We are all sinners. Sin is around us, Sin is inside of us, Sin is us. One of the quotes I liked in a book I read recently is “You are either fully justified or you aren’t”. Thanks to the grace and mercy of Christ I am fully justified. I don’t have to earn my way towards God, that’s not even possible. As I understand more in my faith, and grow in the sanctification process I have become more aware of how much sin is really in me…and how I need to eliminate it (As Matt Chandler says “Don’t feed the lion, drag it out into the street and shoot it”). I am also aware that I am incapable of doing so on my own. God gets ALL the glory, not me.
Sometimes we are unaware of our sin. One preacher described this in such a way that I believe is fitting, and perfectly expresses the point. We all have “blind spots”. We have certain aspects in our life that we are blind to. We can’t see these. You can read the Word daily, study it in depth, worship your heart out, always attend church, and yet be completely unaware of a glaring sin in your life. Sometimes we need our Christian brothers and sisters to, although often uncomfortable, point these out to us. Sometimes we are fully unaware and other times there is something deep inside us that, in a way, we choose to ignore the signs or symptoms.
One of the best examples I’ve heard about blind spots comes from slavery in American history. How could someone claiming to be a Christian, seeking to show the love of Christ, seeking to serve like Christ served, own and treat another human being like nothing more than a dog? Blind spot. Some people may have been so removed, so polluted, so blind, that they really did not see the contradiction in that.
The truth is I will never be able to understand how another human being can treat someone else in such a way. One I can’t imagine it…but I also can’t put myself in their shoes…our culture is obviously much different. We don’t have slavery blind spots today. At least not in America.
There are HUGE blind spots in America (and all over). One such example is possessions and poverty. However, I am not writing today to talk about that common blind spot. Perhaps another day I will try to sit down and really think how to express myself accurately and appropriately on that topic.
Today I am going to write about a blind spot in my life. I am hoping that by confessing publically this sin/idol I can effectively repent and put that focus fully on God. For me, this was the type of blind spot that I created myself… I knew it was there but I ignored the problem.
Here it is. Food.
Food is not bad. We are meant to enjoy it. But when it becomes an idol…well we know how damaging that can be. In the past, especially before Christ, I had several false gods. Sex, sports, money, possessions, etc… I knew and saw how those things could take my focus off of God. I recognized how those idols could destroy and damage my heart. I seek God so much more than those things now. I want God so much more. But then there is food.
There are several parts of this idol I could talk about, but I will focus on one. The main reason I know it is a problem. Something is wrong, when I come home from a stressful day, and the first thing I want to do to get my mind off of the day is eat. Something is wrong, when I am worried, scared, nervous, etc… I think about food as comforting me. The way I think about food is idolatry. I am going to food for immediate comfort instead of going directly to God.
This year has been stressful. I mean, painful, non-stop tears, cry on my way to work, cry in the shower, cry in secret nonstop kind of stressful. Seeing one of my best friends/father in law, struggle with cancer- then lose the battle. Seeing the effect this has on Ashley. It tears me up inside. The agony of not being able to be a father to Chiza and hold him tears me up inside. And when I am stressed, I eat.
Don’t get me wrong. I have NEVER felt more in relationship with God than now. I have never felt more close and loved by God. I would have never made it through Bud’s cancer without our savior. His love, grace, mercy, justice, assurance, carried me. However, I have also viewed food as a comfort. Part of the reason is, because that is what I have always done- as far back as I can remember.
I have hidden this idol. I bury it deep inside and refuse to admit it.
As I have stated before in previous posts. All I want is God. I want to know him more every day, and I want to obey him. So, in order to continue growing, I want to kill the idol of food. I want to eliminate it. I want it gone.
Yes food taste soooo good. Yes, I love steaks, ribs, burgers, bread, cheese, etc… but I love God more. He deserves my full devotion.
So here is what I am going to do. It might seem silly or strange, especially to those of you that don’t struggle with food. I am going to stop enjoying food. Again, I want to stress, food is NOT bad. Food is good gift from God…but many “idols” start out that way. A good gift from God starts to twist and shape into something that is not pleasing to Him. In order to fully destroy this idol, I am not going to enjoy food. Yes I have to eat. I will. But I committing, right now, to eat basic meals and focus all of my attention on God. I’m not sure how long. As long as it takes. Forever if I have too. No more pop, no more snacks, no more desserts, no more excessive eating, etc… I want God more. It’s that simple.
I don’t have the gift sometimes to fully express my thoughts. So it comes down again to this. I want God more than I want food. Really, He is ALL I need. If I am stressed, I go to God. If I start thinking about food, I go to God. The days I feel crushed about Chiza, I go to God. He is worthy of my full attention, focus, devotion, and life.
I strive to continue growing in the sanctification process and I don’t need food (as an idol) to do that.