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You have  courageously and energetically run errands all day.

The day has been productive! You are pleased with all that you accomplished.

Now, you are headed for home, returning as the “conquering hero” having defeated the “To Do” list that loomed larger than life at dawn’s first light.

Negotiating the curb into the driveway,  before you get to the front door, the scent of chocolate chip cookies wafts across the air, superseding even the floral scent of the gardenias. Instantly, your mouth is flooded with liquid anticipation!

Stepping inside, you survey the kitchen. Eyes scan the counter-top. Evidence indicates that your teen-aged daughter has dealt with her after school snack needs by making chocolate chip cookies which are still warm on the cookie sheet. Only one cookie is missing…your daughter’s modest “snack” which, you quickly muse, “She never learned that from me!”

Yummy food! Yours for the taking!

What happens next?

If this happened to you, what really would happen next?

We could have a plan in place for our victory! I would love to see in the comments below what plan, what action steps, might enable you to emerge from this altercation the victor!

Of course, this could become one of those “Yummy Food Eating” or “Good Food Eating” moments that we studied in Barb Raveling’s bible study. It is also what we might consider “Head Hunger.” The food is there, the moment is ripe, we want it. (I can almost hear Gollum from Lord of the Rings rasping his “The Preccccciousssss….we wants it we does…”)

There isn’t really anything necessarily deeper operating. No feeling of “I deserve this!” or “I am angry at my husband for the comment he made about my hips. I’ll show HIM!” 🙂 This time, there isn’t any “poor me” thoughts. No, we didn’t have a terrible day, we don’t feel sad, frustrated or have any other obvious emotion. We just see the food and want it. In fact, chocolate chip cookies weren’t on our minds until we smelled them.

What is true at moments like this:

1.) We don’t have to eat every good thing that  we stumble upon.

2.) If I am not physically hungry food–no matter how good it may be–won’t taste nearly as good as it will if I wait until I am physically (stomach empty) hungry to eat it!

3.) The chocolate chip cookies (or whatever food it is) are not going to disappear from the planet. This isn’t my last opportunity ever to enjoy chocolate chip cookies (or other tasty morsel of choice).

4.) Right now may seem like an opportune moment to violate my boundaries, but what will be my standard for upholding them? Will I ever feel like upholding my boundaries? If I wait until I never am tempted to break them to maintain them, what might happen? How will I feel and what impact will it have on my physical, emotional, and spiritual health?

Head hunger can come out of nowhere, so it helps to have a plan of action in place ahead of time. Remember these truths:

  • Giving in to desire eating (a response to head hunger) will not further me down the path of godliness and it will not work the changes inside and out that I desire.
  • Giving in to desire eating will not train me for the next time I am tempted. In fact, now is a great time to learn to say no to my flesh. If I keep saying yes to my desires, they will rule me.
  • If I say no to desire eating, I will be able to rejoice in my obedience and know I did what was best for myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • If I can find the strength in this moment to say no to temptation, the intensity of the temptation will subside.
  • I can act NOW while the willingness to be obedient to God is strong and either on my own or with the help from a family member (or friend, depending on the situation) remove the temptation. (At Halloween, this may mean flushing the candy down the toilet! With these chocolate chip cookies, it may mean sticking them in a freezer bag and putting them in the freezer).

What else is true when you say no to your flesh and yes to God by not eating in response to desire (when stomach hunger isn’t present)?

{Note: If you are someone who has a history of not eating enough to sustain your body’s needs, the authors of Healthy Eating Abundant Living encourage you to allow Head Hunger to get you on track again. I would suggest praying and asking God to give you the strength to eat when you need it and the food sounds appealing. Anyone with a history of overeating, you may be prone to want to see yourself in this category. Ask the Lord to show you if this does, indeed fit.]