It’s hard to sit down and write a blog post about my struggle with food when I’d much rather sit down and write a post about Star Wars…but… here we go. Two letters today from Elyse Fitzpatrick’s Love to Eat, Hate to Eat.
is for Stumble.
“If I eat this will it cause a weaker Christian to stumble?”
Romans 14:21 – It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.
I’ve haven’t thought very much about this question, because it didn’t strike me as relevant. As far as I am aware none of my friends are going to stumble into binge eating if I binge…. But I can strive to set an example of complete surrender and freedom in Christ by how I approach food.
That’s something to think about.
I’ll try that and maybe blog about it in the future. But until then, onto “C”.
Is for Covet
“Am I eating this just because I saw someone else with it, and I am coveting it?”
Exodus 20:17 – You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Coveting is usually what gets me into food trouble. I often eat things for no other reason than someone else is eating it, and I am angry that I can’t have it when someone else can. My desire isn’t for the food itself, but to possess the food. I eat, even if I don’t enjoy it. Even if I despise it.
One of the summer parties we went to earlier in the year ended with ice cream. I like ice cream, but ice cream and I often don’t mix well together. But, I had decided it was a special day and since I am free to eat ice cream, I would have some. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that in itself, but what started out as a simple desire to enjoy some dessert with friends turned into silly coveting.
The ice cream they had was coffee. I do not like coffee ice cream. At that point, it would have made sense for me to eat a chocolate brownie instead of the ice cream as my special treat, since I don’t usually respond well to dairy, and it wasn’t a flavor of ice cream that I like.
But did I?
Jealous that there were people who were eating ice cream, I decided that I would not only eat frozen burnt beans (how I view coffee ice cream), but since I didn’t really like that dessert I would also eat a brownie as a treat. One brownie wasn’t enough to satisfy my coveting of deserts, so I had two. Being a person who rarely eats sugar, I went home feeling rather unwell.
Sometimes, coveting makes me overeat on foods I do enjoy. This happens when I am full, watching people consume more of what I love. Instead of being thankful and content that I got to enjoy something tasty, I am jealous that others can enjoy more than I did. To remedy my covetous desire, I eat as much, if not more as everyone else, ending up feeling bloated, dissatisfied and terribly guilty.
Covetousness and idolatry are some of the biggest fuels for my addiction. I’m not exactly sure how to combat coveting, but here are ideas. Please share if you’ve got any!
Idolatry requires repentance of worshipping something other than God and turning to Him to adore Him and feast on Him. This is not easy, but I am have a clear how to tackle it (in the power of the Holy Spirit of course. [Which, of course, I will forget to do, because I am always so eager to earn my own salvation]).
Covetousness on the other hand…maybe thankfulness is what I need to place coveting. When I find myself wanting someone else’s food, instead of feeding my jealousy, I can thank God for the food He has given me.
And then what? That seems a simplistic answer. Any ideas? How does one combat covetousness in general?