As I finish leading another "Made to Crave" Bible study in my home (MTC the fall edition - since MTC the winter edition was so much fun), I was struck this time by my need for repentance in this area of good enough. It's been interesting to do this study again several months (and several pounds) after I first did it, because I am seeing things jumping out at me that are very different from what jumped out at me nine months ago. That tells me a couple things: first, God has graciously given me freedom & growth in areas that I used to struggle in (praise the Lord!); and second, Made to Crave is NOT a study that you can just do once and be done. This journey of finding the proper relationship between us and food (and our spiritual walk) is not one that is a quick fix. I can tell it's going to be a long-term process. Yet that doesn't scare me. It's somewhat a relief. Why? "I am on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness." (Lysa TerKeurst) That is a journey that I never want to end! From now until my first moment in heaven, I want to be continually pruned to become more holy...in every one of the fruits of the Spirit. Right now, self-control just happens to be at the very top of the list.
I love this quote from Chapter 18 of "Made to Crave":
I can make the choice to identify my shortcomings and, instead of using them against myself, hand them over to Jesus and let Him chisel my rough places. The grace-filled way Jesus chisels is so vastly different than the way I beat on myself. My beatings are full of exaggerated lies that defeat. His chiseling is full of truth that sets me free.Amen.
The freedom I grabbed a hold of early on in this journey is that of learning to love myself. A year ago when I was ending my "argument" with God about making this a spiritual matter, I clearly felt God telling me it was time to stop doing the enemy's dirty work for him. That every time I showered myself with guilt and condemnation...those things were NOT from God. That was not God's voice speaking to me. It was the enemy's. I am so glad that was the first chain God broke in my life. Why? Well, partly because it was the catalyst to gaining freedom from a lot of head stuff. Head stuff that had me stuck in more areas than just my weight. But ultimately, gaining freedom in this area meant that I had to strengthen my relationship with God. Oh why would that be, you ask? Because my internal self-talk was so incredibly messed up, the only way to correct it was to be in an almost constant state of prayer. I would wake up each day and ask God to open my eyes to the areas I needed to work on. Well, open them He did. There was a lot of eye-opening and a lot of praying going on. And for that, I'm so grateful.
And you know what? That's a place I still need to be. No longer because of my destructive self-talk. Nope. Now it's that I need God to regularly help me to see my edge-of-the-"good enough" cliff-hugging tendencies. We can't change what we don't know exists. I know that it exists, and I know that its existence is what is stalling my weight loss.
Every time I'm tempted to eat something I know I shouldn't just because I find a way to justify it - that's hugging the edge. Every time I convince myself it's OK if I don't exercise because of excuse A, B, or C - that's hugging the edge. Every time I hit snooze on the alarm (which means I know I won't have time to do something that really ought to get done) - that's hugging the edge. None of these things will mean I fail or completely screw up. But they usually mean I'm not walking in 100% obedience. That's what we're really talking about here. Full-on, sold-out, 100% obedience.
I'm not talking perfection. I'm talking about making the best choices - instead of the good enough choices. I'm tired of good enough. Good enough in this weight loss journey makes me want to settle in right here. The differences from 55 pounds ago are obvious. The positive comments are plentiful. Good enough could easily be the place I choose to stay. But I'm not in this journey for "good enough." I don't want God to say, "Good enough." I want Him to say, "Well done." And for that...good enough just isn't, well, good enough!
Where is God asking you to go beyond "good enough"? Let's move forward together. It's all about taking that next courageous step. Ready? Let's go...