Someone on the SparkPeople Thin Within Spark Team asked about how to be obedient when you have a rebellious streak. I thought I would share here some thoughts about that.
If you are seeking to follow the 0 to 5 eating parameters that Thin Within espouses, to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are no longer hunger or are physically satisfied, then you may have discovered 🙂 that sometimes we are drawn to food for a million reasons other than physical hunger or need! Many of us have a conviction that God wants us to eat for physical hunger. Eating when we aren’t physically hungry would be outside of his parameters for us. (I understand that a lot of people don’t share that conviction. :-))
It boils down to the choice I will make, but here is what has helped me a BUNCH with this. Rather than looking at ALL the obedience this thing will take to do it “right,” I ask the Lord to help me in *this* moment. THIS moment is the only one I can do anything about anyhow. Can I make a godly choice in *this* moment? Can I capture *this* moment for Him? TA-DAH! 🙂 There is one moment captured for the Lord! Ok, now, how about *this* one? Before I know it, I have a bunch of tiny little moments captured for him. One thing I have found is that if I can think of THIS moment ONLY, it really helps. Sometimes, if I capture a few of those for the Lord, the desire to eat when I am not hungry goes away completely!
The other thing that has made a huge difference for me is building a heart of gratitude. Let me explain…I know we hear this suggestion all the time, but it has (practically speaking) transformed my life and I believe it can transform *anyone* who struggles with obedience. What is DISobedience, after all? It is wanting something that is outside the Lord’s will for me. If I practice gratitude for all of the many things that the Lord has given me and does give me, if I thank him “in the moment” for the portion allotted for me, for the wonderful way it tastes, the textures of His edible creations, as well as anything else I can think of … if I journal this or even gratitude-blog it, before I know it, I have cultivated a heart that is like soil that isn’t receptive to an “I want that forbidden thing” attitude or seed. It really works. I like to keep a running list so that in the moment when I want what I want :-/, I can open to my gratitude blog/journal/list and be reminded of all God has done for me. I pray thanks out loud to God for it all over again. It is amazing what happens–what changes in my heart.
I also like to keep a running list of God’s attributes–you can do this, too. Each time you read God’s Word, or the Thin Within book, or a praise song reminds you of a characteristic of God, jot down which characteristic of God it is or Name for God. Then, when you are struggling, choose to take a moment to praise Him for who he is. I believe he receives this praise with delight!
Yet another thing that has helped to nip a tendency toward spontaneous poor choices in the bud is for me to commit…yes, COMMIT…before I eat ANYthing…even when I am hungry and know it…to pause and be still for a specific amount of time. I will sit, for like 3 minutes (however God leads you), and ask… “How can I best glorify You, Lord, in this moment? Will eating physical food glorify You and make You known?” (See 1 Corinthians 10:31.) If I can honestly say yes, then I thankfully choose to eat with the direction of the Spirit. If I can’t say yes, then I try to hold out a moment for another question: “What is really going on here, then, Lord?”
Our tendency to want to eat when we don’t need food is rooted in something. I believe that God isn’t after our thinness, but he is after our hearts. Whatever it is that motivates us, whatever it is that is beneath our love for food more than offering our hearts to him in praise, gratitude and sacrifice, is probably something worth investigating. He loves us and doesn’t condemn us. But he *does* want to heal us! I hope that makes sense.
Praying for obedient choices, motivated by hearts of love, gratitude and praise for ALL of us!