I've been thinking lately.
Deep thinking. The kind of thinking that requires just too much effort to put into words.
The Bible has me thinking.
Books I'm reading have me thinking.
People around me have me thinking.
Ministry has me thinking.
See, lots of thinking going on. Lot's of reflecting. Evaluating. Observing. Analyzing. Changing.
I just finished the book Made to Crave. It deals with the food issue, yes, but it deals with other stuff on a different level as well. I may or may not have copied down half the book in quotes because it just spoke to me.
A couple things in particular just won't let go.
She says, "It's not the "how to" I'm missing. It's the "want to"...really wanting to make changes and deciding that the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice."
I'm not sure I've heard a more truer statement uttered. It used to be that admitting you had a problem was the first step to overcoming. From my experience in my own life and in ministry, admitting there's a problem is not difficult at all! We're fully aware we've got issues, it's the willingness to do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, in whatever way God says that we find the issue with.
1 Corinthians 10:23 Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial.
Seriously, read that again.
We live in a culture that doesn't like to tell ourselves "no." And, from my own observations of myself, and those around me, it is no different in the Christian culture than it is in the world's. Oh, we like to deceive ourselves into thinking it is. We've made lists of all the really bad things one can do, and we try our best to stay away from them. We give ourselves an invisible pat on the back for being such self-sacrificing people...but are we?
Who do we live for? Who do we live to please? Do we live as though we understand the truth of God's word when it says, Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial? Do we seek out His wisdom on this? Do we tell ourselves no? Or do we justify? Do we tell ourselves we deserve to indulge in whatever it is we choose?
I'm good at justification. Really good. Unfortunately, justification is really just a nice word for lying-to-myself.
I'm pretty good with excuses too. And very good with lacking the "want to" in some areas, which I cleverly turn into "I just can't" but really, "I'm just lazy."
And the past few weeks, I've become disgusted. I'm not even sure disgusted is a strong enough word for it. It's as if, through God's Word, the Holy Spirit has shown me the ways in which I've been deceiving myself...living as a slave to the whims of my flesh.
And I've had enough. Enough justifying. Enough laziness. Enough excuses. Enough of telling myself yes, when I should be telling myself no. I'm tired of it in myself, and honestly...I'm tired of it in people around me too. Because it's enslaves each of us. I can't make people "want to." I can't.
But I can live as an example of one who surrenders my own will, and puts it in submission to my Heavenly Father's will for me. I can tell you, that there is such joy and FREEDOM in saying no to myself.
Your issues are likely going to look different than mine. Or maybe you have no issues at all *this is where I cough out the word denial under my breath* But, because I haven't already disclosed enough to you...I'll give you the truth I'm now speaking to myself. The little bit I like to call..
You do not need so much sugar.
You are not too tired to get your butt up and run.
You do not need a snack...or ten snacks.
You are not too busy to spend time with God.
You get the idea.
And if you have issues with food, or issues with telling yourself "no" when you need to, I whole heartedly recommend Made to Crave...and this is most definitely not a paid for recommendation ;)
Anyone else out there in desperate need of telling themselves NO?