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  1. I think that food would be my big thing as well…especially the Mexican food you speak so fondly of. What great thoughts. I have never thought when passing up food to instead share with someone who did not have it, such a small thing to me, but such a big thing to someone else.

  2. My husband and I talk about the food addiction thing so often! I tend to feel guilty for eating so much (sweets are my vice) and he justifies it. We are a pair, us two! 🙂 We both need to stop living in guilt or with justification because that is not God’s intention for us. Instead, we should simply eat less, buy less, and give more.

  3. It is food for me too. It is too easy for me to not like what is in my fridge or pantry and run to the nearest supermarket to buy what I want for dinner or just buy take-out or head the the diner for dinner.

  4. Rather than eating too much food, mine is not wanting to eat too much! During high school and college, I was overly concerned about my physical appearance… how skinny I was – and food was the problem. God opened up my eyes during college to see what really matters. I knew all along, but the worldly thoughts had a hold on me. It wasn’t until I saw God in light of who HE really is… and that EVERYTHING is all about HIM, was I able to stop focussing so much on myself!

    While I don’t struggle nearly as much as I used to, there is still a battle between wanting to balance healthy foods and allowing myself some snacks/sweets, etc. and also maintaining regular healthy exercise. The biggest battle is in my mind… and knowing that I need the food/exercise battle to be healthy – not merely to be what my worldly image of “skinny” is.

  5. I do like sugar a lot. The dessert thing, especially when I’m home alone, is killer. But also, the tendency of mine to not let go/forget when I think someone has done something to me/my family that i don’t like. I need to just move on with life and love them.

  6. For me, food isn’t the addiction as much as exercise. I have observed that I can allow it to get in the way of relationships. I know that pride is tied into this as well.

  7. This has been on my heart for years. It seems to be the acceptable sin in christian circles to over indulge with food. It is a part of what is holding us back here in North America. I too can get so focused on myself that I forget about those that are in need. We need a wake up call! Thank you Chris!

  8. What a blessing! You are right on that our addictions are a ‘spiritual matter’ far more than we realize . . thank you for being obedient and sharing!

  9. Chris-

    My husband and I ordered your book about 2 weeks ago and have begun a journey to healthier eating. It’s “funny” to me that you spent 2 years attending AA meetings…I say this as a wife of a man who attends AA himself, and I attend Al-Anon. God has spoken to me loudly in those rooms where I have found recovery for myself and a deeper relationship with Him. I guess I didn’t stumble upon your book by accident! Thank you for your words, as my husband and I seek to lead our family in healthier lives all-around and putting Him at the center of all of our decisions in life.

    ~Melissa
    Georgia

  10. Wow! that was a mouthful… I had not though about this like this ever… I am encouraged… There is a challenge placed before us as GOD makes us aware of things… I will take the challenge and move forward in Jesus Name…

  11. Man is a true eye opener – have struggled with weight my adult life – this sure sheds a totally bright light – restores hope that this will be overcome.

    Thank you!

  12. Considering ALL things – even an addiction to tortilla chips & queso – makes us even more aware of how ALL-ENCOMPASSING God really is. Wow.

  13. oh sigh…….i just want to cry….food addiction-sin-selfishness….that’s me…. I know all the right ‘ways’….all the right answer’s….but does that make me change??? in should…but it doesn’t.

  14. For someone who has attended OA for my compulsive food addictions for over a year now, I can attest to the need to refocus my mind away from myself and any food (whether it be salad & carrot sticks or trigger foods) and instead focus on God’s constant presence & greater issues.

  15. I have a few addictions: Hot tea with sugar, potato chips–espeically Tostisos. I usually don’t buy any chips & that stops that craving.

    Loved the phrase from Augustine: “our fasting should always nourish the poor:”

    “‘Break your bread for those who are hungry,’ said Isaiah, ‘do not believe that fasting suffices. Fasting chastises you, but it does not refresh the other. Your privations shall bear fruit if you give generously to another.’”

    I try as often as is possible to help the poor, less fortunate or just my neighbors and friends. My thing is to make small meals for them when they have family in hospital or are recovering from surgery or just really busy with family. I enjoy it & get a kick out of doing it! That is my way of being Christ to them!

  16. Chris, thank you! Reading this today I see that I am not alone. I have struggled all my life as food was a replacement for love in my younger days. When I came to the Lord at 35, and I was growing, I asked God what is standing in the way of my getting closer to Him. It was very clearly spoken to me that food was my idol. For the last 23 years I have struggled, confessed so many times of my addiction to carbs, my binges…but only thinking of myself. I must get your book! I now see that my thoughts must focus on others who have less, not on myself and how I look.

  17. Wow…God is so amazing. I was just contemplating fasting this morning. Feeling very out of control. Food has always been an issue for me. I can get it under control for a period of time..sometimes a year or two- then I am so out of control. It IS a spiritual issue. I see it that way. If I can’t take my life-issues to the Lord and believe that He can handle them-then where is my faith? He wants us not only to be healthy and available to do His work, but also be an example of His power! Demonstrating self control that we can only get from Him! Being over weight is a shameful thing for all to see. I don’t want to be bogged down in physical weight–or the mental-weight of shame. I need to run this race to win the prize! Thank you! I would love to read your book! Thank you!

  18. I so need to read this book. I really resonate with what he says about fasting is not enough, we need to make it count by feeding someone else. To paraphrase my favorite preacher, Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, God is not interested in my guilt; He wants to see me change for the better. Maybe this book will help me move forward, past the guilt.

  19. Thank you, Chris, for that thoughtful essay. I, too, eat more than I need to, and weigh more than I should. I cook for some very thin daughters, who obviously need the food, and who use up a lot of calories as they run and exercise, and play volleyball, etc. so I can’t just stop cooking food in the way that I will be able to once they leave home. But self-control and discipline is the goal here, not just avoidance. I agree that, although gluttony is listed as one of the sins that God hates, it is a sin that we, as a church and culture, often overlook. I appreciated your commenting on focusing on something bigger and on the issues that God desires, such as justice, loving mercy, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. I wanted to say that finding something that is as addicting as eating food, but is on God’s list of what he desires for us, has helped me. For me that has been memorizing scripture with ScriptureTyper. I will add these verses on fasting to my list of scriptures to memorize. Focusing on God’s Word and on not being hearers only, but also doers of the Word (James 1:22) is my goal. Jesus said that if we hear his words and do them we are like a wise man who built his house on a rock. (Matt. 7:24-27) I also want to point out the AWESOME blessings that follow the one who fasts as God requires, in Isaiah 58, the one who works to stop injustice and to set the oppressed free, who shares his food with the hungry, provides shelter for the homeless and clothes for the naked; v. 8, Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear, then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say, “Here am I.” Then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday….and on and on. Lots of blessings will follow!

  20. You hit the nail on the head … been there, done that. I appreciate your new thought to think about and DO for someone else while keeping the focus off of myself and what I want!

  21. I have struggled my entire life with food addiction and weight issues. And reading about your book and other books that I have read recently have me thinking more about how awesome God is and how blessed I am to be able to serve Him. My addiction is all part of healing process that He is working in my life along with giving more of myself to helping others. I’d like to get a copy of your book to learn more about this process as I, myself, move toward healing. It’s just amazing to me to think that He can heal the holes in my heart while teaching me to be more compassionate toward others in my life, community and church.

  22. I’ve struggled with food issues my whole life. I’ve made food an idol at so many times in my life. Desserts and sweets are my particular weakness. When I think about my weight, I feel guilty. As an American, I know even though I’m considered “middle class” I really am wealthy compared to the rest of the world. I’m wealthy enough to be fat and that bothers me! Can’t wait to read your book! I’ve thought about fasting, but I’ve never considered giving the food I would have eaten away…giving my food to others. Another sign it is such a big idol in my life. I tend to hoard food and want to eat things I’ve bought at the grocery store right away as soon as I get home.

  23. i feel like a fat cow of Bashan when i indulge and others have none, but its not food i have some struggles with food like sausage but because i am so thin ive always kind of identified with those impoverished and had no real patience for those who were so full that they never bothered to turn their heads. i do think i have a problem with giving of myself to others i think God wants me to be more giving of my person and not so satisfied with being alone. i do like me, but thats really selfish i am created for others not simply me and Jesus.

  24. Admittedly, there have been times I have eaten certain things to “make myself feel better.” Instead, I should be allowing God to fill any voids, depending on Him to fulfill my each and every need. Thank you for this encouraging message.

  25. Have to stamp those in my memory, (2) thought and prayerfully action provoking statements, “Our fasting should be to nourish the poor.” and ” We have too much while they do not have enough.” have to put them in my head, stamp them on my heart, I need to write them down (I will) for my eyes to see. I want to always remember this is my real reason I should fast. This is the fast that please God, the one He is calling for. Shamefully selfish and no reason to be. I know… there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ, but where is my conviction when I’m standing in a buffet line? Selah…yeah I will keep these things in my heart and pray to never forget them. Thank you for this article.

  26. Caffeine is definitely my issue. When I’m tired or discouraged, I turn to a cup of coffee. I have removed caffeine from my diet and am striving to turn to God when I need strength and hope rather than a cup!

  27. I think comfort in general: food, clothes, a nice home. The overindulgences of our culture has seeped into all areas of our lives as a believer. God is really stirring my heart in this area and it seems like in a lot of our hearts through books like this, Jen Hatmaker’s 7, Radical, Crazy Love, etc. It seems like God is igniting revival in our hearts as we examine how we’ve become trapped in buying into the gluttony of our culture. Would love to read this!

  28. I often find myself “trapped” in the lie that it’s wrong to be angry… I know anger in itself is not a sin, and often times I find myself believing that it’s wrong. My response to it, on the other hand, is really what tricks me. I might be angry at a situation, and my acting out as a response is what leads me to the sin. I want to give it up so bad!

  29. What conviction.

    Food: my favorite thing, my love language, my…god???

    Thank you for stopping me in my tracks today!

  30. After struggling with an eating disorder for years, I know all too well the constant struggle with the physical/ spiritual battle. For a long time I separated who I was, and battled my eating disorder for years. Once I realized I was not just my body but also spirit… The lord really began to move.

  31. Is there a worldly, selfish motive that has trapped you in your Spiritual life? Were you able to give it up or would you be willing too?

    A desire to watch things on TV that make me not feel badly about my life. You know, watching reality TV because my family is certainly not as messed up as that. Instead, I should be focusing on what I have and how I can change to be more like Christ.

    Thanks for your post today.

  32. I think I struggle with excess in a few areas. Sugar and treats would be the hardest to curb, but I think shopping- especially when it’s a smokin deal or amazing coupon. Oh the life of excess can be embarrassing for sure.

  33. Thank you for offering your book as a gift.

    When I think of what distracts me from relationship w/ the LORD, I think of media– media can trap me and suck away valuable time meant for me & my family… Just simple things like checking my smart phone too often… or watching pointless tv. Even listening to the (Christian) music can distract me from listening to Jesus if I don’t make time for quiet everyday!

  34. Mine is food, but what I started fasting during Lent was TV. I started out with a selfish motive of needing more time to accomplish my goals for this year, but God used it for His glory! After 3 weeks, I felt Him leading me to cancel my cable. I asked God to confirm it because a 40 days commitment is one thing, but canceling my cable indefinitely is a different story! He confirmed it – 3 times!! (Note: I kept my internet) I have found that by giving up TV, I now turn to God to wind down from a hectic day. It opened my eyes to see the vulgar shows I was watching regularly. Now, if I watch something inappropriate (at someone else’s house), I recognize it for what it is and walk out of the room or strike up a conversation to divert my attention. It has also helped me to learn to really listen to others when they talk, pray for them, and genuinely care for their needs. I am no longer agitated when the phone rings (it used to interrupt my shows!). I now have a daily quiet time and have an answer for the random question when someone asks how God is working in my life. Did I forget to mention I even save money each month because I’m only paying for internet? 🙂 God is good!

  35. I feel so ‘consumed’ by the everyday pressures to have a nicer house, more stuff, more comfort, etc. – it is so ingrained in our culture! Specifically, I have a hard time denying my flesh of expensive coffee treats.

  36. I desire a more Christ-like response to the poor. I want my heart & soul to be mindful of their plight………….thank you for your wise words.

  37. Thank you Chris for sharing this. I struggle with this same addiction, and I have been on a path to truly surrender this to Him and develop a healthy relationship with food. I have to say this sentence struck me the most “It is a painful realization, not only because it exposes my selfishness, but also because it is clear to me that my sin is evident to everyone present.” Wow. Just wow. So true and I’ve never thought about it this way. You’ve given me new food for thought.

  38. Food… something we need everyday to sustain us yet I have turned it into something that consumes my thoughts. When is my next meal? What shall I fix?

  39. I have often thought of fasting, but never actually pursued it. Amazing thought that it isn’t just about me trying to do “good” but to show generosity to others who go without. Soft drinks are my downfall…

  40. I thank you for bring to my attention that food is one of my crutch I lean on while I am not happy and ashamed of myself. I need to focus on Jesus more and and stop feeling I need food to help me feel better. To give to others who have no food should be my focus instead of over filling myself. I would love to read your book to help get started.

  41. Thanking Jesus for these truths… to live in the power of His victory: my heart’s desire!

  42. What a wonderful post! Yes, absolutely yes to focusing on something bigger than food or creature comforts.

  43. I am amazed to see him expressing exactly what I am feeling. Having been thin all my life, I am amazed to see how little self-control I have when it comes to food. Having put on more weight than I should, I can’t seem to say no to food. In the morning I am not going to snack today, then I snack all day. But changing the focus is a unique way to look at this issue. Using this weakness to glorify God.

  44. I came face to face with my ingratitude the other day while driving. I have the gift of more food options and quantity than anyone anywhere in the world. And I overindulge. And then I complain about being overweight. So I am complaining about a gift from God that I have abused. I had to repent and beg forgiveness right there in the car.

  45. I think my problem is pleasure in general – the numbing, feel-better effect of it. Whether it is watching a movie/show or eating or shopping – I just want more of it so I will feel better.

    I do agree with many of the commenters above, though. My relationship with food is…well…not so much about nourishment, but more about enjoyment.

  46. My biggest problem is with food. I tend to overeat, especially when there is a food that I am craving or there is a dish that I especially like.

  47. Food has been my struggle for years, and even though I know it is truly a spiritual issue, I feel totally powerless to change it. I have tried so many ways to renew my mind in this, and nothing has been very successful for very long.

  48. I must agree with Dawn above—my addictions are more about pleasure. I have an addiction to food–and shopping (I even call it “Retail Therapy”). I am dating someone with an addiction to alcohol. We both struggle a lot. We both know what needs to be done, but can’t seem to bring ourselves to follow through. I am going to start praying harder–and more often–and I’ll ask the same of my boyfriend. I know these things can be overcome–they look big to us–but they are small–trivial even. God sees them as nothing–and can wipe them off our slates forever. If any of you think of this post when you’re saying your prayers, please include us in that prayer. Thank you.