 5:19-20), I have identified certain others that are specific to me in my Abstinence declaration.  I further distance myself from these forbidden fruits by crafting, with God’s help, a plan that keeps me safely inbound from such temptation, if, as I have proven is possible, I could be tempted to do myself harm.

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62:

Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kill us! God makes that possible.

 

 

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.

‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous:  “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’

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