So often, when we have a look–a really good look–at what drives our overeating (or our gluttony to put it out there) it is the thought of “Life isn’t fair and it should be.”
When other people seem to eat whatever they want in the amounts they want, it really doesn’t seem “fair.” Does it? Have you ever felt that way?
When I struggle with my weight and I eat so little food, it really doesn’t seem “fair.” I have “given up” so much food and the physical changes seem to be so minimal! Have you ever felt that way?
I know that I am growing spiritually, I am depending less and less on food to meet emotional needs. I am turning to the Lord and growing in my walk with Christ, yet this battle with food seems ever before me. It hardly seems “fair.” Have you ever felt that way?
I am doing my part. Why on earth won’t God do His? Have you ever felt that way?
If I am not careful, this thought that “Life isn’t fair and it should be” can become a root of bitterness in my relationship with others and with the Lord. I can end up harboring a grudge.
Let’s consider what “fair” would be.
Who among us can stand before holy, perfect, God and claim to be holy as He is holy? In this moment, we might fool ourselves into thinking we are “good enough,” but sooner or later a stray thought, a harshly spoken word, a thoughtless deed will betray that we are far from holy. God has declared that we all have sinned and fall short of his glory (Romans 3:23) and we seem to prove it with each hour that passes!
He has also declared that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
So what is fair? That I would be zapped by a bolt of Divine Lightning where I stand (or sit as the case may be). That I would be eternally banished from the presence of God!
Thankfully, God is NOT “fair.” He has provided a way for us. He demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we are yet sinful, he had Christ pay the death penalty. Christ died in our place and his righteousness was credited to our account. (Romans 5:8)
Is that fair? Goodness no! “Fair” would never have required Jesus–who died a perfect life–to be brutally tortured and sentenced him to die on a Roman cross–one of the most brutal ways of dying. And “fair” would never credit ME with Christ’s wonderful, amazing, sinless righteousness.
In light of all of this, do I have any business coddling the thought (I can hear Gollum’s “My precioussssss…..”): Life should be fair to me. I deserve better!
You don’t deserve better. I don’t deserve better. We deserve hell! But God has intervened and to all who will look to Christ and what he has done for us, we may be saved from that death sentence. Romans 6:23 which I quoted in part above says “The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Pretty unfair stuff! Pretty GREAT stuff!
So, what does all of this have to do with eating? Well, God has given us a variety of foods to enjoy. The textures, the tastes, the wonders of all the varieties of food we can enjoy are myriad. There really is no limit to it. But, as with all of the many blessings he gives us (like sex, for instance :-)), God has intended that the pleasure be enjoyed within certain boundaries. Within those boundaries we are free to drink deeply of the pleasures of His hand! We can delight! Thrill! Be blessed! This is grace abundant! This is merciful bounty and kindness! We want to renew our minds about what we consider “fair” and begin to see God’s goodness as it is:
- My body is fearfully and wonderfully made and remarkably efficient!
- I have taste buds that can enjoy the plethora of flavors that are available!
- When I live within God’s intended boundaries for me, he rejoices in my delighting in his gifts
- I can foster a heart of gratitude for the many blessings he has given and put greed to death
- The textures and explosions of flavor that are possible with literally millions of combinations of spices make food one of the most diverse gifts available
What can YOU add to this list to put the whole “Life isn’t fair and it should be” into its proper perspective?
Do I really want to fuss, be resentful, claim that “it isn’t fair” if I can’t stuff my face until my stomach is miserable? Really?
So, I have decided that I am glad that life isn’t fair. If it was, not only would I not be able to enjoy any food (since I would be in hell where I don’t think food is necessary), but I would not have a relationship with the Lord. I wouldn’t get to enjoy the pleasures that God brings my way in this life–all wonderful delights that I definitely don’t want to take for granted.
How about you? Does the lie that life should be fair impact your life at all? Does it hinder your joy in 0 to 5 eating boundaries? What can you do to make today different?
Thank you Heidi! I loved when I followed this program. I then got some health problems and went away from it, yet, I never felt deprived when I put everything together. However, I think I quit inviting the Lord in to help me, and it really DID make a difference. I’ve always admired your words. Thank you so much for this!
Hi, Gretchen. So good to see you. Thanks for your kind words. I hope you will keep visiting! 🙂
Good reminders Heidi. I notice that once I go down this path That Life Is Not Fair, I suddenly feel a sense of entitlement, not just about food but just about everything else as well…more money, more vacation time ,easier work, etc.,….. Then of course my attitude is not good. …major self pity and then I overeat. Then I loathe myself. This cycle can repeat over and over if I don’t recognize it for what it is. And of course it goes without saying that gratitude is not a part of this thought process either. Thank you for your encouragement. Reading your blog every day helps me to focus to start the day.
Me, too, Lynn. Entitlement is insidious and subtle sometimes, but it taints everything for me! Self pity is deadly, too. I hear ya! Nasty cycle. But SO great that you recognize it! I think that is a huge part of the battle!
Thank you Heidi, this was a great reminder, especially the section about Christ’s righteousness being credited to me. As I do the bible study…a few weeks behind I am realizing how I have been a slave to perfection. I have lived the lie that I could actually obtain it and then I would be able to relax! The Lord showed me that by focusing on my outward “flaws” I was avoiding the inward layers of sin ( fat ) he wants to burn away. He pushes past it all and sees my heart. I pray to keep open for him to soften and change so I can walk in freedom!
Michelle…that is a HUGE realization! Slave to perfectionism. I get that and how it can really paralyze us in so many ways. Wow…amazing realization to see that focusing on the outward appearance was a way of “redirecting” the Holy Spirit from dealing with the inward sin. Wow…Michelle…HUGE breakthrough! THank you for sharing!