And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I deserve to eat this donut because….

1. Someone else is eating one.
2. I had a hard day.
3. I’m the only one who does any work around here.
4. I’m on vacation.
5. I’m sick.
6. It’s a holiday.
7. I’m at a party.
8. It’s not fair that everyone else gets to eat, and I don’t.
9. I have such a hard life.
10. I want it.

I don't know how many times I've written entries like these on my lie-truth charts. I even felt like I deserved a treat when I was good on my diet! It wasn't until I wrote the truth over and over again that I began to see that these statements were really lies.

In the olden days, the word deserve meant that you earned something. For example, if you worked 40 hours a week, you deserved to get paid.

I guess that begs the question: What kind of work would you have to do to “earn” a donut?

I can only think of two things. The first is working in a donut shop that gives you a free donut with each work shift, and the second is working out at a gym long enough to “pay” for the calories that are in the donut.

Okay, maybe when we say we deserve a donut, we’re not talking about the old-fashioned definition of the word.

What deserve has come to mean in our society today is that we “deserve” something if someone else has it. In other words, it’s not fair if someone else has something, and we don’t.

Is that biblical? No, I can’t say that it is. Is it practical? I can’t say that’s true either. We can always find someone better off and worse off than we are.

What if we were to line up all the people in the world one by one according to their lifestyles, with the worst lives on the left and the best lives on the right. We could call this our “fairness” line. Where do you think our lives would fit in on that line?

Do you think we could look at all those people to the left of us and honestly say, “I deserve a donut after my hard day”?

And even if I did deserve that donut, would it be a reward? One donut, if eaten outside my boundaries, often leads to another donut, which could lead to a binge. Is a binge really a reward?

If I’m going to go with the “I deserve it” idea, I should at least make sure that what I’m deserving is a reward and not a punishment.

Better yet, I could focus on the blessings God's given me - and not the blessings He's given others.

In other words . . . EYES OFF THE DONUTS!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I already broke the boundaries, so I might as well eat a big slice of cake, too.

Usually the phrase “might as well” is used to imply that we’re going to make the best of a situation. I might as well stay home and do the laundry since it’s such a rainy day, we might say, or I might as well stop at the library since I have to go to the store anyway.

But am I really making the best of a situation when I say, “I might as well eat this huge slice of cake since I already broke my boundaries?” I don’t think so.

Why? Because what I’m really saying is this, “Since I’ve already done one bad thing, I might as well do another bad thing.”

That would be like saying, “I already flunked one test; I might as well quit studying for the year,” or “I already broke my budget; I might as well buy that new car I've been wanting.”

Two wrongs don’t make a right. (I'm sure your mom would agree.)

What we really should be saying is this, “I better study hard for the next test, so I don’t fail the course. I better be careful not to spend any more money, so I have enough to pay the rent. I better make sure I don’t break my boundaries again, so I’m not tempted to binge.”

The next time you break your boundaries, do this for me. Grab your lie-truth chart as soon as you can and record the lies you were telling yourself that made you break your boundaries.

Then ask yourself, “What would Jesus say?” Would He say, “You know, Barb, you'll have to go back to being good tomorrow, so you might as well be really bad tonight," or would He say, “You will feel so much better if you stop right now,Barb. Pick up my Word and read it; I have some verses in there that will give you the strength to do hard things”?

Record the truth; believe the truth; and act on the truth. And don’t break your boundaries again! After all, you might as well stick to them if you want to lose weight!