Welcome to day 3 of the weight loss bible study. As I said in my first post in this weight loss bible study series, we have to go deep and tear down the walls to start to move forward. This post is not just about food addictions. I think all of our addictions can lead to weight issues as well as so many other issues that result in harming our bodies. So while this post is not dedicated to weight loss, I think it is necessary to address overcoming addiction in general, in order to learn to love our bodies and change our body image.
Addiction can consume us. Food addictions, drug addictions, alcohol addictions, sex addictions, smoking, all cause harm to our body and soul. We know addictions are wrong. But the battle with the flesh can take over. We can be so overcome with addiction that it becomes part of who we are. We make excuses as to why it is ok. Why we NEED it! We convince others that we need it. We justify it. We let the flesh take over.
What does the bible say about overcoming addiction and living with addictions. I think he makes it pretty clear as to the constant battle with the flesh.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16)
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” (Titus 2:11–12).
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom 8:5–6, cf. Rom 8:9–11, 6:18–19)
“Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Rom 13:13–14, cf. 1 Thess 5:22)
“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (Jas 1:14–15)
“Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to him whom you obey; whether it is of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? But thanks be to our God that you were the slaves of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. Then being made free from sin, you became the slaves of righteousness. I speak in the manner of men because of the weakness of your flesh; for as you have yielded your members as slaves to uncleanness, and to lawless act unto lawless act, even so now yield your members as slaves to righteousness unto holiness. For when you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.” (Rom 6:16–20)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15–17)
Jesus said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20–23, cf. Matt 15:19–20)
They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves to sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 2 Peter 2:19
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Romans 6:13
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13
There are so many verses about living according to the flesh. This is addiction. When we let our bodies decide what we want and how we will live.
How do we deal with and overcome addiction? I am the first to say it is HARD. So hard. A constant battle. A God knows that.
- He promises a way out. There is always a way. 1 Cor 10:13
- Realize you have a problem. Confess it! James 5:16
- Ask for help. Two are always better than one. Turn to your support network, meetings, family, social groups. Ask people to hold you accountable.
- Get rid of all things that would cause you to stumble. If it is sugar, remove it from your diet! If it is smoking, throw away all packs and lighters and avoid situations and places that make you want to smoke. If you drink, do not even enter a bar! 2 Timothy 2:22
- Pay attention to those around you. Who do you spend time with? If they do not support you overcoming your addiction, then stay away!
- Develop new healthy habits. Find something you love as start focusing on that. (Philippians 4:8,9)
- Pray. He is always there to help you when you feel weak.
- Honor God with your body! Fill it with GOOD things! 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
- When temptation stands in front of you and you want to give in, re-read these scriptures!
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13, cf. Jas 1:12, 4:7)
Addiction is physical and mental. It is of the flesh and leads us to be SLAVES of it. I do not want to be a slave of anything! Including food!
As I studied for this post, I cried a lot. I have addictions to overcome. I can not do it alone. I am not strong enough. He provides a way for me to stop them all. But he will not make us. We are created to make our own decisions. I control if I take that way out. I control if I give in to my addictions. You control it!
I know this was a deep study today. WOW! I hope it pricked your heart like it did mine. In order to move on and live a healthy life full of GOOD I have to remove all the bad. It is all part of our process to get healthy and even lose weight. My body must be treated as the gift it is before it can be strong and beautiful.