Has the enemy ever tried to put shame on you? Many of us who have carried extra pounds have also carried a deep sense of shame. We first begin to recognize it once we gain a significant amount of weight (that amount can range from five to a hundred or more pounds). Often times, we blame our weight or feel it is solely connected to our body image and the way society deals with overweight persons. But that is one of the big lies the enemy feeds us. Yes, being an unhealthy size can and does contribute to the shame we may feel. But is isn’t the root cause. I have been learning more through my studies of Hunger Within that our excess weight is merely the fruit of shame, it’s not the root though, where this shame first originated in us.
The enemy has many avenues into our hearts and he loves to shame us. He knows how it can paralyze us, so he uses it as often as he can. Some of us deal with the shame of insecurity. Something happens to us as children, where we were corrected, criticized and ultimately punished for our words, actions or feelings. As children, we interpret our parents words and behaviors as final judgement and all truth. We perceive a lie about us as if it were truth and it produces in us a deep root of shame about who we are. Psychologists call this a shame-based identity. It’s like wearing a pair of glasses that affects how we see everything that happens to us and around us.
The seeds of shame were first implanted into my heart through the path of insecurity. I was around ten years old and a sensitive child. The family was all in the car, headed out to enjoy a pleasant Sunday drive in the country. First we had to travel down the New Jersey Turnpike in order to exit the hectic traffic of city life. We finally took our exit, and life, as well as our car, finally slowed down. I usually enjoyed the country roads, wishing we lived there. Still half way day-dreaming, staring out the window, my eyes spotted the most adorable puppy romping in the yard. “Awe, how cute,” I thought to myself. I wish I had a puppy like that. There was no white picket fence and the puppy ran out into the road, colliding with dad’s car wheel. The sight and sound of that memory still makes me wonder why dogs love to chase cars.
Shame entered my young heart and mind that day through the loud, harsh words of my daddy telling me to “do something” about my tear stained broken heart over “some strangers stupid dog.” As a child, I took the blame for “feeling the wrong feelings.” Even deeper though went the responsibility to “change myself” into someone more acceptable to dad. So, I grew with a deepening sense of emotional shame.
Thank God, for He has healed me of shame, layer by layer, as I continue to pursue His word and walk in His ways. I’ve had to stay close to Him, but He has always been there for me. Today I am learning to be satisfied with all the amazing transformation He has done in me. That is what is becoming the most important thing to me, not just what I weigh or what I eat.
Distraction can breed contempt and it will send me on a frenzied journey real quick. I don’t want to depend on myself to release more weight or get to some magical number on the scale. I strive to accept God’s plan and way He wants to lead me, but it’s definitely not what my flesh wants. My flesh is fertile ground for shame, because it always wants to be in control. So, my loving Heavenly Father continually teaches me to surrender all things to Him and to trust in Him, not myself.
I don’t want control any more! I don’t want my own way! I want to be totally satisfied in Him and content with all the godliness He is developing in me, day by day. It’s all so very simple that is confounds us. Because we are still too rooted in our ways. When I surrender my eating and my body (weight, size, shape, everything) to Him in totality…and when I become grateful and thankful and humble and prayerful and joyful at that weight, I can actually live life to the fullest. Jesus promised that we would live life abundantly.
John 10:10 says; The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life an have it abundantly.
I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of focusing on weight and eating issues. My God, when is it all going to end? I can tell you when. When we focus 100% on Jesus and Holy Spirit and living His way and not our own. He wants our whole heart, mind and soul.
Matthew 22:37 tell us; You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Deuteronomy 6:5 includes with all your strength. Not much room for much else, is there?
So, how about you? Aren’t you ready to get off that treadmill of control and shame and flesh ideas and strength? Will you surrender it all to Jesus? It’s the best exercise you’ll ever do.