In addition to sharing the simplicity of the gospel, I think it’s also important that I share some of my own personal struggles. And although It’s embarrassing and shameful, I know that being transparent is encouraging and powerful. Besides, I want ya’ll to know that I am also working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I’m not just running my mouth on the internet! And so with all that being said, I want to start by confessing that I am a glutton.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
A glutton is someone who eats excessively and voraciously (in an insatiable manner). To me, being gluttonous depends on what we eat, when we eat, how much we eat, why we eat (and how we see food!). So even though I am a vegetarian, my restrictions from eating meat (personal conviction) and dairy products (due to breastfeeding) has caused me to want to gormandize. I mean, I think about food ALL of the time. Whether I’m thinking about eating it, cooking it or buying it (I love grocery shopping!). And I have become extremely health conscious over the years which in addition to food has become a form of idol worship.
Now, all of this has just been revealed to me. I never knew I had a problem until I couldn’t control myself (or change my eating habits) as I began to see and feel my health deteriorating. And you may be thinking, “How can a vegetarian be unhealthy?” but a vegetarian is just someone who doesn’t eat meat. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t scarfing down Doritos and Little Debbie cupcakes! But anyway, God, in His love and kindness has given me the grace, wisdom and strength to overcome this if I will swiftly repent. So even though I am just beginning my process, I want to share what has been helping me in case any of you are also struggling.
1. I began to acknowledge gluttony as the SIN that it is
Overeating is just as bad as smoking and drinking (and fornicating!). It’s a lust of the flesh which always leads to death and destruction. It’s idolatry. And it is an addiction. And it will ruin your health just like the other things I just mentioned.
2. I’m praying and fasting
We need to petition God for help because we can’t do what’s good or right in our own strength. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit. And remember, our weapons of warfare are not carnal.
3. I’m slowly eliminating unhealthy foods from my diet
I’ve started by first eliminating unnecessary foods from my menu. The way to do this is to decide what you actually like to eat (that is real and nutritious!) and eat those same things everyday. For instance, I really like lemons, pears, avocados, romaine hearts, tomatoes and red onions so I just eat that. And whenever I start craving other things I just remind myself that I have sin to deal with therefore I ain’t got time to be picky or fancy! And I know that eating the same (or simple things) seems boring in this day and age but quite frankly, as Christians, we shouldn’t be caught up in the hype of food blogs and eating extravagant meals all day, everyday anyway (and especially not if we’re having problems!).
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT)
4. And in relation to the previous passage, I take it one day at a time.
(continuing with Matthew Chapter 6, verse 34, NLT) “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Another thing I struggle with is perfectionism. It all starts with being unrealistic or a little bit too ambitious. So focusing on one day (or even one meal!) at a time has really helped me not to get discouraged or overwhelmed.
So I hope that this post has been helpful. If anything, I hope that it reminds you to pray for me. God has blessed us with so much beautiful, textured, aromatic, delicious and nutritious real food. And there’s no doubt in my mind that He intended for it to be pleasurable. But the problem is, we’ve gone to far! We’re either eating any and everything or we’ve made real food and good health idols. So let’s repent and get it right together.