Finding freedom from overeating and continuing to experience that freedom has a great deal to do with understanding God’s grace and constantly partaking of it.
Self-discipline is a form of self-reliance that ultimately fails and even backfires, but self-control is a fruit of God’s Spirit and by God’s grace we can rely on that fruit to be more and more evident in our lives. See Titus 2:11-12.
Concern with appearance and weight drives us to seek ungodly ways to conform to “the pattern of this world,” but by God’s grace we keep God’s values at the forefront of our lives, measuring ourselves the way God does, based on the heart and inner beauty. See Romans 12:2 and 1 Peter 3:3-4.
In the face of negative emotions it can seem that the only way to cope is by “stuffing” feelings through eating, but by God’s grace we realize he welcomes us to pour out our anger, angst, fears, depression, dejection, and hate to him, thus alleviating the felt need to suppress through eating. Read Psalm 73 and Hebrews 4:14-16.
But messages of grace appear to be few and far between. There are so many pressures to try harder and be better, when what we really need is encouragement to realize our own weakness and desperate need for Christ’s strength and empowerment. This is why I seek out “grace-oriented” authors, who encourage believers to grow in grace, not in self-help or self-improvement.
Examples of authors who reinforce grace-oriented thinking are:
- Andrew Farley – Heaven Is Now and The Naked Gospel are two of his titles
- Scope Ministries – Be Transformed, a workbook/Bible study for individuals and small groups
- Bill Gillham – Lifetime Guarantee
If you want some refreshing summer reading, you can’t do better than these!