Day 11: It’s not fair!
Thought for the Day: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. . . . That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 – 10)
A huge piece of delicious looking cake was delivered to our table. It was my favorite . . . it was our anniversary . . . and it was free! But I was at the beginning of my healthy eating adventure, which excluded sugary confections. So I graciously offered it to my husband. But inside a different dialogue was playing in my mind, “It’s not fair!”
I think this is one of the biggest tricks Satan plays to get us to give in to temptation. Saying “It’s not fair!” has caused many a girl to toss aside what she knows is right for the temporary thrill of whatever it is that does seem fair. We complain, “It’s not fair that I gain weight so easily when everyone else seems to eat whatever they want and stay trim.”
Now, realize that the dessert itself is not the problem. But if one piece of dessert leads to two and that leads to other compromises, which leads to wrecking our whole healthy eating plan, then the downward spiral reflects how temptation traps us in so many areas of life. I’ve experienced this vicious cycle myself, and I’m here to give you hope that it is possible to conquer it.
My pity party was a clue that I was relying on my own strength — a strength that has failed me before and will fail me again. So, when justifications swirl in my mind — “It’s a special day . . . with a special person . . . what’s the harm in sampling?” — I know I have to grab hold of God’s strength. The only way I’ve found to do that is to invite His power into the situation by mentally reciting truths such as, “I’m more than a conqueror,” “With God all things are possible,” or “Let the peace of God reign in your heart.”
This battle reminds me of the time I counseled a dating couple about setting boundaries in their physical relationship. They were looking forward to the best that marital sex had to offer, but struggled with maintaining purity in the face of immediate and temporary passion. They were tempted with the thought, “It’s not fair that we can’t have sex before we’re married when we’re so in love. Everyone else does.” My advice to them was to think beyond the moment, to say out loud, “This feels good now, but how will I feel about this in the morning? The truth is, compromising my commitments for the sake of physical pleasure is not God’s best for me.”
The same advice powerfully applies to our area of struggle. As we recite truth, God’s power can fill the gap of our weakness. I don’t know what you might be struggling with today, but I can assure you that God is just and fair. There is a good reason why we must face our temptations. The struggle to say “no” may be painful in the moment, but the process is working out something magnificent within us.
Sometimes I find myself thinking that it isn’t fair that I am battling like this with my weight and my anxiety. But, then I remember – I did this! Through years of negative thinking and negative self talk and believing the negative all the time, I did this. When I was naturally thin, I stressed out that I was too thin and wished to “eat normally and gain weight”. Now that I have gained weight, I realise just how wrong my thinking was back then. And I have battled ever since. My natural slimness was a gift from God. A gift I rejected through negative thinking and now I realise that my way of eating back then was healthy and absolutely perfect, as was my weight. And yet, I still battle – but I am slowly but surely making the long walk back. Thanks be to God!