Today’s Bible Study reflection for M2C is deep. Here is a link to it so you all can enjoy it as well: Close is a Choice
Chapter 6 Reflection Questions:
What is your response to the idea that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial? Have you ever had an experience of denying yourself that helped you to grow closer to God? Do you believe this could be true for you in your battle with food?
Oh yes. A number of years ago, after I was divorced, I started dating…a lot. Now, I was doing things that were NOT permissible, but dating in and of itself is permissible. After about a year of this, God prompted me to go to a different church. After being in a Bible study there for four months, God prompted me to give up dating for Lent. The time I was spending going out and having fun now became my time in the Word, time with the Lord. He cleansed me of so much in that short period of time, and revealed so much of Satan’s lies as well! So, the day after Easter that year, I went on one coffee date. I didn’t really date again until I met my husband. I had time to be involved in a number of Bible studies! It was so refreshing, encouraging, revealing… This entire period of time was about 3 years. Actually, I met Brandon almost exactly 3 years after that Lenten season began. Amazing, huh? God really took that time and revealed to me His plan in my life, and in the life of the man I was to ultimately marry.
I never thought about trying this with food. I know there are many benefits to “denying myself sweets,” especially as a type 1 diabetic. I never thought about it from a spiritual perspective though.
The apostle Paul lists self-control among the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Are there areas of life in which you experience self-control and feel that your self-discipline and wise choices honor God? For example, in your spending decisions or how you manage your time? What insights about your strengths in those areas might help you to honor God and grow in self-control with your food choices?
Self-Control is an area I keep praying about! I am praying for the Lord to cultivate the fruit of Self-Control in many areas of my life. You know how people say “Don’t pray for patience! The Lord will just bring you opportunities in which you HAVE to be patient, and you just end up impatient!” Yeah, the same is true for Self-Control. He is bringing me opportunities to exercise self-control, and I have failed time and time again. Eventually, I will turn to the Lord’s strength and He will guide me through. I have to remember that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6)
Have you ever had the experience of the Holy Spirit nudging you in connection with your food choices? If so, what was that like? If not, how do you hope the Holy Spirit might help you now?
I have not experienced this, though He has nudged me about people, events, which church to attend…but I have not even thought about listening for that still, small voice when it comes to food, or when I randomly open the fridge for no reason. Yeah, you all know what I am talking about there. Seriously though, I want to start praying before I begin cooking, before I meal plan for the week, before I go grocery shopping and pass the candy bars at the check out counter, before I put food on my plate. “Lord, give me your wisdom in my food choices. Give me your strength as the fruit of Self-Control grows in my life.”
As Christians, our calling—and our sources of spiritual nourishment—is to do God’s will and finish His work (John 4:34). To what degree have consuming thoughts about food impacted your ability to pursue your calling and receive spiritual nourishment?
One area I can think of is when I am overly emotional or stressed and am eating emotionally. Instead of opening the Bible and immersing myself in His Word, I open a bag of pretzels or devour three bowls of cereal. Stress-eating has been a battle fought for a long time. Victory will come. Each day brings me a little more victory in this area. Blogging about my faith and health journey has helped me avoid food and focus on what the Lord is doing in my life. He has led me to amazing passages of scripture during this past two weeks alone!
Would you say you are spiritually well-fed, spiritually malnourished, or somewhere in between? Have you tried to use food to satisfy your feelings of spiritual hunger? What was the result?
At the moment, I’d say I am being fed. Of course, I am fed because I am choosing to be in the Word. I’ve been writing children’s devotionals for my church, writing 5 days’ worth of devotions at a time. I am doing this study, and about to begin Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss with my women’s Bible study at church. This is causing me to reflect on God’s Word more and more, and seeking to understand at a deeper level so that I can share these truths with children ages 1 to 12. Wow, it just hit me: I am fed because I choose to be in the Word. I choose. God, you have brought me here to give me choices, and I choose YOU.
If we find certain foods impossible to walk away from, this is a clue that we are being ruled by food on some level. Are there foods you can’t or won’t deny yourself in order to make a healthier choice? Why are these foods especially important to you? What thoughts and feelings arise when you think about potentially giving them up?
I struggle with sweets. I think it is a defiance thing, being diabetic and all. For the longest time, I could not have ANY sweets. So I began to sneak them when I was younger (I have been diabetic since the age of 6). And they were sooooo good!!!!! So I continued to eat them in secret. Now, I eat them openly. I think that being told I am NOT ALLOWED to eat something really backfired on my psyche. Now, I crave it, because it is “forbidden.”
This calls for a mindset change. I have to remember that no food is forbidden. I like the “permissible but not beneficial” statement. I think if the Lord can help me wrap my brain around sweets as “permissible but not beneficial,” I will have more confidence in turning away and drinking water or tea instead, or having an apple instead of a snickers bar.