Thursday, April 26, 2012

a little perspective

Lately, I've been reading "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young during my devotions. Every devotion in the book is from the perspective of Jesus - it written as if He is talking to you. (Side note - I HIGHLY recommend this book!!!) Everyday it seems that the reading for that day is exactly what I need to hear - my God is cool like that.

The last couple of days, I've been struggling with my eating, and I was feeling really down and experiencing a lot of self-pity. This of course, made me want to eat even more unhealthy foods.

Here is today's devotional from "Jesus Calling":
April 26
"Welcome problems as perspective-lifters. My children tend to sleepwalk through their days until they bump into an obstacle that stymies them. If you encounter a problem with no immediate solution, your response to that situation will take you either up or down. You can lash out at the difficulty, resenting it and feeling sorry for yourself. This will take you down into a pit of self-pity. Alternatively, the problem can be a ladder, enabling you to climb up and see your life from My perspective. Viewed from above, the obstacle that frustrated you is only a light and momentary trouble. Once your perspective has been heightened, you can look away from the problem altogether. Turn toward Me, and see the Light of My Presence shining upon you."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Psalm 89:15

So good, right?! I was falling into the "pit of self-pity" instead of looking at it from His perspective. This, of course, is easier said than done, but when I look at my problems from his perspective, I'm able to press forward toward my goal, instead of being stuck in the muck of self-pity and resentfulness. Let me be clear - I don't think it's a bad thing to be frustrated with yourself when you mess up - on a diet, in a relationship, whatever. Feeling frustrated means you recognize that you did something wrong and you know you need to change it. This feeling of frustration and/or anger at the problem can lead to the action of fixing the problem. However, if you stay in the frustration and anger stage and don't move to the stage of action to change, you can get stuck in the self-pity stage. This is not a productive stage - in fact, it can be very destructive.

So, I was frustrated and experienced my self-pity, and now it's time to move on from this to action. It's time for me to look at my problem from His perspective. Some of my eating habits are a problem, but they don't have to be obstacles that trip me up - they are obstacles to overcome. They are stepping stones to the end result - they are part of the story, my story. I'm always going to struggle with food, but my relationship with food has changed and continues to change. I still fail. I still struggle. But as long as I turn to the Lord after I fail instead of wallowing in self-pity, I will win and reach my goal.

Lord - give me strength to keep going when I fail. Allow me to experience your power when I don't have my own will-power. Help me to feel a healthy level of frustration when I fail to motivate me to keep going in the right direction, but convict me when I begin to get comfortable in my self-pity. I've come this far, Lord, help me to keep going to the end.

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