Week 6 of Taste for Truth was very emotional for each one of us as we realized and connected with the things that caused us to choose food as a comfort or coping mechanism. It was a beautiful picture of chains breaking as we sat, wept, and chatted with one another about the difficult spots in our lives. While recognizing these things was tough, it was an essential step in learning to choose God rather than food from now on.
It’s difficult to give up over-eating as a coping or comfort mechanism in your life. You are basically trying to fill a void or longing somewhere in your life, or you may turn to food to overshadow an event or someone’s hurtful words from your past. It boils down to the fact that over-eating is an addiction, and as with any other addiction, there are triggers. Triggers can vary from person to person, because we each have a different story. An example of some triggers are: anxiety, depression, loneliness, past experiences or events, or even someone’s words or actions causing you to question your self-worth. Carnie Wilson, from the 1980’s duo Wilson Phillips, once said, “I used food as a coping mechanism for many, many years, and it was my best friend for a long time.” What if we chose to make God our best friend that He longs to be?
As with any dependency, obese people turn to food to mask our symptoms. Over-eating plays no different of a role than alcohol, prescription pain killers, spending exuberant amounts of money, or even illegal street drugs. Sure you feel better in the moment, because you got your fix, but it is soon followed by feelings of guilt and shame. It’s a revolving door. We never escape the addiction. Breaking the chains of addiction comes only through Jesus and our dependence on Him alone.
So many times, we tend to trade one habit for another. When losing weight, it’s very easy to trade your obsession with food for an exercise obsession. This solves nothing. Now, I’m in no way saying it’s bad to exercise, but what I am saying is that as a Christian, our obsession should be our relationship with Christ. The rest will follow. We learned in the first week that anything we categorize as “more important than God” is indeed an idol in our life. So simply call on Him. Trust Him. He will break the chains, and His love for us will overshadow whatever triggers us to eat in excess. Strength comes from Him!
After such an emotional lesson, it ended with such Truth and comfort in overcoming our choice to over-eat. The God I serve is loving, kind, and compassionate. When I fall off of the wagon, He doesn’t tell me, “You’re a terrible person that is fat and worthless and will always remain that way.” On the contrary, He says, “Here, come cry on My shoulder. Tell Me what happened. It’s important to Me, because you’re important to Me! I will help you through this.” Our Lord is genuinely concerned with every aspect of our lives. He will help us defeat the lies of Satan, our past, the hurtful words and actions that others have caused us to believe about ourselves, and even the lies the world tells us concerning ourselves. We’ve already seen who we are in Him and what He thinks of us. So, forgive others. Forgive yourselves and move on. Leaving a hurtful situation, past, person, or words behind is healthy. You don’t get bit by a poisonous snake and tell the snake you forgive him yet continue to play with the group of poisonous snakes. You remove the poison, learn from your mistakes, and move on. The book touched on an excellent point at the end of this chapter by reminding us of Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” He created them too. “You don’t have to love someone that has damaged your self-worth by continuously making them a fixture in your life. The greatest act of loving them is praying for them everyday.” This is a volitile point for humans, but the gist of it was to remind us that everyone has struggles, and they need prayer to break their chains just like we do. The book was really bringing home the point of us refusing to believe the lies that have damaged us, because once you are a Christian, you are no longer damaged goods. You were bought with a price, and that same Savior that died for you, cares so incredibly much for you and every aspect of your life. So next time you are triggered to over-eat, close the refrigerator and open His Word and your heart to Him.