legalism vs. grace


Sometimes I question the reasons why I eat 0-5 or follow the Keys to Conscious Eating.It’s not that I want to stop living this way. It’s the motive behind living this way. What’s my reasons for doing what I do?  If I’m not seeing the results *I* think I should, I may start do doubt if I’m doing this “program” right.  I sometimes start to place my identity in how I look or if I’ve “lost enough weight” to be considered “successful”. When I start feeling and thinking this way, it actually comes down to that old struggle between grace and legalism.

—Old Diet LIES

Sometimes those old voices from my dieting days tell me I must “succeed” or I have to follow every rule. I may start to connect my identity with a number on a little metal box (the scale) or in the shape of my body.  When I start down this road of thinking, I start to become legalistic.  I start slipping back into my diet mentality of good vs. bad or black and white…and rules, rules, rules!

In a previous blog post, I admitted that  I really haven’t been releasing much weight. My body has been going through shifting and changing over the last few years due to menopause, but that isn’t the only reason why I haven’t released.  As I examine my heart and my boundaries, I have to be careful  that I don’t  fall into that diet mindset that says “I’m not doing it right”.



So, I pray about it and look back over my journal. Once again….

I surrender my body shape, that scale number and my food over to the Lord.

PicsArt_03-18-12.29.33 As I do this, the Lord shows me all the things that He has changed in me. He reminds me that as I surrender more and more to Him that He is CONTINUING to set me free.

Areas such as my attitude toward food, the way I look at my body and where I place my identity are under God’s gentle surgical knife and healing hand.

I examine again my reasons for eating 0-5 or following the Keys to Conscious Eating. If I’m not releasing weight am I still eating too much? What am I doing wrong? If I try to eat even less, am I going back to legalism and turning this into a diet? I don’t want grace to be an excuse for me to sin and just do what I want .

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!


I get back on my knees and ask God to guide me.


As He always is faithful to do, He showed me areas where He is working in me. He also showed me areas that I needed to change some things. Grabbing bites here or there or eating in front of the TV has kept me in mindless eating.

He showed me that I don’t need to eat less, but to SURRENDER MORE.

I need to give up the food to Him. Pray for help when I eat. But mostly trust that HE knows what is best for my body including the size.

Giving up the food to Him most likely WILL result in eating less. It may result in releasing weight, BUT…..

God is showing me that the weight should not be my focus. He is to be my focus.

How different this is from legalism! It isn’t about doing it perfectly, but about leaning more on Him. It’s about learning from the mistakes I make. It’s about His love for me right where I am.

Why do I try to eat from 0-5? Why do I live the “Thin Within” way? I do this to break the chains of dieting! It is to break the chains of ANYTHING that has my heart captive! I do this to walk in the abundant life on this journey with Jesus. I do it because giving up any area of my life that is keeping me captive is the only way I can truly be free! It is all about God’s healing of me in every area of my life.  Food, weight, body image, identity, people pleasing, control, worry, fear…..the list goes on and on. In EVERY area, God is placing HIS healing touch as I give Him permission and surrender it up.

Lord, I want to do all of it. I want this obsession with food and weight and the mindless eating out of my life! I want anything that is holding me captive to be removed.  I want to be closer to You, oh Lord.

One step at a time

“Just take one step at a time, child.

You don’t have to be perfect.

Listen to My voice.

Turn to Me for every step.

I am with you.

I love you even if you mess up.”



How about you? When you examine your reasons for living the “Thin Within” way, what do you find is your motive? Have you found yourself leaning too much into legalism? Have you found yourself using grace as an excuse to break your boundaries? Let’s pray for God’s leading to show us what HE wants us to do. Let’s pray that our motives and our hearts are in His grace alone. Let’s remember that this is a journey to healing and wholeness in Him.