Another valuable point that Kelly Minter made in the No Other Gods workbook that we studied this summer was the difference between “sacrifice” and “offering.” So often, when we deny self, it is easy to really focus on the sacrifice. There is pain there. Especially if food has been used to medicate in some way. If you are an “emotional eater,” you know what I am talking about. If your emotions rage and you struggle desperately to submit your lure towards food in that emotional hour to God, it HURTS. There is an ache. You FEEL your pain so much more completely than you do when you stuff it down by eating food.

I remember times when my husband would go out of town. It was the end of a long day with the children and I felt SUCH loneliness and exhaustion. It was during those times that I felt my pain most accutely. It was like any and every sad or dark thought would plague me. I would console myself with food–which didn’t really work at all.

Overcoming this behavior has been a huge part of my “Thin Within” journey–actually, my journey to become more Christlike.

Kelly points out in those moments when we choose to take captive our minds, our hearts, our behavior…and to say NO to the flesh, NO to indulging, NO, in this case to eating when we aren’t physically hungry, we tend to think on the sacrifice we are making. The emptiness, the giving up…and we sit there in that pain. Sometimes we don’t sit there long before we change our minds and decide the sacrifice isn’t worth the pain.

Kelly points out that if instead of focusing on the sacrifice, we take all of our pain, our feelings, our aches, our emptiness to God and offer it to Him, make it something we choose to offer to God out of love for Him, that it will change things quite a bit. I have found this to be true. There is a lot to be said about my focus.

Like with my previous blog entry, distinguishing the difference between surrender and trust, there is a definite distinction between sacrifice and offering. The sacrifice is focusing on my lack. The offering is focusing on God and giving something TO Him.

This shift in my thinking, while subtle, has a PROFOUND impact. I hope you find this encouraging too.