"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?….But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:25, 33
"Just a minute, friend! I will be right there." I had an unexpected visitor at the bachelorette bungalow recently. This would buy me just enough time. Not to quickly move the three coffee mugs and empty wine glass from my laptop table to the kitchen sink or do a ninja style bathroom cleanup(I am a seasoned pro at that)—no, I had to rid the evidence. Make sure that empty Krispy Kreme box was out. of. sight. I had not had one of these, how shall I put it, well, "episodes" in a long time. Perhaps I had almost forgotten how to hide. Almost. Whew, just in time. I opened my door with a cheerful smile.
I have a confession. It’s not a pretty one. It’s not a cool one. In fact, it’s a big old fat ugly mess of one. I am a glutton. My struggle with gluttony runs deep. For many years I did not recognize my overeating or binge eating as gluttony, and I often had success in controlling my weight by behavior modification. I could follow a diet, stick to an exercise regime, and “willpower” my way back into my jeans.
When I first recognized that the behavior of overeating in my life may actually be gluttony, I was to determined to find a loop hole. Sure, I was comfortable confessing and discussing many other failures and sins in my life, but I could not face being the girl who could not put down the fork. Even the idea of sharing this struggle with my girlfriends conjures up a video reel in my head of Chris Farley and the SNL Gap girls. “LAY OFF I’M STARVING!”
But what I was missing was getting to the root of my gluttony. It is not that much different than most sin. Food had become my idol. A god. I was seeking pleasure, fulfillment, comfort, acceptance, and love in something other than my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This desire to go to something other than the Lord is enslaving. A cycle of shame and guilt. And really, this is very similar to my Gap girlfriend who confesses her temptation to using alcohol or sex as a god. Oh, but idols are so deceitful. Almost as soon as the last bite of whatever pleasure seeking food is gone from your lips, the heaviness of the emptiness in your heart is felt so much more than the fullness of your stomach. It’s destructive.
We are so very good at telling God we are “just fine now.” You know how it goes: He pulls us out of a mess or sin pattern, yet again, showering us in His abundant love and abounding grace. At first, we bask in it. We depend on Him for each step, thankful to be His child. Then, we start to feel confident. Yes, Lord. We got this…I got this…I CAN DO IT. That desperate need for Him fades. Pretty soon, it’s back to “let me pull myself up by my bootstraps” and “put my big girl panties” on kind of living.
This has been my life lately. I kind of thought “oh yeah, God and I have fixed that whole gluttony thing.” <——you know what that it? PRIDE. And when the storms come, and life gets tough again, my default has not been Jesus. It’s rebellion. When I don’t like what He is telling me, whether it’s to be patient or walk in obedience in an area I would rather not, I turn to a god that won’t talk back. The only thing the lady at Krispy Kreme asked me was “Would you like to add a cup of doughnut holes to your order?”
But the story does not end there, my friends. You see, it’s a journey of giving my heart to the Lord. He does not give up on me even when I feel like giving up on myself. This is a relationship of epic proportions. He invites me back to bask in His grace and be renewed by His mercies. He knows the Joy I will feel by repositioning myself to make Him Lord instead of my own gods. Sweet friends, that is what this life is all about. Learning that our weakness is made perfect in His strength. Don’t wait to clean yourself up. Come to the Table. The nourishment He offers will make you full.
*Readers and Friends alike, if this subject resonates in your heart, do not walk on this path alone. The church at large, for sometime has been silent on this issue, but I am encouraged by it being brought more to the light. There is freedom in confession. If you do not have someone in your life to talk to about it and hold you accountable, message me. I have been so encouraged by your messages to me regarding my blogging. I want the conversation to continue. Life is not meant to be lived alone.