The Guilt of Dietary Transgressions
In my last post, I was sharing my aha moment of no longer being ashamed of my body. When Keith Moore, Pastor of Faith Life Church Sarasota taught about Romans 1:16, 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes' and how God doesn't want us to be ashamed, my mindset changed. I saw that not only does God not want us ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ but He doesn't want us to be ashamed of anything, including our bodies. But then he asked a critical question and that's what's the motivation behind shame? When you think about, shame has two m.o.'s: (1) to humiliate and (2) to condemn. Therefore, if the motivation of shame is to condemn, could that in fact be the answer to our weight loss problem? Did we allow nutrition experts and personal trainers to tell us the number of calories and carbs we should consume daily only to feel guilty or condemned when we exceeded our caloric intake? If so, us feeling condemned or being guilty only hurt our weight loss efforts even further, simply because we were no longer operating in faith in God to help us take care of our bodies, but were now operating in condemnation. But how?
Condemnation and Overeating
Oh don't play innocent girlfriend. You know when you eat that extra piece of cake or that extra slice of pizza, that inwardly and instinctively, you feel bad. Which is God's point exactly. Condemnation is the opposite of faith which means anytime we feel guilty about our indulgences, we won't be able to get back on track if we continue to carry the weight of our dietary transgressions. This is not to say that we should take pride in our over indulgences. But what we are to do, is instead of feeling guilty afterwards, we should immediately ask God to forgive us. And I know what you're thinking. 'You mean I have to ask God to forgive me for overeating?' Yes, and here's why.
Solving the Last Bite Dilemma
Romans 14:23 says, 'But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.' In other words, the bite before the bite that you decided you were going to take a few more bites is the moment you got out of faith and into sin. This is because you were no longer eating by faith - consuming what you needed. You crossed over into excess which means, you knew the next few bites weren't needed and you were just eating to be eating. And if you're honest, then you'll have to admit that once you finished that last bite, you felt guilty. How do I know? I've done it thousands of times. Before I took that infamous bite, I could have used my faith and saved those last bites for later. But instead, I took the bite that led to a few more bites which led to me feeling guilty. What about you?
And this is what Romans 14:23 is talking about; '...he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith...' Before taking the bite that decides if that will be the last bite, we should decide if we're full (in faith) or if we're eating just to be eating (in sin). If you make the decision to go for it, then do something about it - immediately. I know it sounds silly and a bit much, but trust me, it works. Immediately afterwards, ask God to forgive you for eating when you were no longer hungry. Ask Him to forgive you for not letting patience have her perfect work and waiting until later to savor those next few morsels and watch how your thinking will change. I'm not saying this is the silver bullet or will solve your weight loss problem. But it will salve your guilty conscious.