Abstinent Today:

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

It’s my prep-day!  There is a lot to do before I begin my work-week tomorrow: all the chores I put off until my last day off.  It’s crazy I do this every week!  I did get a lot done, but there is always more to do.

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Here we experience the great truth that when we let go of our need to control people and simply allow our Higher Power to serve others through us, we receive an abundance of joy and strength.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 106

There are blessings given to those who put others ahead of themselves.  So is it selfish to put others ahead of ourselves if we know we will be blessed for it?  Certainly not!  I regularly celebrate the promise of Isaiah 58:10, “if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”  I do this to refocus my daily effort on spending myself in just this sort of way, and I do it by remembering the payoff.  If my spirit stands as a lamp before the God of Heaven (Proverbs 20:27), then I want my lamp to receive His attention.  If my love for Him is displayed before His throne as a light, then it should glow as brightly as I can make it shine.  Who wants a lukewarm relationship with anybody?  I want the one between God and me to be burning hot, and I am willing to make my life a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) to ensure that it is.  “An abundance of joy and strength” is only the beginning of the promises of humility, righteousness, and loving service (Matthew 5:3-12).

 

From Proverbs 14, NIV:

21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

Reaching for GodThe word “sin” means separation from God; it is a measurement outside the perfect spot.  My understanding is it came from an archery term that meant “missed the mark.”  Whether I aim for more accuracy at pleasing God to avoid that separation or to inherit the promised blessing of the alternate behavior, either way I am getting closer to the mark.  Here the mark is loving-kindness.  I am eager to perfect my aim in this regard in whatever ways I can.

Lord, grant me the attention to recognize opportunity to serve, resource to meet the need, and the willingness to do what I can.

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Peter 2, NIV:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Peter’s epistles are among my favorite Scriptural writings.  Here, a Jewish fisherman, empowered by the Holy Spirit, makes the complex simple.  Verse 9 gives me a sense of personal esteem.  In fact, I regularly celebrate this valuing statement and recommend it for any of God’s children.  The value it gives motivates my obedience to the next, a call to abstinence – not just from the substances and addictive behaviors that waged against my body and soul, but against every sinful desire, because all of them battle against my wholeness.  I have included the third reference to demonstrate that we can follow the example Jesus Christ set in denying Himself.  In so doing, He has paid our way to supernatural vitality here and for eternity.  It takes faith to say, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

My hope is that everyone who reads this will celebrate their own acceptance of this covenant relationship, renew their commitment to it, or turn to God, the Highest of all Powers, and receive it in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85:

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.” These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.

 

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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