Sugar. Many of us feel like it sets us off…that we can’t escape its clutches if we give in to having a cookie–even if we are hungry. We feel convinced–and our experience may bear this out–that one cookie will start the binge rolling and we will be powerless to escape it.
But I wonder…and I know this isn’t going to be very popular. But I am just thinking about…what if this is just another way I am blaming something else, someone else, for something I need to take responsibility for.
See, if sugar is the evil that I want it to be, I am a victim. And we tend to feel sad for victims and self-righteous toward victimizers, don’t we? If sugar is the evil that I want it to be, it is the victimizer and I am the victim…I am the one who we all can feel sorry for and sugar is the villain.
But is this *true*?
Does this really make sense?
Who made sugar cane?
When God made sugar cane, what did he say about it like he did about everything else in creation? He said, “It is good.”
What is really going on then when I give in to overeating sugary foods and laying the blame on “sugar is addictive?” Is that true? Really?
Maybe *I* need to own responsibility for my behavior. Would God have created something, declared it to be “good,” if it was intrinsically evil?
Maybe it is my heart that bears the burden of the problem.
It is important to know that I don’t mean this with the idea that we should condemn ourselves for our struggle to stop eating once we have started eating sugar. Not at all. I will keep “crowing” about Romans 8:1, Romans 5:8, John 3:17, and Ephesians 1 as long as I have breath! That God didn’t send his son into the world to condemn the world. That He demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, that before the foundation of the earth–before I had a single godward thought–he chose me to be holy and blameless in his sight, that there is NO condemnation for those of us in Christ.
But if I am responsible for this tension that exists with sugar and myself, then I can, in the strength that Christ offers, admit my weakness and his grace will be sufficient for me. In fact, I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness because when I am weak, I am strong in the Lord. I know that John 8:32 says that knowing the truth sets me free. Laying blame on sugar doesn’t give me freedom. I might get charged up being all self-righteous as I claim a “no-sugar” stand, eradicating it from my life…for as long as I last adding it to a “bad food” list. But then the pendulum swings radically the other direction and I give in. Maybe that is the reason for the problem, in fact.
What if I establish a boundary for myself and just, simply, learn to say NO to myself if tempted to cross that boundary? Maybe I am supposed to learn how to live in the power of the Holy Spirit–the fruit of whom is self-control.
What if sugar isn’t the monster we hope it is? What if the darkness is in my own heart and I need a Savior to cleanse me, to strengthen me, to help me? What if I need to depend on the Lord to enable me to grow, bit by bit, to be sanctified…to show me how not to lust or covet for something outside of a godly boundary. What if I need Jesus more because I recognize that God declared that even sugar cane is “good?”
Seems like God wants a deep intimate relationship with me based on what I see in Scripture. Needing him as much as I do not to give in to eating outside of my boundaries ensures that I will develop that…if I will let it.
What about you? How do you feel about sugar? Have you felt like it is the villain in your life? IS it? Or is there a deeper work that God is interested in doing in your life?
Well, that was a zinger! You mean to tell me that God just might be trying to teach me to have self control in an area of my life where I have always allowed myself not to have self control??!! Imagine that…..
This is a great reminder that everything God created he said is good. I needed this reminder today as I’d rather lean on God and his truths instead of the world’s ideas. I get pulled so easily to worldly methods and people’s success with them.
I am also liking your reminder to stay within in my boundaries. I can do that with God’s help. For me right now I need to remember to go to God with everything, not just my times of stress or needs. I wasnt really hungry last night & shouldve stayed within that boundary. Last night I didnt realize I went to my snacks for comfort and wasn’t really hungry. I had multiple snacks and didnt know why nothing was satisfying me.
This morning I see (observe & correct 🙂 ) that I want and need to run to God for my comfort and not the food. I dont know why I didnt think of that…but glad He opened my eyes this morning! Thank you for your blogs!!
I am jumping in on this one. I know God created the plants that become sugar when refined. He gave man the smarts to refine it into what we know as sugar. Now that it is here how does my body and mind respond to it. I know if I eat only sugar I feel awful. If I am sensible about it my eating is enhanced by something wonderful. My struggle is to go to God with my stress, frustrations, sorrows. Overeating sweet things only makes me physically feel bad and does not give me the peace that comes only from God. Now to depend God and his spirit to do their work and for me to allow it. 🙂
You want to know what I had last Wednesday? It is my sweets day and I had at 11am a small german chocolate ice cream cone and at 5:30pm I had a small hard serve bear claw waffle cone. For anyone one that has had that flavor knows that it has almonds,chocolate chips,carmel, and the deepest, darkest choclate. I also drank throughout the day Pepsi Max 0. I drank three sips every 1 to 3 hours followed by 3 sips of water. I weighed myself out of couriosity and I released two pounds and I weigh now 125 pounds. I have been with Thin Within for 63 days now and I feel great 🙂 I know it was God that helped me through this and I know that God will help you too.
I think I tend towards what you are saying Joyce. I feel awful when I have refined sugar..lethargic…however..I mostly over indulge on sugar once I start on it. I think the key is focus….turning to the Lord and not sugar…which is the place I would more likely go than grab for carrots or broccoli when stressed. I do think, though, that an alcoholic is not going to allow alcohol in his life just because God made it. Perhaps giving sugar over to God can mean giving it up for awhile until we can spiritually handle it. I think I am ok with that. Based on some articles that I have read sugar does something in the brain that causes addiction similar to alcohol or drugs. It says that is creates a chemical reaction that makes us crave it. If God is giving us light on this wouldn’t it be wise to heed what we know. Refined sugar is man made anyways…honey and pure unrefined sugar are still addicting but definitely better choices. I know for me I want to turn to God when I am lonely, depressed, stressed out rather than sugar or any food but sugar in particular sets me off so I think I will try to make a boundary with this in my life. Not to mention just wanting to have over all better health so I can keep going with the four kids I have left at nighttime and not have that lack of energy that I get when I have sugar. Nighttime is my hardest time to resist eating when I am so tired and have so much to do.
I agree with every thing you said Marie. 😊
Thanks for the article , Heidi. I was one who thought sugar was evil. The truth of the matter was I lusted after it. When I saw the problem for what it really was, all of a sudden I became empowered to take control over it instead of feeling like it had some kind of power over me. I now enjoy sweet things in small amounts and feel great, instead of eating them until I feel sick.
This one I can answer to. For three years I followed the strictest food addicts plan there is called the Kay Sheppard plan, no sugar of ANY kind including diet, no white flour or prepared products of any kind. They told me suger was a drug like heroin. And I believed them for three years.. It’s very labor intensive and three times more expensive than thin within,. YOu make all your food and you take it with you every where you go. Vacations were nightmares.
In February, when God delivered me from the root fear behind my needing this kind of plan, and told me to start using Thin “Within, for real, I was terrified. But I am here to tell you. I haven’t binged once from the sugar. I can eat one within hunger and fullness., our guidelines. What they said wasn’t true for me. It was as long as I believed it was. I gave it power.,But now, since I can have it if I want it? It’s not such a big deal. Now I’m still in phase one . Wow! you mean I can eat that?!!!!! Yet, I’m not having any trouble with binging. It’s not a big deal anymore. It’s not forbidden. And I am free (still scared about putting weight on) but learning to trust Him for my ideal weight. I was 111 at 5 3/4” in height. too thin really. I am told I look better at this weight which has stabilised around 114., .
Hope you all have a blessed day.
hugs from MO
don’t quit before your miracle
Joan, thank you for sharing this! I have been dealing with fear about food…mostly carbs/sugar. It’s so good to know that God is helping you through this. Praise God!
Joan!! I have, wondered how we became friends on fb. Now I know TW!
Right on the $ once again!
It is so healing to hear words like these. I looked for a silver bullet like this for so long (I desparately wanted to buy into the whole low-carb thing) but the truth of the matter is this- it’s not just sugar. I can “overindulge” with french fries and potato chips or even fried chicken as much as I can sweets. It boils down to a food tasting great but my mind wanting more than my body actually needs and not looking to God to fill whatever hole we’re trying to fill with food.
Thanks Heidi for once again giving us “food” for thought. Sugar is certainly one of those foods I am afraid of because I immediately think high fat and empty calories. I also think, like many others on this blog, once I take a bite I will not be able to control myself and stop before 5. What I love about THIN WITHIN is that everything is allowed in moderation. This is where boundaries are necessary. I would love to hear what boundaries some of you use in dealing with sweets. Also, if you have any good verses to use to renew our minds about the power we have in Christ to practice self control, i would greatly appreciate your input. The truth is there are many temptations out there that we just can’t avoid 100 percent of the time. Setting up boundaries and living with praise, worship and gratitude of our GOOD GOD will surely help us to rise above these temptations. I am praying for you Heidi and all of us.
i will be praying for everyone here as well.
have a great day 🙂
Lisa, I hear you! I have tried to set boundaries of allowing myself a small portion of something sweet at the end of a meal – and saving room to allow for it before I’m full. After lunch today, I had just about a quarter of a brownie, and found it so satisfying! Whereas before, I would have wanted to eat several whole brownies:-) I am finding that food in general tastes so much better when I am truly hungry — I am trying to just enjoy getting to that hungry place in anticipation of how much more I will enjoy the food I eat. I don’t get it right every time, but I am improving and finding it easier…and resting in grace when I don’t;-)
Praise God for sugar cane! 🙂 We are so free to eat whatever we want in those boundary’s of hunger and full. Sugar is not an evil thing God made it for mans use.
GENESIS 1:29 ” Then God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also to every beast of the earth, to ever bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
God bless all you lady’s out there today and His Spirit give us self control in these areas. In Jesus name, Amen.
Kylie, I agree. Food tastes so much better when you are truly hungry. I have also noticed that when you are satisfied the intensity of the flavor diminishes. Isn’t God a good designer? 🙂
So true, Joyce!
Hello, ladies! This is so liberating. I too praise God for sugar cane! What God creates is far better than ANY artificial sweetener . Be blessed ladies as I need to do and focus on my studies for this week, I have yet to open the heal book for week two. I am committed, now I need to commit to making it a strong priority amongst the other things going on. Please continue to pray for me as I am praying for all of you. Love Aretha
Yippee! such good thoughts and encouragement! I am really grasping this truth today, that all foods are good. What needs healing in my life is my need for more and more….fill in the blank. I don’t care what I put in my mouth, what I use to distract myself from my feelings of anxiety, failure, even celebration, if I am not doing it to the glory of God or if I am not within my boundaries, I am off track. All things are permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything….except my Lord and Master. Today I pray we all bring him into every decision, every thought and glorify Him with our decisions.
I think this is something to bring before the Lord. The answer will be differet for everyone. Some may need to abstain for a time, some may eat in moderation. It is about where your heart is. No blanket answers.
Years ago I went sugar free. Sugar was the source of all my problems. It made me binge, gave me heart paps, made me gain weight, etc. I now know it wasn’t sugar that caused these problems, it was the greed I had for sugar that caused the problems. Eating sweets between the parameters of hunger/fullness never cause me any issues, and I am free to eat them as long as I don’t eat them w/ greed. Linda
PS. I applaud you Heidi, for touching on this subject! BRAVO!!
I am encouraged by everyone’s posts, you all have spoken the truth about eating the way God has designed it and the issues we have with sugar or whatever food we are over indulging in. So far I am still on week one of the HEAL book, and I am trying to really focus on the material so I don’t miss anything God wants me to learn. I am still working on eating between 0-5, sometimes I forget to pay attention, but at least I am some of the time and that is a good start. God bless and good night! 🙂
Wow! Totally needed to see this tonight. I feel like I’m going to miss out on some great discussion by posting this so late, but here’s something I wrote down in my journal the other day summarizing something I read about Romans 14 from the Matthew Henry Commentary:
“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Practice according to your own judgment and leave others to do likewise…let others enjoy their own opinion; if they be persuaded in their own mind, do not condemn them. If your sober sentiments be otherwise, do not make their practice a rule to you, anymore than you must prescribe yours as a rule to them. We must not pin our faith upon any one’s sleeve, nor make the practice of others our rule; but follow the dictates of our own understanding.”
You see, there has been a battle in my mind about sugar. I was told by a naturopath to stay away from it for 30-90 days (and ultimately probably forever). I have battled in my mind that if I ate sugar that I would be damaging my body–and then I worried that I would be displeasing God by eating it if I knew that it was damaging (like as if I would be tempting God by eating it).
But Heidi is right, God created sugar cane. And He said it was good. And God gave us taste buds on our tongue to have that satisfaction when eating something deliciously sweet.
I really like that summary of Romans 14 because it shows me that God says ALL food is good. We are to thank Him for the food, eat it, and move on. I was allowing other people, books, the media, etc., tell me that sugar was bad. But God says it’s good. God says don’t make other people’s rules our rules. We cannot pin our convictions upon others and we shouldn’t let others pin their convictions on us. There is no freedom in that.
I just had to post one more time because this topic resonates for so many people. Every person’s tastes are different as are their bodies. I have been told I have a mild case of IBS and there are some foods that I have to shy away from simply because they don’t agree with me. Ironically, sugar is fine. I, of course, try to fit it into a balanced diet but I have a friend who pretty much believes anything she reads on the internet and has become convinced that any food with a high pH inhibits your body’s ability to fight cancer cells. Combine that with the fact that soda had a lot of sugar in it (a breeding ground for cancer cells!!) -she honestly believes that soda has conributed to our cancer rates. Ugh! I love her and her committment to a healthy lifestyle but I find myself saying nothing because it’s hard to disagree with her, even politely.
Hi, Beth. Wow…I think people these days think that everything causes cancer. Someday, someone will figure out what it is that really does. Won’t that be wonderful! I think the thing that gets us most often in to trouble is the quantity of food. We tend to think that we need to throw it all out and, short of a doctor’s recommendation due to one thing or another, we may do fine just reducing the quantity. I think you are wise to shy away from foods if your body responds negatively. In the second phase of Thin Within (which you may already know about), we use discernment to evaluate what foods are whole body pleasers (foods we enjoy eating and that fuel our bodies well without negative consequence) and taste bud teasers…those foods that are good to taste, but that typically don’t sustain or might have other consequences to eat. There are also “Total Rejects”–foods that for whatever reason we have to eliminate entirely. People with gluten and lactose intolerance do best to follow the recommendations of their doctors, of course.
Joan!! I have, wondered how we became friends on fb. Now I know TW!
People with diabetes may have to steer clear too. Sounds like a total reject to me but I can test that with my meter!
GOD gave us the Answer — “MODERATION IN A.L.L. THINGS.” -Holy Bible
We are Free!!
GOD made EVERYthing & said
IT IS GOOD. He Knew the Future right down to Our time & WHAT we would DO with the sugar cane. He wasn’t stupid!!!
If we Apply His *Moderation rule we are Free & Free to enjoy all that He made!!! Sugar has many boosts to it. God is a GOOD God & Yes EVERYthg He made us Still GOOD. I Love all the Godly comments & verses. 💖