A daily devotional walking through God's word together using The Bible Reading Plan at http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.
What addictive behaviors do you hang on to because you think others think poorly of you? Let’s talk about that today.
Many of you know my wife is a registered nurse. She often watches programs, videos, and podcasts that might sound a little weird to the average person. For instance, I often find her watching a pimple popping doctor. Of course, these aren’t ordinary pimples. They are the ones that are deep rooted and need minor surgery to get to the root of them. Yuck! Not good viewing for late snack entertainment or for the squeamish.
And sometimes she watches a program that involves some people that you wonder how in the world they got into the circumstances they did. The program follows patients of a Houston doctor that tip the scale at 600 pounds or more. When you first see some of these folks you get a little mad at them and blame them for their condition. After a while you discover it’s not them. At that weight, they can no longer lift themself from the bed or get through the door of their room. The only way they can get the food that is gradually killing them is for someone to bring it to them.
Among alcoholics and drug abusers we have a term for that person. They are titled co-dependent of the person with the problem. The truth is that both the addicted person and the person feeding the habit both have a problem. For these 600 pound people, those last couple of hundred pounds come only because someone else provides the calories to them. Someone else provides the very thing that shortens their life.
So why do both of these groups, the addict and the codependent do what they do? Every single one has said they don’t want to be that way. Every single one has declared they want to lose the weight. They don’t want to eat so much or they don’t want to deliver so much food to the person in the bed. Every one of them say they want help to get the morbidly obese person back to a better state of health and get them up and moving on their own again.
But every one of them at first, fail to recognize their problem doesn’t start with the consumption of calories. The overeating is just an expression of a much deeper problem. The doctor who treats these men and women always insists on some pretty intense counseling before he will consider gastric bypass surgery to curb the appetite of the morbidly obese and try to bring their weight back to a level which will not mean certain death within months.
As part of the program, the individuals let us take a peek into their private lives and invariably we find they have a pretty high dislike for themselves and assume everyone else feels the same about them. They feel alone in the world. They tell themselves the mantra, “No one loves me.” a thousand times a day. When you tell yourself those negative thoughts enough, you begin to believe them. And for these morbidly obese individuals, their escape from the self loathing dialog is in food. Then because the codependent partner or child doesn’t want them to feel that they are unloved, they give them what they want...more food. It becomes a vicious cycle until before long the individual finds they cannot move themselves off the bed and they know they are dying by their own habits.
My heart goes out to these individuals, but they are not alone in their negative self-talk. They escape is more obvious than some because they wear their escape in the form of added pounds. But thousands upon thousands have that same conversation with themselves every day. “No one loves me. I’m all alone in the world and no one cares.” And they feed that negative emotion with some dangerous addiction that pushes them to believe their lie more each day.
Satan does a great job of putting blinders on us so we can’t see what’s really going on around us. He puts roadblocks in our path and puts the right negative people in front of us or maybe even the right positive people to make us feel even worse about ourselves. “If I could only be happy like that person.” Ever been there? I expect you have at some point in your life. It is one of the world’s greatest lies.
Saul’s soldiers felt that way in the Valley of Elah, Death Valley. Goliath came out every day to tell them how worthless they were. “Lazy. Cowards. Can’t fight. Dung heaps wasting good air. Unbelievers can’t even trust your own God to rescue you.” Forty days he came out telling them the same thing. They began to believe it of themselves. A friend of mine calls it “stinkin’ thinkin’”. She is very right.
So what can we do about it? How can we get past Goliath and his negative taunts rolling around in our head when the voice sounds just like ours? Because we would certainly tell ourselves the truth, right? How do we turn those thoughts around and begin to get an edge on that giant to we can win against him?
First, remember who made you. God is the creator of all things. He made you. As much as science would like to say you are just the conglomeration of some biological process. We haven’t been able to come close to creating life. That’s God’s job and he does it very well. By the way, if you go back and read Genesis Chapter 1, you won’t find a single time in the creation story where God says, “Oops, I made a mistake with that one.” He declared everything he made as good. Everything. So that means he didn’t make a mistake with you either. God created you to be you and he did it well.
Second, if God says everything he created is good, who are we to argue with him? How can we turn around and say, “Hey God, you got this one wrong.” Not possible. He did it right and you are included in that creativity he started those uncountable years ago.
Third, with those two things in mind, write down a positive mantra for yourself. Something as simple as “God makes all things well and I’m one of those things he made.” Then when the stinkin’ thinkin’ starts to rear its ugly head, turn it on its ear with that mantra. Whether you want to believe it or not isn’t the point when you start. Just say it. Out loud or in your head, say it. Focus on it. Believe it. Get the stinkin’ thinkin’ out of your head by pushing it away with that positive mantra. Let that be your release instead of whatever habit you have been using to pacify yourself when the “woe is me” thoughts creep in.
Will this positive thinking cure all your ills, habits, and addictions? Not by itself, but it’s a start. At least it gets that noisy negative guy pushed into the recesses of your mind for a while so you get a break. And who knows, with some positive reinforcement and God on your side, Goliath doesn’t stand a chance.