Food Isn't Your Problem

PLEASE READ ROMANS 8:1-11

Food itself is not bad.  But in our society today, food has become increasingly complex & our feelings & emotions around it have as well.

 Even though we have sin in our lives we are not condemned.  If we can understand that in Jesus we are not condemned we can move forward with working on our self-control regarding food.  This might show up in many ways.  Overeating, under eating, constant dieting, fixations on eating the “right foods”, or any other eating fixation that puts food at the center of our focus.

Think for a moment about your very first memory of food?

For me, it was the holiday in which my entire extended family had gathered together.  I remember a specific aunt who had brought this amazing layered dessert called Mississippi Mud. 

I fell in love with that desert.  After everyone had eaten & had dessert too, my cousin & I decided we would go back to that buffet & get some more of that yummy stuff.  Unfortunately, we got caught by an adult & were told we didn’t need any more sugar! 

But I couldn’t stop thinking about that layered, chocolate goodness.  So later that day, I snuck back in that room & got some dessert & ate it hidden away in a corner of the house all alone.

Little did I know this was the beginning of my journey of hiding out, binging on food.  It didn’t happen all at once, but slowly over time.  I went on my first diet at 9 years old, then a boy I in middle school told me I was fat, & having weigh-ins weekly for dance team in high school didn’t help my struggling body image.  Each of these events led me to look for ways to secretly eat the foods I loved & then spend days afterward feeling guilty for my choices & dieting to lose the few pounds of weight I might’ve gained in a day or two. 

What God has given me perspective on now is that during those binge & diet sessions I gained hundreds of pounds of guilt & shame that I could never seem to get rid of, no matter how hard I tried. 

When I would eat this way, I would also feel like I was far from God & so I not only began a cycle of yo-yo dieting but I began a cycle of trying to work my way back into God’s favor.  I thought the condemnation was from Him.  So the only thing I could do was to “behave” long enough for Him to love me again. 

But one day, I read Romans 8 & the Holy Spirit shined a fresh light on it for me: 

I was not condemned because Jesus had given me His own Spirit as a way to have freedom & fullness in life.  My lack of self-control didn’t condemn me but instead His Spirit shined a light on the issue & made me realize I could ask Him for help. 

And just as Romans 8:5 says, I had fixed my mind on things of the flesh, thinking that somehow my food choices could both keep me in God’s favor or pull me out of it.  But we cannot separate truth & grace.   

Truth tells us the Son has set us free & grace tells us we are free {John 8:36}.  We must choose to accept the freedom & walk in the freedom.  Otherwise we let the condemnation of the enemy make us believe we are “bad” & the cycle of performance & our own goodness make us believe we could ever be “good”.

Prayer for today:  Father, help me to allow Your Spirit of life to free me from condemnation from myself & from the enemy.  Help me to depend completely on You for freedom & self-control through Your Spirit not through my own strength.