This morning at church (Gateway Church in Austin, TX), when everyone entered the worship center, we were given a 3×5 postcard that was completely blank, except for the phrase “I Confess…” across the top. At the very end of the service, we were asked to write on that postcard a very specific confession; a confession about a lie that we have been telling ourselves, others, God, etc. Then, as we left, there was a large cross where we were to leave our folded up and anonymous postcard at the base, giving it to God and becoming completely free of the lie.
Of course, we were also encouraged to tell at least one other person, as it says in the bible to confess your sins to each other (James 5:16 (ESV): “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”) In that, I felt God prompting me to also reveal my lie here on this blog, to anyone willing to read it, not to just one other person.
So what lie is it that I tell myself that enslaves me? What lie has me in bondage? What did I write on my card and leave at the cross today?
I wrote on my card that my self-worth and self-image are still more wrapped up in my physical image and in my possessions than who I am in Christ.
I started really thinking about this throughout the entire message today, and as usual, it was very well-timed. There is no single part of me that wants to be overweight and out of shape. None. And yes, I continue to struggle with making healthy and God-honoring choices when it comes to food. Yes, I’ve been winning this battle and come a long way in the last year, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still very difficult and this weekend is the perfect example of that.
As you probably read, Friday night we had great community and good food at the home of some new friends. Saturday morning I saw the damage on the scale and jumped right back on plan, having a SlimGenics VHP (Very High Protein) shake for breakfast. The plan was to have one at each meal that day, as that has always proved effective in shedding the extra water and such from one day off plan.
We were out doing a little shopping as a family on Saturday morning. Mike and I were discussing that he wants to join a gym and how we are going to visit a gym close to the house to redeem our free “give-it-a-try” workout on Monday. He has decided to join me in the quest to get in shape via exercise and plans to hit it hard Monday morning (he also wrote a post this morning discussing this in more detail).
This led to his voicing a desire to eat some food we had in the house before starting this new venture. I said that I really couldn’t do that, because I was “detoxing” from the previous night’s meal and needed to be very strict that day. He then stated that he just kind of figured we would both hit it hard again on Monday and then stay strict until my birthday in a couple of weeks.
Now, let me stop right there and state that Mike is not in the habit of pressuring me to eat bad food when I’m trying to be healthy. He has been supportive and encouraging throughout my entire weight-loss journey and I couldn’t have accomplished what I did without him and his support. I also understand the desire to have the “last hurrah” before starting a strict plan and I also understand the desire to rid the house of any tempting food so it’s not there when you do start.
So I guess it’s pretty obvious that I embraced the idea, albeit reluctantly at first. But it didn’t take more than grabbing some KFC for lunch for me to decide that I wanted some ice cream too, as long as we were going to eat off plan. So now we go to the grocery store and buy more food that we didn’t even have and all of a sudden, it’s already more gluttonous than any of us would like to admit.
We all like food. We all want to enjoy it. The question is, how do we do that without crossing that line? And why can’t I make healthy choices when what I look like is more important to me than I would even like to admit? Wouldn’t making those healthy choices be easier if I was really so obsessed with my physical appearance? Wouldn’t I do whatever it took to make it happen?
Well, I think that’s the problem. The evil one KNOWS that food is a weakness and that I enjoy it too much. Gluttony is clearly a sin of choice for me. But he also knows that my pride in my appearance is more important than it should be and what a fun battlefield he’s watching me drown in.
But this morning, I left it at the cross. I not only gave it to God, but I’m giving it to and confessing it to the entire world. My appearance means too much. I like food too much. There is a constant battle for two opposing sins in my heart and I’m asking God to give me the strength and wisdom to find that place in the middle where I don’t dwell in either. If I stop denying it and live in the light, in the truth, it shall set me free. I will not live in Satan’s lies.
John 8:12 (ESV): Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:34-36 (ESV): 34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”