Yesterday I attended a women's retreat and the topic was Idols of the Heart.
What do you think about most? What are your passions? Do you get frustrated or depressed when you don't get those things? Does your spiritual life suffer because of these things?
Many things can become an idol in our lives. As I was sitting and listening to the other women talk...the word addiction came to mind. Are idols and addictions the same monster? mmmmmm.......
With that in mind, what are you addicted to? Is your life out of balance because of something that consumes more than what is healthy for your well being...your relationship with God?
Also, as I sat there I wondered how the conversation would have went if I brought up food.
Food is necessary for life isn't it? I cannot do without it and neither can you. Life would eventually stop. Food can be an idol and/or addiction. When I was a teenager I decided to be anorexic...yes, I did decide to do it...I did not say, hey I am going to be anorexic. It was a process.
I fixed my mind on a thinner self and started to eat less and less, exercise more and more until I weighed 104#.....I have no pictures, but my dad threatened to take me to the hospital...at fourteen I stopped menustrating for approx. nine months...no I was not pregnant..I was a virgin, but that did not stop the doctors from giving me a pregancy test...I didn't even have a boyfriend and had never been kissed!
Back then you didn't even hear the word anorexia...but that was me. I focused on myself, my body and how much FOOD I would not eat!!! I was extemely food focused..I counted every calorie... I was habitual about it...so until the last 5 years or so I was still doing it.....you can probably still find notes with numbers written down in columns and added together in some of my notebooks and drawers. I was obsessed.
During that time I was afraid of food. It was a continual focus.
after my dad scared me about being admitted to the hospital...I went the other way...I had actually been starving myself..and my body needed nourishment...I wasn't aware of this fact though...but I started eating....and eating...and eating...somewhere, somehow I became bulemic..
some years later I figured out I did it because I did not want to be responsible for what I ate....FOOD...it was still my focus, my idol. I would secretly binge and purge. Shameful, yes.
Foolish, yes. This went on to some degree for too many years. By the grace of God I am free from that old behavior.
What I am trying to say here is that food idolatry can take many forms.
While I sat there...looking at the table overflowing with food...some good choices, but mostly unhealthy ones...I wondered....then it was time for Birthday cake....I had been sitting at the table where it was waiting...inhaling the sugar....it was intoxicating.
Over the years since I was fourteen and ignorant of how to take care of this body we call the dwelling place of God...(if we are trusting Christ for salvation)...I have abused my body with food...I am sure many people do not really understand the ramifications of food and how it plays into health ...until it has done its damage. You can read in my previous post of some of my health issues which I have had to deal with and I believe what I ate & how I ate had much to do with it.
Over the last several years as I have endeavored to become healthier and discover the cause and remedy for my ailments and those of my loved ones....FOOD....plays a major part.
Sometimes I am tired of thinking and talking about it...for awhile it was consuming me as I did much study and research...I had to put down my study....it was consuming my conversation.
I have ask the Lord, how do doctors & full time students keep it all balanced so we don't lose sight of HIM...of course the answer is to put Him first and to keep Him in all I am doing and to use the knowledge that He as allowed me to acquire to help others.
FOOD is something we just cannot rid ourself of...like alcohol, drugs, gambling, smoking etc....we do not need the latter, but we do need food. We need it to build healthy cells, for energy and for our survival. I think when we have food as an idol/addiction it is one of the toughest because we have to eat. Most people do it at least three times a day and many of us do it almost continually, especially if we stay at home. This thing is something we need to manage....can we manage an idol/addiction? mmmmmmmm..............
I am reminded of a verse...I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.....but first we must admit that this has mastery over us, confess this to God, seek him, He is faithful and just and will forgive us and cleanse us and He will empower us to victory. But first we must know Him...have you trusted Christ? Do you realize you have a need? The Bible tells us that we can never do enough good to earn forgiveness or eternal life. We always come up short. But He tells us there is hope!! He has sent a deliverer someone to rescue us from eternal damnation. God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. The Bible tells us the price for sinning against God is death..but He came to give us life, life eternal, to make all things new...
Jesus Christ paid the penalty for my sin and yours when He suffered and died on the cross and He displayed His victory over death by rising from the grave and if you see your need, believe what He has done by taking your place and trust Him you can receive eternal life and be given power from on High. My hope and prayer for you is that you come to Him who is our Life.
Sooo....what role does food play in your life.....maybe your food addiction is a liquid...maybe you think that coffee is not harming you....please rethink that one. I will try to post some links about this poisonous liquid...yes, it is a drug....
no I am not perfect and don't pretend to be...I love the taste of coffee and have wrestled with it over and over....but it does harm you....do you have to have it??? just in the morning....
at the retreat...she told us anything you think you cannot do without needs some examination...how do you behave or feel if you don't get it?
I have many thoughts and proof from my own body the damage that coffee can do. How's your energy levels...do they bounce up and down during the day? How's your digestive system?
Have you ever heard of adrenal exhaustion? If you are drinking anything with caffeine and have been for a continuous period of time you are wearing on your adrenal system...eventually they can wear out. Add stress, lack of proper rest and you've got problems.
I am convinced that coffee must go...and I was only drinking the equivalent of one cup. I used to add a teaspoon of instant in my chai tea in the morning...java chai...I am down to just the chai in the morning and with the Lord's strength that will go to...I had several boxes of concentrate and thought it is best for me to wean off and let go when it is gone..BTW~ God has been convicting me of the coffee thing for a couple years....sad to say it has taken me so long to release it to him. Food/liquids can become a stronghold...oh, I pray that we can release these things to Him who has the power to tear them down in our lives, before the consequences of these idol/addictions bear fruit that damages or destroys our bodies, which are the temple of God...
1Corithians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.