- “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24
- “… likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
- “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good…” 2 Timothy 3:1-3 Read verse on BibleGateway
In light of these verses (and many others) it’s easy to see that self-control is valued in the eyes of God. My own struggle with self-control largely deals with the amount of food that I consume. I can certainly see the wisdom in making a New Year’s resolution to change one’s diet and a lack of self-control certainly comes into play when dealing with overeating.
How many times have I tried and failed at dieting? What about you? I’m pretty certain that I am not alone in my horrible track record in resolution-keeping, especially where diet is concerned.
If the beginning of finding a solution to a problem is to name the problem, then let’s name the problem specifically, in all its ugliness. Let’s get to the root of the matter. My problem is gluttony. One might call it “emotional eating”, “stress eating”, or “overindulgence”, but I think these terms might only serve to remove personal blame, as though the problem is solely circumstantial and not resulting from a problem in one’s own heart.
“Overindulgence” might be a bit more appropriate, but I think “gluttony” paints a better picture of the ugliness of the problem. Even further, gluttony is essentially just another form of (gulp!) idolatry.
A few months ago, I prayed to the Lord for help with my gluttony. What I found shortly afterwards, was a website offering a free course about dealing with the sin of gluttony. I’ve found the lessons to be Biblical and solid, offering real help and hope. The website is titled “Setting Captives Free”, and the course I’m taking is called “The Lord’s Table”. A mentor is provided that corresponds with you via email, or you can choose to have your lesson activity sent to a friend who has agreed to be an accountability partner. *[UPDATE 4/30/2016: The Settings Captives Free site has changed. The owner has made philosophical changes to the site, along with a site name change, and I have not searched the new site enough to be able to recommend it.]
I’ve found my mentor, Janet, to be very helpful in encouraging me to stay on task. The best part of the course is that it’s not really about dieting, but about finding satisfaction in Christ the Lord and “feeding on Him”. Have you found satisfaction in Christ? Are you interested in the course? If so, I’ve added the course details below. Connect with me here at Gospel Wine and share your progress. Let’s encourage one another in the New Year.
settingcaptivesfree.com/courses/lords-table/ *Site has changed. I may update the link if I find the new site to be helpful and discerning (i.e., biblical).
Happy New Year,
(Verses taken from the ESV, with bold print emphasis added)