If you are a Facebook friend or have been sharing tweets with me lately, you’ll know that I’ve been committed to studying and leading our women’s group through Lysa TerKeurst‘s book, Made to Crave. I read this book, about “satisfying your deepest desires with God, not food,” at the recommendation of my sister-in-law, at a time when we both wanted to break the pull that chips and chocolate and second helpings had on us.
But here’s a secret: sometimes when I’m reading a good book, I assent in private and say, “This is good stuff!” only to miss out on the impact because I choose not to put it in practice. I sat on the truths of this book for almost a year before realizing that I needed to get some girlfriends on task with me and be accountable to doing this. And shhh… sometimes I think this is the only reason why I lead the women’s ministry, to set up my own accountability system. And for such a study as this, where the truth shows up visibly, above the knees and below the shoulders!
Lysa’s study is all about giving our unhealthy eating habits over to God. She doesn’t let us get away with saying that this area is unimportant or that God doesn’t care about it. She points us to scripture where spiritual battles are fought, lost and won, over food. Consider Eve and the fruit, Esau and the lentil stew, the Israelites and manna…
God very much cares about our habits, our food addictions, our cravings. He cares about why we have them, the foundation of our weakness. Our struggle with food can actually sabotage our soul. My fight vacillates between going to food for comfort (instead of to God) or struggling with an unhealthy body image (accepting lies from the enemy). It has been an honour to be vulnerable about this with a group of women who get it and are in the same spot. As one friend, Megan, put it, this is a “scary-cool” because now that we know how our food struggles are important to God and jeopardizing our ministry, we have to deal with it…
The timing of this study is also interesting considering Operation: Recipe Swap, which some of you may believe I have abandoned. No, there are lessons to come, lessons still to write about. For now, let me just say that I’ve done a lot of thinking about food, both consuming and preparing it and, quite frankly, it’s exhausting. I should be rewarded work-out points for all this chatter. Quick, find me a study about how mindfulness increases your metabolism. Oh there isn’t one? Well, could you grab me a Diet Coke instead?
Made to Crave is filled with memorable maxims that help us reframe our thinking about food and thereby change our habits. For example: “Most of us feel overweight physically, but underweight spiritually” or “My weight loss goal is peace.” Which, yes it is. But I find the biggest prompts for change in scripture. Check this out:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1, emphasis added)
What is more convicting than asking each other (not just assenting privately), what do we have to offer God with our bodies? He has made us, gifted us, equipped us. Do we abuse our bodies in any way either by our bad habits or by resenting the gift? Have we taken care of that which is meant to be a holy and pleasing sacrifice?
How we view our bodies dictates how we use our bodies, translates into our worship, which is what you and I were made to do, together.
(Join the convo on Twitter @loreli29, #made2crave)