We get so discouraged when we break a boundary. We eat when we aren’t hungry (zero). We blow past satisfaction (5). We bring out that “club of condemnation” one more time (sigh). But wait! STOP! Pause. Freeze it right there! Come a little closer to the screen. Yes, there. Now let me tell you a little secret (hands cupped over your ear): Failure leads to victory! Sorry, did I shout that into your ear instead of whispering. Sorry! I just get a little excited!
It’s true! It’s not about following your boundaries 100% all.of.the.time. It’s about going to God if you break your boundaries. We get so upset when we break our boundaries. We feel bad about ourselves. We think we will never be able to follow our boundaries. So then we overeat because we feel bad about ourselves. It’s like this vicious cycle that is perpetuated by our thoughts, beliefs, despair, thinking we will never be skinny anyway, so we might as well eat. Sound familiar?
But what would happen if we looked at every boundary breakage (aka failure) and renewed our mind instead? What if instead of feeling bad about ourselves and discouraged, we got really excited because we get to get closer to the Lord because of our failure?
I tell you what would happen: we would have victory!
I’ve seen it! I’ve experienced this! I’ve tasted it! When I break a boundary, I get so excited that I get to sit with Jesus and talk things over. Maybe I’m just an odd one…wait…I KNOW I’m an odd one! But really, I do get excited to renew my mind and bring all of my thoughts and feelings before the Lord. I love that as I am real with Him, He shows me His truth.
So how does this work? How does failure turn into victory?
Here’s an example: Evening was the most tempting time for me to want to overeat. I had a really hard time breaking the habit of eating outside of my boundaries in the evening. I would put my daughter to bed and then immediately I would make some popcorn or grab some sort of snack, and then eat it in front of the TV (distraction, mindless eating). It wouldn’t matter if I was hungry or not, that’s the habit I had developed over the years (and well before my daughter). I knew I wanted to change it, but I kept on doing it. I would feel so bad and would feel like I failed yet again. My solution (well, God’s solution) was that after I put my daughter to bed, I would sit and read through my truth cards, or I would answer a set of questions from I Deserve a Donut in my journal, and reading scriptures. I took that time to renew my mind. Change didn’t happen right away, but as I took the time each night to renew my mind, little by little, day by day, the Lord was transforming me, until one day I no longer had the urge to grab something to eat after putting my daughter to bed. And since then, I just wait until I’m hungry to have an evening snack. And sometimes I am not hungry for a snack, and I’m totally ok with that. That’s a huge change! Victory!
It wasn’t self-control. It wasn’t will-power. It was GOD who changed me! My part was being self-disciplined in taking the time to sit with Him and renew my mind.
Failure led to victory!
We try to change our outcome through our own strength. We think if we change our habit or behavior first, then our thoughts and beliefs will line up. But it’s actually the other way around. First, we have to change our thoughts and beliefs, and THEN we will change our habits and behavior. We tell ourselves that we will “do better next time.” We strive and put forth all of our own human effort to see change in our eating habits, but when we lean upon ourselves to make it happen, we will only become weak and tired. It’s God who helps us overcome. It’s not in our own strength. So each time we go to Him and repent after we’ve sinned, we are transformed more and more to His likeness. When we renew our mind after overeating, we are transformed.
I look at failure as opportunity to grow. I look at failure as practice.
It took Thomas Edison 1,000+ times before he had the invention of the light bulb “perfected”. Every failure led to victory. He didn’t give up. And just because we overate just now or last night, it doesn’t mean we smash all of the light bulbs and give up. It means we keep going forward. We renew our mind. We go to God. We think that because of failing to follow our boundaries, that we need new boundaries. Maybe you’ve been really trying your best to follow your boundaries of eating between hunger and satisfaction, but you keep overeating. Does that mean your boundaries don’t work? No way! It means it’s time to renew your mind. It’s time to go sit at the feet of Jesus and drink in His truth.
So the next time you are tempted to fail: go to Jesus. Renew your mind. The next time you break a boundary: seek His truth. And know that each time you do, you are one step closer to victory! Sweet, sweet victory!!
Would you like to know more about renewing your mind? There are so many great resources on this website and blog about doing just that. Do you have a set of truth cards? If not, you can learn more about it here. I also have recorded a set of my truth cards on a Sound Cloud file that you can find here. Do you have a set of questions to help aid you in renewing your mind such as Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut? How else can we, at Thin Within, help to encourage you to renew your mind and see failure as victory?