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:
“…and the ill will which poisoned our hearts for years is washed away.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 75
Accepting God’s high value of me and my low state of emotional, spiritual and physical disrepair leaves me with one conclusion: deserve has nothing to do with it. As I learn to live in this unmerited favor, I find that what others deserve matters less and less to me. Gradually I begin to see that what I thought others deserved was only my own resentments playing tricks on me. As forgiveness washes over me, it spills over onto others, and I find myself a conduit of grace.
Thank You, God, for forgiving me so completely that I can let go of my resentments toward others. Thank You for washing me in Your grace!
From Proverbs 20, NIV:
9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin”?
The understood answer here is no one is perfect. I attended a meeting this morning that addressed humility, and it struck me that I was once in the habit of looking down on others as a way of artificially elevating myself. It never worked, and I always felt worse for having harmed people by stepping on their throats. Apparently, this is a common trait of self-seekers, and I was not alone according to the nodding heads in the room. The liberating fact here is that perfection was never expected of us. The One who created us knew we were made of clay and made a way for us to be among perfection by paying our way. That payment was made by the One and only answer to that riddle – the One who was clean and without sin.
Thank You, Jesus, for paying the penalty for my crimes, and including me among those You have called to Your side.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Philemon, NIV:
6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
This is an interesting letter because it is addressed to the owner of a runaway slave called “Onesimus” (which means useful) who had, since his departure from home, become a Christian and began serving in ministry alongside Paul. Paul’s entreaty to Philemon, the slave’s owner, was for grace to be extended to the one who had wronged him by running away. Paul sent Onesimus home but with this letter reminding Philemon the grace of God that was extended to him, delivered by the hands, feet, and mouth of a fellow human, namely Paul. It reminds me that we are very often guilty of holding others accountable to a standard we ourselves could not meet, and from which we celebrate our own liberty. What a shame! Paul’s prayer in verse 6, of cooperation and growth together in union of purpose in the faith helps me see that I am not the only one for whom Christ died. I am part of an intricate network of vine branches winding together and spreading out across the globe, bearing fruit in various places but all doing the work of the One True Vine. In order to be an effective part of that network, I need to forgive as God forgave me in Christ. Otherwise, I am at odds with the fruit-bearing parts, and that would make me a weed.
From The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Step Seven:
In OA we have discovered that humility is simply an awareness of who we really are today and a willingness to become all that we can be. Genuine humility brings an end to the feelings of inadequacy, the self-absorption, and the status-seeking. Humility, as we encounter it in our OA Fellowship, places us neither above nor below other people on some imagined ladder of worth. It places us exactly where we belong, on an equal footing with our fellow beings and in harmony with God.
*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.