Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Obsession Confession

According to Dictionary.com, the word obsess means, "to dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires of (a person); beset, trouble, or haunt persistently or abnormally." I have often heard people say, "Oh I am obsessed with dark chocolate mousse" or "I am obsessed with skinny vanilla lattes from [favorite coffee shop]", and I admit that I have let the word slip from my mouth in regards to food or drinks too. But I am asking myself (and all of you) today, is that okay? Should we really allow ourselves to become so concerned about something, so transfixed on something, that it captivates our minds and consumes our thoughts? How about when that something pertains to food?

I often think about 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, which reads:
"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything.  "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"--and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

In the context of these passage, Paul is talking about sexual immorality and how that sin is a sin against one's own body. But he uses a phrase that could have been a popular saying at the time, when he says, "Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food".. And then he makes the point that God is going to ultimately do away with both a person's current body and stomach. He mentions that he will not be enslaved by anything--including certain foods. I think about this passage in light of sins that I commit against my own body regarding food. I know that when I over-indulge in food (which is all too easy to do) that I am sinning against my own body. Paul moves on to the point later in the passage, that the reason why we should take so seriously the sins that we commit physically (in contrast to a thought we might think) is because our body is literally a temple of the Holy Spirit! Our bodies house God. The Holy Spirit lives within us, and when we sin against our body - whether through gluttonous eating, starvation, obsession over healthy eating, or (in this context) sexual immorality - we are sinning against the "temple of the Holy Spirit".

So, as I think seriously about this plain fact, that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit - the third person of the Trinity - I need to ask myself, "Am I reverencing God in the way that I care for my body?" Do I care more about the fact that God is living inside of me and therefore take excellent care of physical frame OR do I care more about what I want (i.e. an extra helping at dinner or one more handful of chips...)?
All of these thoughts have been spawned by the fact that I love coffee. I drink coffee every morning without fail. I have started using organic sugar in my coffee instead of my normal no-calorie sweetener (Truvia) because it tastes just oh-so-good. I think about my coffee when I am getting up and how good it's going to taste when I take those first few sips. Does this sound a bit obsessive to you? It sure does to me. I am convicted of my obsession over coffee - rather my lustful desire for it. This is why I've decided to stop drinking coffee. My "coffee fast" will start on Thursday, March 1st. Why, you might ask, are you quitting drinking coffee all together? Can't I just ween myself off of it? Sure, I probably could do that, and it would probably be easier. But for me, because this has been on my heart and mind for some days now, I think that James 4:17 applies, "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." Honestly, I am not looking forward to cutting out coffee from my routine, but in order for me to learn self-control and pray through this issue, I am going to, by God's grace, commit to doing so.

As I take on this challenge, and pray for God's help and perseverance in this, I would ask you: is there anything in your life that you think you are 'obsessed' with, that is keeping you from glorifying God with your body? If you ask God for wisdom, He will give in abundance, if only you ask in faith!

Thanks for reading :)

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