Thank You God!

Last night, I did some Christmas shopping.  In an actual brick and mortar store.

Already, not my favorite thing to do.

One of the stores was Walmart.

Double down on not my favorite thing to do.

But it was necessary, as this weekend will start the tour de Christmas celebrations with my family.

As I’m leaving Walmart, a car tried to merge into my lane, and almost took my front bumper off in the process.

And then, closer to home, a buck decided he needed to cross the road right in front of me.

And then a mile further down the road, a raccoon needed to cross the road right in front of me.

The last time I hit a raccoon, my front bumper split into two pieces, while the raccoon survived.

It was at this point that I desperately wished I had just stayed home.  I could have had on my sweatpants, and been curled up watching TV.  And I would have avoided all of those near misses.

But I said a little prayer thanking God for keeping me safe in each situation, despite the frustration I felt.  And God took that moment to tap me on the shoulder, reminding me that my drive home is basically a perfect metaphor for life.  As we navigate life, obstacles will continue to jump in our path.  Sometimes we manage to slam on the brakes in just enough time to avoid hitting the obstacle.  Sometimes we don’t.

But if we stay locked safely in our homes, avoiding all of the obstacles, we really aren’t living life, now are we?

So I took a deep breath, and I once again thanked God for keeping me safe, on the drive home, and in my day to day life.  And I thanked Him for opening my eyes to the realization He gave me.

Gluttony

Gluttony: habitual greed or excess in eating.

If you have ever struggled with any type of addiction, I feel you.  If you have ever struggled with an eating disorder, I really feel you.  

But here’s my take.  You can think I’m wrong.  But at least hear me out.

An addiction or struggle with food is the hardest.  It is the most difficult. The most difficult to overcome, the most difficult to move past.  

Why?

You do not physically need alcohol, nicotine, or whatever other chemical you can be addicted to.  

You physically NEED food to survive.  And if you don’t eat, well that’s a completely different kind of addiction, revolving around food.

Do I think breaking an addiction to any of these things is easy?  Absolutely not. Not even close. But with most substances, you can, and do, survive without that substance.

With food, however, you are constantly bombarded with the need to be exposed to your addictive substance.  So yeah, that’s tough.

But I am willing to choose a new perspective on this.  I need to take a new perspective on this. Here goes nothing…

I have long known that gluttony is a subject that the Bible talks about.  It’s one of the 7 deadly sins. And even though I know that the Bible has guidance on this particular subject, I still struggle with it.  I mean, we all struggle with different sins. It’s just that this happens to be one of mine.  

In my opinion, my religion, my relationship with God, I believe the Bible is the truth.  Not only the truth, but the guide book for my life. There isn’t a topic we can deal with that the Bible doesn’t have some guidance on.  It’s just whether we choose to follow what the Bible says.

And sometimes, even though we know what the Bible says about something, we refuse to follow that guidance.  

It happens.  

We are human.

I’m not saying our humanness, and our lack of perfection is an excuse.  

I’m just saying it happens.  And I understand.

For me, I never been purposeful about tying my attempt to lose weight to God’s guidance and direction.  

Instead of tying the two things together, I went about my pursuit of following God, and my pursuit to lose weight on two separate tracks.  

In my belief, my religion, the Bible is our rule book for how God wants us to live our lives.  And, with any set of rules, there are consequences if you don’t follow those rules.

So instead of just counting calories, and exercising to lose weight.  Think about it in the big picture of God’s guidance and direction.

Even if you read the Bible, sometimes, when you look for specific topics, it can hit home hard when it concerns what God wants us to do.  It can hit really hard when it points out to stuff that you have done wrong. So when you look at what the Bible really says about gluttony…well…all I can say is OUCH!!!!

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17

My body.  Is God’s temple.  And if I destroy that temple.  God is going to destroy me.

How, you might ask, is eating going to destroy your body, when you need food to survive?  Because just eating isn’t what we’re talking about. Gluttony, the definition written above says, is not just greed but habitual greed or habitual excess in eating.

Habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

Involuntary greed and excess in eating.  

Yes, that will destroy God’s temple.

Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Philippians 3:19

God has told us time and time again to love Him, and not have any other gods before him.  When we make gluttony our God, we disrespect God.

But put on the Lord Jesus Chris, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Romans 13:14

When we go beyond the bounds of normal human consumption of food, there is really, truly only one reason we are doing that.  We might think that there are other reasons we indulge to the extreme. But really, we are only doing it for gratification. Ok, yes, I understand that the food tastes good.  But you do not physically need an excess amount of food to survive.

I also don’t believe you need to only eat lettuce.  God made Mexican food. And I do love me some Mexican food.  If you have read anything else, you know my love for tacos, and chips and salsa, goes deep.  And I honestly don’t believe enjoying a normal amount of Mexican food (or any other food you love) goes against God.

Excess.  Excess goes against God.  

So what does God say we should do about this?

Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

There is that dirty little “S” word that no one likes to talk about in the Bible.  Submit. And submission itself is a topic that I have been thinking about, and studying, and reading lately.  But honestly, that is a completely different post, that will likely come soon.

Submit: accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.  

A synonym for submit?  Obedience.

Obey God.  Follow his guidance and direction.  Tie the behavior your are struggling with to what God is telling us to do.  

In my own life, this is absolutely something that I have been feeling on my heart.  A deeper need to follow what God wants me to do. And I truly feel that God is revealing bits and pieces of His plan for my life.  Just a little at a time. And I also feel like God is pointing out areas in my life where I could use some improvement. But instead of feeling overwhelmed, and getting down on myself, I feel support and guidance and love through this process.  I pray that this continues. And knowing God, I know it will.