Sunday, December 28, 2008

I will Not be Enslaved

Recently God has been dealing with me on some very weighty issues. Specifically, what my weight reflects when it comes to where and what I turn to other than my heavenly Father in satisfying my needs.

I shared these revelations God was revealing to me with my niece Jessica a few weeks back.

Shortly afterword, Jess posted the following note on her Facebook page. With her permission I share it with you.

With New Years just a few days away, so many good intentioned resolutions we tend to make - then break, it seemed only fitting.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

I’ve decided the best way to get my point across with loosely applying this passage to overeating is just to replace some words.

Please don’t get the fire burning. I’m not trying to be heretical…I realize there are some flaws to my logic, but I also know that I’m not trying to start a new idea or anything and this isn’t a “word from the Lord.” I’m just taking a passage that deals with a sin and applying it to another sin.

Here’s what I think Paul would have written if he were a woman dealing with food issues, LOL.

“All food is legal for me to eat, but not all of it is healthful. All food is OK for me to eat, but I will not be enslaved by it. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food and they are both temporary and will not be important in the end. The body is not made for gluttony, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of the Pillsbury Dough Boy? Never! (My substitutions for verse 16 just got silly…I digress!) But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee gluttony (the running wouldn’t hurt, either.) Every other sin a person commits outside the body, but gluttonous person sins against his own body (I know this may not be correct and go against what Paul originally said, but it makes sense, right? Without making me a heretic? Am I way out of context here?) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.”

I know some might think it extreme to compare gluttony to sexual sins. I think that may be because most of the time gluttony is socially acceptable. Only in America, folks. Home of the super sized, drive thru, delivered fast food, all you can eat buffets and restaurant meals that really should take a day to eat.

With some people, we have been taught to overeat. I don’t use that as an excuse, but we are not satisfied to just be full most of the time. It used to be that you only stuffed yourself that full on Thanksgiving, but now it seems like a more regular occurrence. If our stomach was meant to only hold so much food, why do we overfill it on so many occasions? We even make jokes about wearing our “eating pants.”I guess to some people this might seem extreme.

It’s just food, right?

If you have food issues, like I do, then getting to the heart of why we overeat is so important.

For me, I’ve narrowed it down to 2 words: Idle and Idol.

I eat when I’m bored and I try to replace God with food. Thinking that it will make me feel better. Choosing to comfort myself with food instead of God's Word.I’m hoping to do some more Bible “study” about this topic.

If you have any insight on this, please share! I think we do this by ourselves so often and it really is a big issue for some people.

Thanks, Tammy, for spurring my brain on this topic!


Angela said...

I am with you..I definitely need to work on going to God for comfort instead of the refrigerator. It is a way the enemy uses to defeat us, because it also makes us feel like a failure when we are overweight because of our bad choices. This is something I really struggle with. Good luck to you!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Great post! I really struggle with this too. Today I was thinking about dinner. I actually ate to live not live to eat. You get me here? So often I live to eat. It is so good. But tonight it was different.

I like the paraphrase. It is the same principle-the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Nothing should go against it.

Cindy said...

This is a struggle for me also at this particular time. Maybe we can pray for each other.


Carol said...

Bravo!!! Well said. I don't see re-wording as heretical in the sense of application where the writer has made the original text available and made it clear the changes were their own.

I also believe it is perfectly appropriate to compare gluttony with sexual sin. They are both sin. Why would one be worse or better than the other when ALL sin separates us from God? They are both committed with the same underlying motive - personal pleasure and self-gratification.

Well said!

April in real life said...

I think you have a very good point... and it brought to mind something I have been reading... (LORD, Change MY Attitude by James MacDonald)... In the book he mentions learning "enough is enough"... and it applies to so many areas of our lives... can we be content with what we need... with what is enough... do we always have to have more.... it can be anything from material stuff, to needing lots of attention, or wanting to be very successful... and even to food... I am trying to learn this lesson my self... One of the examples is in Numbers 11 (he also quotes Rom.8:5) any way he mentions how the Israelites were groaning and mumbling... the manna that God had provided wasn't enough... the wanted this and that... the were not content.... and well then God gave them what they wanted to their detriment... to teach them a lesson.... because enough was never enough to them. Many times that is us... any way just thought I would share.

Dawn Ward said...

God has really been working on me about this again lately.

A few years back, God showed me that I actually had a food addiction. I needed to confess it, repent, and turn from my sin. I did so, and for the first time ever, found sustained success in my journey with my weight. More importantly, for the first time ever, I felt helpful that I could actually succeed.

Lately, though, I have been out of control. This morning, God took it one step further. It was one of the things Jessica mentioned in her post.

Idol. I came across the following verse in my devotion this morning, and I knew God was telling me something.

Philippians 3:18-19. "18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."

I have turned my eating yet again into a god and placed it ahead of THE God.

This was very difficult for me to hear, but I know that it is true. So, I have confessed my addiction to Him once again and asked for His strength to overcome it. I do not wish for anything to be more important than Him.

Great post!


Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Hey I tagged you over at my blog. COme over and check it out but no pressure. Just wanted to get to know you better since I am new to your blog.

Kate said...

I like this...especially the Pillsbury part...I laughed REALLY loud. The scripture is actually one of my favorites ('cause it preaches well to my on the fence friends). I have been sooooo aware of how I am eating these days because I am...well..."going through" and it seems easier to go to the fridge rather than God...after all, HE KNOWS. Then I want to go to the fridge 'cause He knows and doesn't seem to be moving, then I go to pray and I can't hear I go to the, freezer ('cause that's where the chocolate chips are). Not truly funny, but sorta funny.
I didn't actually put down any kind of weight resolution this's too typical, and quite frankly the least of my worries. I am concerned though, and completely understand this post.

Annie said...

Actually, I like the paraphrasing. God's Word is active, and I know He can breathe it out to you in a way that you've never seen before.

On the subject of overeating ... A little over a year ago, I decided to make some life changes specifically with the way I ate. I wasn't overeating, I don't think (maybe a little), but I just wasn't satisfied with the 'health' level of what I was eating - it sure wasn't very healthy. I was spurred on by a British TV show, and later the book by the same lady (You Are What You Eat, Gillian McKeith). I have a different perspective now (one that makes a lot more sense, I think) about food than I did before.

Overeating is in part caused by bad nutrition. Or, you might say, a lack of nutrition. Partly, overeating is also caused by psychological and emotional issues that need to be addressed. I'm guessing each person can know what it is they're facing if they look at it. The food related part of it, though is ...

Basically, your body craves nutrition. Nutrition is what your body uses (and therefore needs) from the foods you eat. If you eat 'foods' that are nutritionally depleted, your stomach may be full, but your body is empty. You may not be able to fit another bite, but your body may still be crying out for 'more.' So within a short time, there you are eating again, most of the time with no idea why. In this cycle, most of your 'food' is going to waste, rather than to supply the body. Foods that fit into this category (little nutrition) usually are also toxic to your system. The body has defense mechanisms that are intended to capture and flush toxins from the body before they hurt you, but in the event of an overload of toxins (a bad eating cycle or really bad food), what happens is that the body will encapsulate the toxin (thus guarding the body from it) and store it. What does it encapsulate it in? Fat! This is why people get fat from eating bad. If you feed yourself good nutrition, it will satisfy the needs of your body, and you won't go looking for other things. (Sound a lot like, "Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh"? - God made the two to be mirror images of each other.) Now, how to find what is good nutrition may be the next key. Many things that are espoused as 'healthy' aren't, and the things which really are healthy get little public acclaim. (Go figure!) I would highly recommend that book I mentioned for a great start. Her philosophy is based on things that are as close to straight-from-nature as you can get, and a 'diet' that doesn't focus on what you can't eat, but what you can eat (she calls it the 'Diet of Abundance'). It took me about 9 months to change my lifestyle, so don't expect instantaneous things. The body has to be taught what is good. Just keep making little lifestyle changes, and you will get there.

That's my 2 (or 5) cents! God bless!

GratefulinGA said...

I've really enjoyed all your comments on a topic some consider not that big a deal or prefer not dealing with at all.

Body, Mind, Soul....balance.
Basic :)

I have joined with others locally and on facebook addressing this weighty issue with others working this thing out. I enjoy the accountability and camaraderie as we encourage each other toward a healthier more balanced way of living.

Annie, thank you for adding your two cents, as usual, very valuable indeed. I will be picking up a copy of McKeith's book very soon.

GratefulinGA said...

Much thanks Annie for the book recommendation . We picked it up yesterday, did a first reading last night, began putting it into practice today. Her philosophy on this seems dead on for me and my history - I am excited to see how this goes.

a cup bearer said...

Sweet one in Georgia, I came across your blog this morning and have so enjoyed reading your entries. This particular one caught my attention because I'm in the middle of a Bible study entitled "A Hunger for the Holy" by Calvin Miller. (It's excellent, by the way.) Day 3 of week 2 is actually titled "Sex and Gluttony," so I think you're right on the mark. Both of these "weaknesses" are symbols of a spiritual love that hungers after God. Miller says, "Gluttony and a rapacious spirit can be alike, if only because both of them can overfeed. Food and sex have become the 'double jeopardy' of our affluent Western culture. Restaurateurs and obscenity peddlers continue to keep people occupied with sweetmeats and pornograpy." No doubt both of these desires can either distract us from our spiritual pursuits or point us to our great need for Christ.

I speak blessings on you!

From another one who's "grateful in Georgia."