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:
“…a loving witness, someone who will keep our confidences and will listen without judging us or seeking to fix us.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 49
Just moments ago I got off the phone with my precious bride. I was sharing with her that God is dealing with my judgmental nature. I was in a seminar this evening where that was a topic of discussion, and as I listened I kept getting disturbed by people around me. Even while I was praying, “Yes, Lord, take away my judgmental attitudes,” I heard myself say, “Why can’t people mute their cellphones in a meeting like this?” “Why can’t that guy stay awake instead of snoring through such an important talk?” “Oh, no! Not that speaker again! He irks me.” It was after that third cock crowed that I realized I had betrayed my own prayer, and the One to whom I had prayed it.
Listening and loving without judging is not natural, and does not come automatically merely by sitting in a recovery meeting once a week. It comes as a result of practicing the principles of love and acceptance in all our affairs, turning our points of resistance over to God, and seeking out those defective parts of us that remain with a willingness to repeat the cleaning cycle and grow. I am a new creation, but a baby one. I have a lot of growing to do. So far, I have only demonstrated my ability to cry and pitch fits to get attention, milk or whatever of my way I find lacking. Now I am realizing that maturity requires something more: less of me and more of God’s loving will and way in me. And that means turning off judgment and turning on the loving heart and ears.
From Proverbs 30, NIV:
(There are)… 12 those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty,
whose glances are so disdainful
Reading this after making the statement I did above was painfully convicting. I recognize that I am being peeled, and that, like an onion, what is tender and flavorful is underneath all the dry, brittle crust, but I am still humbled by the measure of what remains of hate and unforgiveness in my life. I was sure I had turned such evil over to God. I am reminded of two Scriptures to which I often refer during my morning and evening meditations: Psalm 51, and Psalm 139:23-24. The latter reads as follows:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in my and lead me in the way everlasting.” Another of my favorites reads, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)
I have asked that God reveal to me any outstanding weaknesses so that I can surrender them to His cleaning process. Now that He has, I will not wallow in my shame, but will use that energy that convicts me to motivate me willingly to submit these newly found soiled and worn pieces of me, so that they can be properly disposed and God can grow in their place something new.
Lord, where my glance was disdainful, shine through with Your grace. Where my attitude was condescending, I humbly submit to You and Your children around me. Give me opportunity to meet needs and resource to follow through, so that Jesus may be seen through me, and that You may be glorified.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Hebrews 7, NIV:
24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
27b He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
This is the truth that allows me to forgive myself and others, and allows me to keep from having to judge others. When I was concerned about being perfect enough or about maintaining some unattainable image, I criticized and condemned others in a warped attempt to elevate myself. Now that I daily sacrifice self and submit to the lordship of God through Jesus Christ’s forgiveness, I have all the power and purpose I need to let go of trivial concerns and set about the Master’s business. Willingly prioritizing God’s will and opportunities represented by the concerns of others relieves me of the need to hoard attention, resources, affection, and oh yes – food.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85:
If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.
*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.