Do you ever wonder if you’ll struggle with food for the rest of your life? I know I used to feel like that. Eating seemed to be that one thing in life I would never be able to get a handle on. I didn’t control food—it controlled me.
I know many of you who read this blog feel the same way I used to feel. You wonder if you’ll ever get over it, and you’re tired of the battle. It’s hard to keep pressing on when you fail time after time after time.
Of course, Monday mornings are always hopeful. That’s the traditional day to start the new program, right? We eat all weekend with the idea that we’ll be good “starting Monday.”
But Monday never lasts. By Thursday or Friday (if we last that long), it’s back to the same old story—breaking our boundaries, feeling discouraged, and wanting to give up.
Here’s the interesting thing. Since we have a tendency to handle life’s problems with food, our natural inclination is to handle the problem of trying to stick to our eating boundaries the same way. When it’s hard, we eat! Of course, that breaks the boundaries and leads to the feeling that we’ll never get over the problem.
So what’s the answer? Are we stuck in an endless circle of failure and discouragement? No, a thousand times no! The answer is God. He can set us free from anything. He’s the Creator of the universe. He can move mountains. Of course, He can set us free from emotional eating.
What we need to do is study His Word to find out how He sets people free. What does God use to change behavior? Let’s look at Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. When He prayed this prayer, He knew He wouldn’t be around much longer, and He was praying for the ones He was leaving behind.
In John 17:15 Jesus is telling the Father, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” This could also be translated “keep them out of evil.”
He goes on to say how this is accomplished in verse 17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” The Greek word for “in” that’s used here has an essence of “by means of.” We are sanctified and kept from evil by means of the truth.
In other words, we don’t change our behavior by getting up Monday morning and saying, “This week is going to be different! This week I’m going to stick with my plan!” No, we’re changed by the truth.
Remember, it’s not about the boundaries. It’s not about the plan. It’s about truth—and truth comes from God and His Word.
Food no longer controls me, but it’s not because of any brilliant displays of self-control and determination on my part. It was an incredibly difficult battle to change the way I responded to life. It often felt like I was limping along barely able to make progress.
When I felt that old urge to pull myself up by the bootstraps and “wait ‘til Monday,” I had to tell myself, “No, that’s not the way it works. It’s the truth that will set me free. I need to spend more time with God today. I need to cling to His word. I need to carry my thoughts captive to Him.” And that’s what set me free.
It’s also what keeps me free. When I feel tempted to go back to my old ways, I pull out my trusty lie-truth charts and start filling them out again. As I write the truth, I see my desires change before my eyes.
The Bible is a life-changing, joy-giving book. I’m amazed by its brilliance and transformed by it’s wisdom. This Monday morning, I encourage you to look for the solution to emotional eating in its pages—and not in another program!