I tend to be an all or nothing kind of girl.
I am either “all in” or “terribly off”! My whole life, modeled to me by my father, has been an ebb and flow of times completely disciplined to times of complete splurging. Whether it is exercise, quiet times, eating, having fun, or studying, I can look back over my life and see this “generational” thread. I can see the blessing and the curse of this way of living.
This summer I have been eating what I call the “Cancer Scare Diet”. This form of eating is extreme, but has given me fantastic results in the past. Not only that, but I look healthy, feel good and have lost weight! There is a silver lining! I eat most of the loving food God gave us to eat – minus, of course, wonderful fruit (too much sugar). So I eat loads of veggies, seeds and nuts. Kind of boring, I know. But my taste buds have changed and it all does taste good to me. Recently, I have added back in fish and occasionally white meat because I need amino acids for a treatment I have been doing. So basically some would say I am eating “The Caveman Diet” or “The Adam and Eve diet”.
Last Saturday after four months of food boredom and feeling a bit sorry for myself, I broke down and ate whatever sounded good to me. I had potato chips, Pirate Booty, peanut butter, a health chocolate shake, chicken sandwich meat, and crackers. A lot of all of this – in one sitting! No sugar though! I lacked self-control to the point of making myself physically ill. I was a glutton, but… just … could … not … eat … another … vegetable!
The very next day, I paid for it – BIG time! I got food poisoning. For a full 24 hours, I felt the effects of my eating. I could barely walk and I could barely make it to the bathroom quick enough – if you get the gist! I saw the effects first hand of my lack of self-control and eating spree. I had to miss a couple of fun activities with the kids and stay close to home.
I had been tempted by all the amazing food in my pantry the rest of my family eats!
I lost my will power – my self-control.
Everything in me knew better, but I didn’t care. Do you ever feel like that? About food, money, thoughts, words, etc.? James 4:17 says “To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin”. Yes, I sinned and in a word was a true glutton – one of the seven deadly sins.
Now, some of you, friends, would say to me, I am being a bit over-the-top. I can have a day off now and then. Here is what the Lord taught me through this. On this day, I made a choice. I choose the things not good for my body, His temple. My choices will not help my current “condition”. I chose something I know as “wrong” and with the choice came consequences. God in His infinite wisdom created “natural consequences” as a form of teaching us.
Natural consequences become the helpful teaching time with my children, as well. We have been reaping the benefits of this God-given parenting tool. If you cut your hair with the play scissors, your bangs may take months to grow out. If you take your iPad out of the case and it drops on the ground, it will break. If you don’t take a jacket and it rains, you will get wet. If you forget to study, you will get a failing grade on the test. And so on . . .
So in my situation, I am the child and God is my Father. If you eat the foods not designed for your body, they will do harm and you will be sick.
Did I learn my lesson? Absolutely! I am back eating veggies again. I just decided to try to get some variation so I don’t get too bored, and this will help ease my temptations. But during this time, I also heard God clearly that He wants me to heal. My body is an amazing creation He made to heal itself. I am standing on those promises.
I can see why self-control is in the long list of fruit of the Spirit. Being an all or nothing kind of girl, I know I need all of the fruit to work together. When I have self-control, I am patient, which makes me kinder and more gentle. This leads me to be more loving to others (and myself) and helps me focus on goodness. Bringing about a sense of joy and faith to usher me into the God-given peace I so desperately want. And it all starts with self-control for me!
So in what ways have you lost your self-control?
What did you do to “bounce” back into the fruit of the Spirit?