I’m pretty sure my neighbors are grossed out by me.
The windows in our kitchens face each other. Occasionally, we both have our curtains pulled back and we can look directly into each other’s kitchens. I can’t count how many times they have must have witnessed me stand in front of my kitchen sink or trash can and spit out a mouthful of chewed up food. Gross, right?!
What they don’t know is that they’re witnessing obedience to the Lord in those gross moments. They’re catching me in act of proclaiming my freedom over food.
Like many people, “unconscious” eating is something that has plagued me through the years. It’s like my brain doesn’t register that I’m eating until I’m halfway through a bag of tortilla chips. The hardest things for me are the “little foxes” that sneak in so easily when I am cooking or doing the dishes after a meal. One minute I’m cooking chili, and the next minute I’m eating spoonfuls of it out of the pot in the name of “testing the recipe.” One minute I’m doing dishes, the next minute I’m eating the last piece of garlic bread so it “doesn’t go to waste.” I walk by the kitchen and grab one little cracker. Harmless, right? It’s just one little cracker….
I truly treasure the moments where I am able to catch myself in the act of breaking my boundaries. In the simple (and sometimes gross) act of spitting out the food, or removing the spoon from my mouth, I am able to return to obedience in the Lord.
In those moments, I am able to take my thoughts captive just as Paul says “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5. In this moment, I am able to say (often with the food still in my mouth) to myself ” STOP! What are you doing here Becky? Let’s evaluate. Is this what staying within my boundaries really looks like? Does the Lord delight in me swallowing this bite of food or in surrendering it to the trash can? Am I willing to give up this momentary bite of pleasure in exchange for freedom? Will I choose to honor God and my body by not eating this bite because I’ve already reached my 5?”
Catching myself in the act often looks like:
-Removing a spoonful of food that I’ve put in my mouth in the name of “tasting”
-Spitting out a mouthful of food the second I realize I am not within my 0-5 boundaries
-Pushing the chips and salsa away from me so it’s not within arm’s reach anymore
-Putting away the box of crackers so it is out of sight
-Putting the sandwich down, closing my mouth, lifting my eyes and saying “No, Lord. I will not eat outside of the boundaries you have set before me. In this moment, I chose to die to myself. I chose to honor and obey you.”
I often look just like this picture below when I catch myself in the act!
Catching myself in the act has almost become a discipline for me. It is a discipline of turning immediately from my disobedience. “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.” Ezekiel 18:30. God delights in our every effort to turn from our selfish ways as we choose to obey and return to Him. And I believe He honors even our smallest act of obedience. Every bite we surrender outside of our hunger is an act of worship and obedience that he delights in!
How about you? Have you “caught yourself in the act”? What does that look like for you? Do you have any stories of turning from rebellion to obedience? Have you seen the fruits of obedience in your life? How do you defeat temptation in the moment when you want one more bite?