“Red Herring” Issues

“This time of year is so stressful; I’ll do better with my eating in January.”

“It’s just one party after another so there’s no way to eat right.”

“The goodies are everywhere; who can resist them?”

“Everyone gains a few pounds during the holidays.”

For many women, it’s a given that they’ll overeat and gain weight during the holiday season, and for many women the reasons are obvious, BUT the reasons they believe result in weight gain are not the real  reasons. In fact, they are “red herrings” that lead them down a wrong path to a wrong solution.

As every mystery aficionado knows, detectives often pursue “red herrings” before they realize they’re suspecting the wrong person and start noticing that the clues actually point to the real culprit. Likewise, with overeating, women think a particular issue is the “villain” when the real issue is lurking in the shadows.

When women think stress is the issue, the real issue is whether they understand how to turn to God with their stress (or any emotion). Read a few of the Psalms and you’ll see that stress is addressed through open expression of emotion to God and reviewing the trustworthiness and provisions of God.

Are all those parties and the ever-present holiday goodies calling to you? It’s likely the real issue is that you have self-imposed food rules and are experiencing dieting deprivation that makes those goodies part of “forbidden fruit” syndrome. What is already permissible can’t tempt you to overindulgence.

If everyone assumes weight gain to be a given during the holiday season, that doesn’t mean it’s a given for those who live by God’s Spirit. Usually “common wisdom” is not wisdom at all. God’s wisdom says that, as new creations in Christ, we are naturally self-controlled, so the time of year means nothing. (See Galatians 5:16.)

Ask God to show you the real culprits that lead you to believing in the world’s lies about holiday eating, and then you can take them “captive to the obedience of Christ.”

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