Out of Control

Have you ever experienced a situation in which you felt you were out of control?  You just could not get a grip on things and soon everything began to fall apart.  I have definitely been there and done that – unfortunately, again and again to no avail.  I was sinking quicker than the Titanic and there were no lifeboats available to jump into, or so I thought.


I have been browbeaten because of this issue and let’s just say I have some mighty good friends and family that care enough to put me in my place which forced me to rethink my situation.


Let me step back for a moment.  I have always loved food.  Loved it so much I could never get enough.  Loved it so much that it became my crutch.  Used it to get me through many painful times in my life.  It not only became my obsession, but it was used as the foundation upon which I had built my life.  Pretty sad huh?  It became my ultimate excuse.


Want to see me?  Let’s go get a bite to eat.  Bad day?  Nothing better than downing a pizza or ordering Chinese food!  Working too late?  Order out.  It is simple and gets to you quicker than if you took the time to make it yourself.  I not only made a case for eating out so much and for consuming large portions, but I fiercely stood by my decision to wreck my life willingly.  Not so smart am I?


I have many health issues that for one, my eating so much may have caused some ailments and it has definitely hindered me.  I tried again and again to quit overeating, but it soon became a joke to me and to others.  Sure they said, but they (as well as myself) knew better. I always set myself up to fail and never to succeed.


After many visits (okay admissions) to the hospital and now getting some very dire news, I decided it was time to learn self-restraint and self-respect.  I looked into the word for help and it saved me from the stronghold I am under.  Allow me to expound on this matter further.


First of all, as a Christian the moment I accepted Jesus and asked Him into my life, He took precedence and then residence in my heart.  I was abusing myself for years with food that my body not only took a hit to my organs, but to the structure as well.  Adding a few pounds is one thing, but an excessive eating disorder is another.  I added way more than a few pounds.


As I leaned into the word I came across 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own…”


Here I am housing the Holy Spirit and committing gluttony (which is defined as an excess in eating) at the same time.  It was here that I was forced to not only admit my problem, but I had come to a crossroads at this point in my life.  I had to choose what I loved more Jesus or food.  I chose Jesus.


Now making the choice is the easy part.  It is the needed action that is hard.  I had to think about my gluttony and how I had gotten so out of control from it.  I had to stop defending my problem and realize what a danger it was putting me in.  It was literally killing me and I was literally letting it.  I wanted it so badly, and defended my choice to overeat so vigorously, but then 1 Corinthians 6:12 taught me a very hard truth:  “’I have the right to do anything’ you say—but not everything is beneficial.  ‘I have the right to do anything’, but I will not be mastered by anything.”


Paul gave me the answer.  Yes, I have the right to overeat if I want to; however, just because I have that right does not mean I am making the correct choice.  Overeating is not beneficial.  In fact it is detrimental and though I have a right to overeat, my eating habits became a master to me and took over for me.  We only serve one master:  either it is food or once again it is Jesus.  I again chose Jesus, so this verse made a strong impact on me.


Now making a choice is one thing, but it is the “follow through” that determines the victory.  Food had control over me, not the other way around.  I needed more biblical reinforcement to make this journey.  Yes, I prayed for me to learn a few things:  to say no to excessive food, to watch my sugars and sodium faithfully, and for Jesus to carry me and walk with me during this struggle.  I wanted out – now, but I needed to learn patience and temperance.


Temperance is moderation or self-restraint (both traits I seriously lack) and basically self-control.   How do I gain that?  By following scripture and praying fervently to God.


By ourselves we lack self-control – just take a look at how many people suffer from addictions of one issue or another.  Yet upon research we find that temperance is one of the fruits of the Spirit.  We learn in Galatians 5:22-24 that “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” 2 Peter 1:5-6 reinforces this when he states:  “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to your virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness…”


Yes, temperance is a gift God gives us to help us stay aligned with Him and shift our focus onto Him alone.  A Christian needs self-discipline in our walk of faith.  We are to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh.  Keep in mind that God is not a genie and we do not rub a tummy and make a wish, but through our prayers we can cry out for help and He will hear us and answer.


Will this walk be easy?  No.  Will I succeed?  I pray that I do.  It means more to me than a simple commitment.  It means obedience to what He asks of me.  Will I ever be able to go back?  No.  I have to learn to tame my appetite and eat when needed and for no other reason.  Pleasure of eating leads to falling off the wagon so to speak and I cannot risk that.  I need to appreciate the bounty of food to sustain me and nourish me, but not to become so taken with it that it gains control over me.  The path will be long and I may or may not stumble, though I pray not to lose sight of the goal of walking faithfully with God.  His word gives me strength and hope.  I lean on it to survive and persevere.  He has me in His hands in all of this and I willingly surrender it to Him and let Him lead me.


I am writing this for anyone going through a similar struggle and I offer this wisdom to anyone in need.  Keep your eyes on Him and you will get through this.  And remember this pearl of wisdom from Proverbs 25:28, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.”  Temperance can be maintained and you can rest in His peace knowing you are faithful to Him.


God bless everyone!

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