There are so many verses in the Bible that can be indirectly related to my food addiction struggle. I feel like God allows me to hear this connection often, even though most others wouldn’t. But today I was reminded how point-on multiple verses in I Corinthians 10 are for those with a great deal of weight to lose and a greater degree of obedience to learn.
I Corinthians 10: 11 is the first verse that I feel drawn toward. It is a reassurance that God wastes nothing, but that everything that God allows in our lives is to be used as an example for others to follow. Now let me be the first to shout that it isn’t about how we walk through whatever is happening to us; it is about God and HIS faithfulness to walk us through despite our tendencies. That is the mentioned “example”. God’s perfect one, not our less than ideal one.
So if my life is an example of God’s faithfulness, how much greater of an example would it be if I agreed with God in all his urging in my life and ended up on the other side of my sin. Wow, isn’t that an awesome thought. And I say AWESOME because that is a God-word. I only use it in relationship to the Lord!!
“No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity.” This is the beginning of verse 13. Paul wants to make sure that, before he hits you with the rest of the thought, you KNOW that you have no right to wallow. Nothing you are being tempted with is new! It has all been around before in some form. Isn’t this one of the themes of Ecclesiastes: there is nothing new under the sun!
Now that you are prepared properly for what’s ahead, the next two words are the climax, given out of order for sure!
Before you want to start spewing out justification for how you are indeed special and your issues are indeed new and different, BUT GOD steps in. That is all it takes. God and his faithfulness. So even if you get wound up tight in a temptation that is ordinary and common, God “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able” to bear. And, as if that promise isn’t sufficient enough, “He will provide a way out.”
So this Great God who tells you that your all-consuming (in your world) issue doesn’t catch Him off guard as something new and unknown, assures you that in His faithfulness YOU WILL BE TEMPTED. (Well, thanks, God!?!?) And while He does indeed give you that way out, he does not MAKE you take that way out. Or even make sure you will notice it?
I am the kind of person that wants to be shown the way out and given a good swift kick through the doorway. And then the door gets slammed and locked shut to prevent me from going back where I was.
I am reminded to pray for recognition of that way out, that exit strategy. And it is different for everyone. When I am making poor food choices, I need to starting having the habit of looking for the way out He promises. Instead I am way back up at the start of this post, wallowing in how “no one else has this horrible issue I have.”
This section of scripture goes on with one more verse that packs a huge punch: FLEE FROM IDOLATRY. Nothing mentioned above would even have to be taken into consideration if I had the habit of running fast in the other direction when idols appeared before me. I John 5:21 repeats the same warning, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” See, the fleeing and the keeping are my job, not God’s.
What if I spent all my time being so cognizant of idols that they never could surprise me? What a thought.
How to keep things from becoming idols? That is where the rubber meets the road for me. I am told that “everything is permissible.” That “not all things are beneficial.” “Not everything builds another up.” And since the uplifting of others is on of our main goals in life, that tells me I should stick to the things that build up and have benefit to my brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a bit reminiscent of chapter 9 and all Paul’s talk of the stumbling block?
But then we come to the real hard-to-ignore verse that addresses food and obedience, tucked away as the literal closing thought of chapter 10: So whether you EAT or drink, or WHATEVER YOU DO, do EVERYTHING for the glory of God. Eating. Drinking. Whatever you do. It is all stuff that must be done to God’s glory. Not just obedience to God, but glory. So all along I have thought obedience was what I needed to get better at. But, really, it is GLORY. I can obey God and do it with no glory. Which I am probably good at, since I never give it any thought.
God desire that I do EVERYTHING I do for the sole purpose of His glory. How to wrap my mind around that?
The opposite of glory, depending on whether you look at the verb or noun form of the word includes such ideas as condemn, criticize; obscurity. When I don’t bring God glory, I am leaving it wide open for Him to be criticized and condemned. And doesn’t the world look for opportunities to do both of those things? But obscurity really hit me. Can my actions really cause an obscurity to fall over the Lord? Wow. But, when I looked at that personally, how obscure does my sin cause the Lord to become in my life?? Instead of seeking MY obedience, I need to seek HIS glory. Its a weird thing to think about, I know. How to turn a striving for obedience into a search for glorification?
It only seems to work in my head if I remove myself, because I am not capable of something so BIG. Honestly, I am not even capable of obedience on a regular basis?
And I think in my head that trying hard and constantly failing is dis-obedience and bringing shame to God. And before you disagree, because I know some will do just that, I in no way believe that I am not enough. I truly believe that, but I am also sure that God holds us to a standard that we so often ignore because we are bathing in his love and kindness. And rightfully so, but we also need to shower in his justice and goodness. How can we take all gentle and good things from God and none of the harsher, disciplinarian-kind of stuff. Seems wrong. But so many people get too connected to how “God loves us” and has our good in mind; and while that is super true, God shows his love through discipline a lot. Do we think ourselves better than David, who lost a son due to his sin? Are we really that proud?
May it never be so. Let me be known for my humility and willingness to admit my sin and accept the disciple God sends my way. And still call him good. All the time…
even if I cannot accomplish this weight loss I so desperately want and need
even if I quit out of anger at myself
even if I live the rest of my days here fat and miserable