I didn’t want to write this, much less look at it. I don’t want to look at why I do what I do because I’m ashamed to admit it – to myself or anyone else. But I would rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
It’s hard to describe how badly I craved doughnuts and coffee this morning. I talked myself into it 10 times in a matter of 5 minutes. I reasoned in my mind, saying I’d limit the amount. I wanted to comfort myself with food – and I justified this saying, “It’s not like I want to binge. I just want one or two. How much could that really hurt me?” One or two doughnuts in the whole scheme may not “hurt”. But the reason I want them does.
Our culture says it’s okay to turn to food when you’re upset or stressed. Women from every generation are led to believe that this is “glamorous”. How many chick-flicks include a scene where a usually thin, gorgeous girl is drowning her sorrows in a bucket of ice cream or box of chocolates? If they put a large woman in that role I have to wonder how “cute” would it be? Yet our society accepts this. Celebrates it.
What began as imitation in early years, has become habit for me. I turn to food to comfort myself. Why? I have this idea that I need to satisfy a craving. When really it’s a soul hunger that needs satisfying. I have programmed my mind to think that food and fleshly satisfaction will make the ache go away. When did I start mistaking heartache for hunger pains?
The easy thing would be to blame “Legally Blonde” for my eating habits. Or to point my finger at Ronald McDonald
for luring me underneath those double arches as a child. But ultimately the responsibility lies with me. Gluttony is one of American Christianity’s most ignored sins. We like to believe that “The lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:15-16)
refers to only the sexual sort. Lust is defined as a desire, longing, or craving
. Few people would broadcast their craving
for sex by openly seeking a brothel and publicly carrying out sexual acts. Yet Christians all over America herd into the Golden Corral each Sunday seeking to indulge – extravagantly – their craving
for food. The definition of lust doesn’t change with the object it is set upon. Lust for food is no less condemning than lust for sex. And you don’t have to be overweight to be a glutton. This is a subject not often discussed and never addressed in most Christian circles. We are afraid to step on toes. Toes we can’t even see for our bellies.
There is so much shame in the sin of gluttony – a shame I know too well. Over the years I have dieted in secret. I never wanted to admit that I was trying to lose weight because I’d simultaneously be admitting that I have a weight problem. I have dieted in darkness so that if I fail, no one has to know. But I am tired of hiding in darkness, because the fact is I’m not hiding from anyone. The evidence of my wrong thinking is plastered all over my stomach, thighs, and arms.
The word of God instructs us to confess our sins one to another that we might be healed. This is my confession. I declare this is the day of salvation. I will be be healed through repentance – changing the way that I think about food and exercise. In changing the way that I think, I will change the way that I act, how I eat, and how I move.
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you – the sure mercies of David… Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man His thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” ~ Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-7