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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gravity and Emotional Eating

Have you ever wondered why we don’t worry about being hijacked to the moon when we get on an airplane? I can think of three reasons:

1. Planes don’t have the right type of fuel to get to the moon.
2. Planes don’t have enough thrust to get to the moon.
3. Planes don’t have the physical structure necessary to get to the moon.

It takes a lot to escape the pull of earth’s gravity, and most airplanes don’t have what it takes to make the grade. If they want to reach the moon, they have to go through a radical change in their design.

It’s the same with us if we want to escape a stronghold or bad habit. If we want to succeed, then we have to make sure we're going about it the right way. Let’s take a look at how astronauts escape gravity and apply it to our own struggle to escape emotional eating:

1. We need the right type of fuel.

As I mentioned in the introduction to Freedom from Emotional Eating, it’s our thoughts that “fuel” our actions. You could think of our thoughts as airplane fuel, and God’s thoughts as rocket fuel.

If we want to break free from emotional eating, we need to get rid of that “airplane fuel” and replace it with rocket fuel. This happens when we replace the lies we believe with truth and fill ourselves with God’s Word. Scripture prayers, truth journaling, and Bible study will provide the fuel we need to break free from the pull of emotional eating.

2. We need enough thrust.

Rockets need the ability to keep going up, which requires a tremendous amount of fuel and a certain type of engine. You could say the engine we need is one that runs on the fuel of God’s Word. The more our lives are directed toward God, the easier it will be to break free from emotional eating.

What happens if a rocket coasts? It falls back down, doesn’t it? In like manner, I can't just work on emotional eating for a few days and then "coast" when the going gets hard. The days I most need to pray Scripture and truth journal are the days when I'm consistently breaking my boundaries. If I bring my thoughts to the truth every time I fail, pretty soon I won't be failing all the time. It's much easier to coast, but coasting won't help me break free from the "pull" of emotional eating.

3. We need the right type of structure.

A rocket is designed to protect the people inside and keep them moving in the right direction. In like manner, we need to place structures in our own lives that will help us move in the direction we want to go. Here are a few things that have helped me:

• Have a set time each day for Bible study and prayer.
• Print out some Bible verses to pray through and attach them to a clip board, so they’re easy to find.
• Attach some lie-truth charts to the same clipboard, so you can truth journal whenever you eat outside your boundaries.
• Find a friend to pray with and hold each other accountable to working on your stronghold.
• Establish boundaries where necessary.

One nice thing about gravity is that the pull weakens the farther up you go. It’s still there, so you have to be careful, but it’s not the same struggle that it was back when you were trying to break free from it.

Thankfully, it’s the same way with strongholds—if you use the right fuel, keep that upward thrust, and put the right structures into your life to help you succeed, eventually you’ll break free of the stronghold. There will come a point when living free gets easier.

This has happened to me with emotional eating. I rarely truth journal or pray Scripture for it these days. That doesn’t mean I never struggle with emotional eating—it’s just that it doesn’t have a hold on me anymore. Bad days are rare, and even when they come, I can usually see the truth right away and correct my behavior.

I wouldn’t have gotten to that point, though, if I hadn’t made the effort to break free from the stronghold. And let me tell you—it was an effort.

Can you imagine those early scientists who started to picture a trip to the moon? It might have seemed impossible at the beginning, but they worked on it and worked on it, and eventually it happened.

My friend, I want to encourage you today not to give up. Success is possible.

Just make sure you use the right fuel, keep your upward thrust, and structure your life to help you move in the right direction, . . . because you can’t get to the moon in an airplane.

(I know—that last line was incredibly hokey, but I couldn't resist!)

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