More thoughts from Chapter 5 of Get Thin Stay Thin, formerly known as Thin Again and Silent Hunger, by Arthur and Judy Halliday…
I wrote about Chapter 5 a little bit previously, in this blog entry. God has given us a desire to experience intimacy, connection, and worth, but we so often settle for counterfeits. The authors of Get Thin Stay Thin state that one of the reasons this is the case is often rooted in our upbringing. Many of us are quick to blame our current struggles on our pasts. Always “the victim,” we have a blind spot–that of needing to own our choice to sin. We are free in Christ to choose. If we struggle with sin, we do not have the right to blame our choice to sin on our pasts. We may have a predisposition to struggle with a certain sin because of experiences we have had, but in Christ, we are VICTORS, not VICTIMS.
On the other hand, others of us refuse to consider that there may be reasons for what we struggle with now. We minimize that we are a product–at least in part–of our past experiences. We don’t connect our current beliefs with these experiences and, in not making the connection, we can often stay stuck.
As we identify the legitimate reasons we may struggle with a sin, and confess our choice to sin, we find freedom. There is a balance we need to find.
It is my prayer that all of us will seek the TRUTH–God’s truth. What is mine to own, I will own. What is a result of experiences of my past, I will allow God to reveal to me, dismantle and transform my beliefs about myself and about Him by the renewing of my mind.
With these things in mind, I share the following quotes from chapter 5:
…we are born into families where faulty dynamics may deprive us of the intimacy, security and significance God intended…Unable to distinguish between the negative messages sent by family members and our own sense of self-worth, we assume the deficiency lies with us. The result is shame–a feeling we are defective, valueless creatures who do not deserve the good things in life. GTST, p. 99-100
If the enemy and his minions have their way, we will be convinced–believe–this lie! But this is hardly what God’s Word says. The very fact that He gave His Son for us demonstrates that we are far from “defective, valueless creatures.”
–> Do you tend to think of yourself in these terms? Or do you see yourself as treasured, priceless, esteemed by the Ultimate, Almighty, Sovereign God of the Universe? Consider how who you believe yourself to be may affect your behavior. I know it affects mine!
The shame that is rooted in our childhood experiences, leaves us with a prevailing sense of worthlessness and insignificance that can lead to the false belief that we are hopeless and cannot change. Our lives then become a quest to prove our worth and to achieve a sense of security and significance by our own efforts. GTST, p. 100.
Oh, how true I have seen this to be! I go on quest after quest to prove I have value. For a season, it was as a “Graphic Design Queen” (sometimes it still is). For another season it was as “Church Lady”– or Bible Study Coordinator…and it has even been as the “Poster Child for Thin Within!” All of these (and more!) have been attempts to create little kingdoms where I can feel good about myself. It seems as though if I can’t ascend to a throne of an established “kingdom,” I will build my own little empire and declare myself ruler.
What a relief to stop this madness! What a relief to begin to change my beliefs–that God has declared me of great worth!
Those of us who struggle with food, eating, and weight, may spend our lives performing for acceptance because we equate our self-concept with personal appearance. When our reflection in the mirror is less than perfect we may continue our abusive patterns of starving or stuffing. GTST, p. 101
This is why for me, The Search For Significance materials have dovetailed so beautifully with the work I am doing with Get Thin Stay Thin. The two are intricately interwoven and connected. Having “ascended to the throne” of “Queen Thin Within” (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek), I have felt this pressure to keep up the appearance…the appearance…the appearance. I have been consumed with my physical appearance. It is easy for this to happen because over the past couple of years, I have gotten so many accolades and praises for losing the weight or looking the way I do now.
It makes sense that if I feel that my crown is slipping, that I am falling off the throne…that I have physically changed …gotten bigger…even if “only” by ten pounds, that I would feel devastated. My self-concept has been SO connected to my physical appearance!
It doesn’t help that the enemy declares “Ha! Fraud! Impostor! Fake!” as he laughs with glee. He plays on the shame that is rooted in my past…that I am defective and valueless.
So, punishing myself, for a short while, I returned to some of the behaviors of the past.
I am so thankful that I haven’t just thrown in the towel like I have in the past. I haven’t accepted the “crown” of “defeat,” “loser” that the enemy would have me embrace.
No, I stand knowing that I am precious in God’s site, that my performance does not define who I am, or my worth! I have invited the Lord to renew my mind with this belief, this TRUTH. My performance does not define who I am and my value. I do not need to rally to win the approval of others–OR of GOD!!!–in order to press on with my head up!
As I shared in yesterday’s blog entry, he has been doing a new thing and continues to do so…a much deeper, eternal thing. My physical body won’t be going with me to glory! Who I am becoming will.