I hate dieting. Plus I’m really not very good at it. I try. I just lose interest about 10 minutes into any diet I begin.
But that doesn’t stop me from continuing to do it. In my lifetime I’ve probably tried dieting at least 50 times. Only to come to the realization (and maybe a couple pounds less) that I just enjoy eating too much to try to restrict it that severely. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things in life. Eating with family and friends, cooking and trying new dishes. Still, I admit I obsess about it at times.
In a way, food controls my life that way. Thanks to pretty good genes, I’m not seriously overweight, but I don’t miss a meal. Ever. And I’ve never been willing to harness that part of my life and monitor it as I probably should because — really — who’s it hurting?
But at some point, I began to realize the amount of time I spent thinking about it was kind of ridiculous. In a weird way, I discovered that it was affecting other areas of my life as well: how I spent my money, how I saw myself and others, how I felt about myself as a person and even how I chose to participate in life.
When we choose to feed a certain behavior or belief in our lives, we give it control over our lives.
That thing that we constantly think about — constantly considering all the options, constantly letting it hover in our thoughts — is actually controlling us. By allowing our attention to be drawn to it so frequently, we give it a portion of control that may or may not be deserved.
As with anything in life, there are two sides to this. The things we’re feeding in our lives could be good things — wonderful things — that are worthy pursuits and are doing good in the world. Things like building our relationships, building our faith, helping others or even building a future.
Or they could be potentially harmful things — sometimes things that don’t seem that harmful — that have the ability to take away from the good in our lives.
- Maybe we are obsessed as singles with pursuing a relationship though none is on the horizon.
- Maybe we are bitter about past hurts or struggles, nursing them daily.
- Maybe we are striving for financial things that don’t align with God’s view of finances.
- Or maybe we are simply fearful or worrisome about life in general.
If we allow something harmful to stay in our lives, we’re allowing it to control an area that we shouldn’t. And whether we admit it or not, it’s taking away from other areas of our lives.
Another interesting thing to note: The harmful things we continue to feed are often self-focused. If we choose self-living, we ultimately choose the lonely road. What is best for us. We only consider how things affect us. This is like looking at our relationship with God and convincing ourselves that we can earn His love — as if we have control — because we will be good where we need to be, and just ask for forgiveness for the places we can’t be.
At some point, we have to look at what’s controlling us and decide:
Are we going to move forward and away from them or not?
This is where we make a choice. To choose ourselves (or living for ourselves) or to choose others (even if the others aren’t in our lives yet).
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. –Romans 8:6 (NLT)
If we choose other-focused living, we ultimately choose the road filled with a life with others, as if we were Christ. We consider how what we do and say, and how we act might affect Him. We look at our relationship with Him and admit that it is a gift that we don’t want to compromise. Not because it might end if we do, but because we don’t want to cause harm to something we cherish that much.
What are you feeding in your life?
Are there things in your life that you are allowing to control you to the point of distraction?