Chapter 18 Reflection Questions
- “’Everything is permissible for me’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). When it comes to healthy eating, what are the things that are permissible for you but not beneficial? Is there anything permissible that might nevertheless have the potential to master you? How do you feel about the idea that you may have to avoid some foods forever?
Having had Type 1 Diabetes for almost 28 years, this is a loaded question. Anything with carbohydrates and sugars is permissible, but definitely NOT beneficial. Oh how I crave those items that for so long have “off limits” to me! What’s the saying, we always want what we can’t have? I think that is one of Satan’s greatest hooks for us. “Why can’t I have that? What’s the harm in having that?” Oh we are so naïve when we give into that question!
I have written about this before: knowing some foods are not beneficial, I have to plan ahead for them. Like today, I drove to my hometown to hang out with some family and friends. Just two days ago, my aunt and uncle’s ice cream shop opened for the season. Yes, it is 7 degrees Fahrenheit outside. And yes, I did have a small ice cream treat. I knew I was coming home to this possibility, so I brought extra insulin and took an extra dose of my fiber supplements today. And I drank lots of water. Now, I am not going to eat ice cream every day. I know that is NOT beneficial for me. Do I WANT to eat ice cream every day? You bet I do! I like to joke that it runs in my blood. 😉 Do I NEED to eat ice cream every day? No. Nor should I. It is NOT beneficial for me to do so. Instead, I can enjoy a delicious serving of Greek Yogurt. I found a blackberry mix, a lemon mix, and a black cherry mix that are heavenly on my taste buds! Hooray for Aldi!
There are so many wonderful foods, including vegetables, which are delicious AND beneficial! I think when we create these road blocks focusing our eyes and thoughts on the “should not,” we lose sight of the bounty before us that says, “Yes, this is good.” Isn’t that what happened to Eve and then Adam in the Garden of Eden?
- “I can” is a powerful little statement for a girl feeling deprived. In what ways might you incorporate these two very small but mighty words into your healthy eating journey?
Focusing on the positive things and turning away from the negative things by just rephrasing something can be very powerful. Already I am thinking about what I wrote above and how I can rephrase, “I should not eat ice cream every day” into something positive like, “I can eat ice cream when I go home to visit my family” or “I can eat a delicious Greek Yogurt every day.” I can be creative with movement so that I can get more exercise in. I can have fun with my son AND get a work out because of it! I can. I can lean on the strength of God in the midst of my weakness and battle with temptations. I can trust in His victory. I can rely on His Promises to be true. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Think of an old-fashioned balance scale, the kind with a pan on either side that counterbalances one weight against the other. Imagine placing in one pan all the things you need to give up and in the other pan all the things you’ve gained and will continue to gain. Which side holds the most weight and significance for you?
In the things I gain by obedience to Christ, I see hope, longevity, energy, joy, freshly cooked foods rich with nutrients and flavor, my son learning to eat good foods (he already desires to eat anything I am eating, and reaches for my food!). What is beneficial for me is also beneficial for him! This is more than my journey. It is important that I stay on this path for myself, and to honor God, and it is doubly important that I teach my son to walk this path as well. My journey to health is beneficial for me, and beneficial for my family.
- “We like to identify our shortcomings, form them into a club, and mentally beat the tar out of ourselves” (page 184). In what ways have you identified with and punished yourself for your shortcomings? Instead of punishing yourself, can you imagine giving these things to Jesus and asking Him to chisel them away? How might the truth of His compassion help you to break free from your shortcomings in ways that self-condemnation cannot?
This is something I have been battling for a long time! Satan likes to remind us of our past, and convince us that we are just destined to fail again and again. “You failed before. Just do it again. What does it matter?” Yes, I have fallen to temptation before. Yes, I am weak. And my God gives more grace. God gives me strength. God teaches me how to reflect without the abuse and the torment. God teaches me to see the way that would have been the out, and says, “Next time, you are able to remember this moment. Next time, you CAN take My Way, THE WAY to take you away from the temptation.” The biggest difference here is reflecting with growth vs. torture and condemnation.
Yes. With His strength, I CAN. I can stand strong with God’s Shield of faith, and with His strength, I can see those flaming darts from the enemy extinguished.
Chapter 19 Reflection Questions
- Standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, Lysa experienced a victory she attributes more to mental and spiritual changes than to physical changes. What factors have made the biggest difference in the victories you’ve experienced with good? Is it food planning? Spiritual disciplines like prayer and dining on the truth of God’s Word? Changing your go-to scripts? What things are key to your ongoing success?
I am definitely eating out A LOT LESS! This is a victory! We are cooking fresh foods for dinners, eating leftovers for lunch (or a sandwich or cereal with yogurt), eating less processed foods. My sister-in-law and I sit down to meal plan the week ahead. It helps with grocery shopping, and keeps me focused. We are purchasing healthier foods, and I am snacking less because of that. No candy bars, no bags of chips. I am not purchasing sodas for the home (I do have a diet soda on occasion when I go out with my husband once in a while), and I am drinking more water, sometimes milk, and I drink my coffee black 90% of the time. French Vanilla creamer is a weakness that I allow myself once in a while. Preparing for allowances of a treat is helping me. I look forward to our delicious dinners, and I look forward to my treats and am learning to eat them slowly so that I may savor every bite.
- God’s promise in Psalm 107:17-20 is that He hears our distress and He heals us with His Word. In what ways would you say God has heard your distress about your struggles with food? What role has Scripture played in helping you to experience God’s healing?
I know the Lord knows my struggles in every area of my life. Specifically with food? I am not sure. However, He has given me peace time and time again regarding my illness. He has given me joy in the midst of depression. He has given me strength in my weaknesses with self-image, with sexual temptations, with relationships. I know He will continue to strengthen me with HIS strength, and that temptations with food are able to be conquered by seeking His face, and His way of escape and victory. Scripture is integral in overcoming struggles and temptations; it is God’s TRUTH with which we slay the enemy’s minions. I think often on Ephesians 6:10-20 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
- “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). This verse indicates that it’s not only possible to overcome our struggles but that there is a reward for those who do—and it involves eating! How might this promise encourage you as you continue on your healthy eating adventure?
I know once I am in the presence of the Lord before His throne in paradise, NOTHING in this world matters. All of the delicious temptations of food and other “feel good” stuff mean nothing in that moment of grace and majesty in the presence of the Most Holy God. I don’t know what that fruit from the tree of life will taste like, but I am can only imagine it will be far more delicious than anything we can ever come up with in any kitchen here on earth. Psalm 119:103 gives us a glimpse: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Will the tree of life contain the fruit of His Word? What will it look like? How will it be presented?
Does this promise encourage me? I am encouraged by the fact that one day, I will live eternally in the presence of my God, that my Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to conquer MY sins.
I desire to serve my King, my Father, my God. I desire to rest in His presence. I desire fellowship with Him, and shelter in His Wings. That drives me. His Truth, His Promise. That is all.
In Christ Alone…In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand. (Getty)