Self-Indulgence is turning to something other than God to meet your needs. We are made to crave God rather than food or things.
Some of my earliest memories involve sneaking food and candy alone in my bedroom: celebrating with Smarties or Snickers, crunching on Pringles, eating chocolate chip cookies late at night in the kitchen with the lights out so no one would notice. When I was older, I was much more aware of eating healthy food, but I would deceive myself by gorging on salads with cheese, croutons, and creamy dressing, or at holiday gatherings overeating ham, green beans, and baked potatoes soaked in butter and sour cream.
I was able to hide my obsession with food by the vicious cycle of over-eating-then-dieting until I was pregnant with my first child. My whole body, not just my belly, swelled to over 200 pounds on my 5’4’’ frame. I finally had to face the fact that I had a problem. I could feel the magnetic pull of a giant black hole that my many obese ancestors had fallen into. I knew that if I didn’t get help, I would likely be overweight for the rest of my life. By the grace of God, I was able to manage my weight by becoming a member of Weight Watchers and the YMCA, but the bigger problem of my soul craving was simply coming to the surface.
In Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Made to Crave, she writes about “satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food.” In her words, she relates: “I had to get honest enough to admit it that I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Chocolate was my comfort and deliverer. Cookies were my reward. Salty chips were my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness. I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Really surrender. Surrender to the point where I’d make radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health.” ¹
Your area of over-indulgence may not be food, but if you are truly honest, what do you crave more than God? Is there an area of over-indulgence in your life that needs to be tempered with self-control?
What will it mean to truly surrender to God and make Him first in your life? What is the “extra weight” that God is calling you to get rid of? Let’s start the dialogue. Take time to write a comment.
¹ http://madetocrave.org/2011/02/chocolate-is-my-comfort-and-deliverer-dacmic/ accessed September 27, 2012.