Praise and Illustration

We are nearing the end of the Disciplined Eating questions. Four more to go after this post. Hopefully they’ve been helpful to more than just me, or at least thought-provoking. Sometime I want to reword the questions to be more general so that they could apply to any area of life, because I think they are good questions to help assess the motivations behind actions.

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Can I eat this food with thanks and gratitude?

“Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected. It is received with gratitude.” 1 Timothy 4:4

This is a straight forward principle, but I often neglect it. Even though I pray before most meals and thank God for the food there is a lack of gratitude. The obsession with how many calories the meal might be, or the fact that I wish I could eat something else, or the feeling that I deserve this food, is a more typical attitude than gratitude. There is a presumption that God owes me, so there isn’t anything to be thankful for.

Or sometimes, I am so eager to sit down and eat the food that I think will satisfy my soul, that I rush past the prayer because I have forgotten that it is a gift from God, that God is the one who is my satisfaction.

I think if I slowed down and took the time to really thank God for my food and acknowledge that Jesus is the Bread of Life, I would not struggle as much. Focusing on Jesus before I eat, centering myself on His work, recognizing the gifts He has given me would free me from the obsessing and the control.

It would also help give me a more balanced perspective to food. The verse from Timothy reminds us that everything that God has created is good, and I can receive it with thanks. If I find myself in a situation where I am confident that I can eat something without sinning through idolatry or covetousness and it’s not harmful to my health, then I am free to eat it with praise.

I know that, but often I struggle with being consumed by the fear that the food will make me gain weight. I eat it with worry instead of gratitude and, instead of enjoying one of God’s gifts, bitterness and frustration is the result.

Task for this week, and really for everyday: practice gratitude not just with food but everything in my life.

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Am I modeling good eating habits for others?

“Show yourself an example to those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:12

I don’t know how many people notice when I am struggling with my obsessive eating habits in public or with being more interested in the food then in their conversation. Some might. Those that notice see the brokenness of a woman who succumbs to looking for food and beauty to give her meaning and the war that creates inside of her.

I have work to do on being a better example of not stressing so much about the physical manifestation of beauty, of gratitude and restraint. Even though I am not the best examples in those areas, I hope that I have been growing in the example of vulnerability and opening up about our deep struggles and shames in the hopes of finding freedom and community.

It has been interesting blogging about my addiction to food. It has started a lot of conversations, and since then I’ve meet a lot of women who are struggling too. It’s good to not be alone. If you are struggling with something, be it food, or depression, or anything, find a group of safe people that you can talk to. It is worth it and you will be a good example of God working through brokenness.

 

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