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

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rules (Part Two): The Lies We Believe About Rules

1. I don’t like rules (and that’s a good reason not to have any).
Truth: If I only did the things in life I liked to do, my house would be so messy I’d hate living in it, my kids would be so spoiled I wouldn’t enjoy spending time with them, and I’d probably be writing this blog from my jail cell (because I really can’t stand doing my income taxes). Often it’s doing what I don’t want to do that that enables me to live the life I do want to live.

2. The rules make me want to eat.
Truth: My self-indulgent nature makes me want to eat. The rules are just a convenient scapegoat.

3. It’s not a big deal if I break the rules (after all, just one bite won’t hurt).
It actually is a big deal if I break the rules, because 99 times out of a 100, when I break the rules once, I end up breaking them again the same day—and we all know what that can lead to.

4. I can’t believe I broke the rules—I’m such a (failure, loser, etc.).
If I were capable of following the rules without ever breaking them, I wouldn’t have a problem with emotional eating! Of course I broke the rules—but that doesn’t mean I’m a failure. I’m a child of God who just broke the rules. I need to figure out what made me break the rules and press on.

5. As long as I broke the rules, I might as well eat whatever I want.
As long as I broke the rules, I might as well use it as an opportunity to bring my thoughts captive to the truth through Scripture prayer or truth journaling so I’ll be less likely to break the rules next time.

6. No one can tell me how much to eat.
Sad, but true. It’d be a lot easier if my mom were here to control what I eat, but since she isn’t I better set some rules of my own.

7. Rules are too restrictive (and that’s a bad thing).
Living without rules and indulging the flesh leads to slavery (which is incredibly restrictive). Following the rules will give me the freedom I’ve always longed for.

8. All I have to do is follow the rules, and then I can get this weight off and keep it off.
I’ll never be able to follow the rules in my own strength if this is a stronghold for me, so all I have to do is bring my thoughts captive to the truth about a million times (alright, that’s a lie—it only seems like a million times) until I believe the truth so deeply that I actually don’t feel like breaking the rules anymore.

9. There’s no use following the rules anymore today since I already broke them.
There’s no use trying to do this in my own strength today, now that I’ve already broken the rules. I know from past experience that the only thing that will stop me now is taking the time to renew my mind. I better carve out some time to truth journal or pray Scripture before I eat anything else.

10. If I can just find the right rule (eating when hungry, having lifelong boundaries, etc.) it will be easy to control my eating.
If I’m an emotional eater, I’ll never find a rule that makes it easy. If I keep carrying my thoughts captive to the truth, though, one day I'll start believing the truth and on that day, it will start to get easier.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow Barb! I needed this today. It changes my mind about rules. I set a boundary to eat only eat 4 times today (I have been eating almost all day long!). I actually feel better about myself already by setting a boundary just for today. Thanks for writing this blog. I see rules in a whole different light--that it could actually bring me more peace and freedom! I am so glad I found your website. I hope others who struggle with emotional eating find this too. I was losing hope before that I could actually overcome this.