And Lead Us Not Into Temptation?

I learned the Lord’s Prayer as a child.  Recited it a lot in my adult life.  I understood “temptation” to be the big stuff – the Commandments.  But it’s been a LOOOOOONG process for it to make sense to me with respect to my health.

I’m a Christian, but my relationship with God is very personal.  I don’t discuss it much.  I have a problem with being judgemental, so I work on that a lot.  I think the way I express myself comes across as judgemental, even when I’m not.  I’m just bossy and blunt.  (Side effect of how I teach teenagers.)

I’ve tried to articulate this before – I don’t know if I can do it with the humility I feel.  There were a couple of missing pieces to my puzzle that prevented me from losing the extra weight and reclaiming my health.  Unrelated things happened in the months prior to June 2009 when I started that may not have been unrelated at all.  I needed to be patiently and deliberately led to it.

1) I read The Shack.  That book challenged my notion of the Trinity.  When I read it, I had to stop at times to just cry.  I was overwhelmed by what was happening in my head and my heart.  The phrase “child of God” was not a figure of speech I used before that time.  I’ve always felt connected to God since I was a child.  I loved Sunday school.  I used to go for walks and talks with Him when I was a teenager.  But I never really developed a personal understanding of the phrase “child of God” until that time.  I don’t know if there was something in the book that triggered that, or if it was just one of those things that causes connections in the brain.

When that phrase hit me, I knew I was NOT taking care of His child – me.  I didn’t know what I was going to to differently, but I knew something was going to change.

2)  In March 2009, I had the emergency room visit that scared the life INTO me.  I’ve blogged about this visit a lot.  (I’ve had several questions about what motivated me to start.  Life Is… describes my thinking at the time.)  I honestly do not recall if I read The Shack before or after that visit.  I just know that the two events are connected.

Last week, a new Facebook friend and I were chatting through email about Christians who refrain from alcohol, but not from food.  A day or so later, someone posted something about how we all need to be tolerant of how others “start and stop” their personal fitness programs.  I had a very strong reaction to that and the word “discipline” popped into my head loudly.  Then this line in the Lord’s Prayer…

“And lead us not into temptation.”

I’m not kidding – this was very clear in my head.  Maybe I was being judgmental again?

Over time, I came to the understanding that my body is a gift from Him.  It’s mine to use while I am here, and though I do not know how long I’m supposed to be on the planet, I know that neglecting this gift may cause me to leave before I’m supposed to.  I believe God gave me free will to choose, but it is up to me to choose thoughtfully.

So for me, I honor Him by not indulging in things that I know are not healthy.  I am tempted, but I do not allow myself to be lead into it all the time.  I do plan my cheat meals to include treats.  But I resist the temptations when it’s not in my plan to have.  I don’t miss workouts.  I make excuses on some days, but I do it anyway.  This discipline is how “and lead us not into temptation” is at work in my life.

I’m not perfect with my diet.  But I do try to stick to fueling my body with food grown by God.  Real food.  Veggies, fruit, chicken, beef, turkey, some pork, and fish.  I’m not eating this way because of any program or style of eating.  I eat this way because the body my life works best with this kind of nourishment.  I feel better and I have more energy than I used to have.  I’ve had to limit grains, because it seems they are not grown by God anymore.  I didn’t know that.  I just started feeling better when I cut out bread last summer.  I’ve since researched GMO’s and have learned that most grains are grown from seeds that have been genetically modified to increase yield.  I don’t think I have a gluten allergy, but I don’t tolerate whatever has been done to the grain.  It bloats me and I don’t feel as good as I normally do.

There will be those who will have a knee-jerk reaction to what I’ve said here.  They may think I’m overly religious.  I’ve been working on this post for a few days now.  I’ve struggled with how to communicate this connection between temptation and food without alienating anyone.  I am not pious.  I do not attend church.  However, I think I am moral.  I try everyday to keep my judgmental tendency under control.  I try everyday to live with humility.  I am grateful everyday – that’s easy.  Life is not perfect – not by a long shot.  But I’m blessed and I know it.

So to those who believe they are resisting temptation by not cheating on their spouse or stealing, I challenge you to think about the smaller temptations.

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14 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life, Motivation, Nutrition

14 responses to “And Lead Us Not Into Temptation?

  1. I really liked that book. It made me think which doesn’t happen too much. I love reading your posts

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  2. Someone else just told me about this book….I’m going to read it for sure! Thanks for your post!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your faith, Tammy- very sincere and real!
    I too struggle with being judgemental and sometimes I believe it is just the “human condition” OR even how some of us are wired (personality). I sometimes think that God “gifts” (if I can use an unusual word) people with a certain keen-eye’d ability to be able to see what needs to be fixed, and sometimes it can feel judgemental because of how we filter & interpret (our attitude about what we are seeing) what we are “judginging” or “observing”. It can be either a strength or weakness, depending on how we use it. As a weakness it can be poisionous and toxic to ourselves and others but if handled well it can reveal important truths that can help people (or ourselves!) move towards healthy change… I hope that makes sense! and thanks for letting me pontificate – lol.

    Also – you might find this interesting… did you know that Daniel (in the Bible) refused to eat the rich food of the kings? He requested healthy food and he challenged them to eat healthy for 10 days! Daniel 1:8-20

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  4. Thank you, thank you! I’m a Christian also and what you wrote here means a lot to me. I’ve been seeking God’s wisdom to know what to do about something in my life. Your post helps me.

    Also, it warms my heart to know you are Christian. You are a blessing to so many.

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  5. Secret Brown

    Wow! Wow! What a wonderful blog. I have read the Shack and it is a great book that challenges you to think outside the box. I started “stalking you” 🙂 when someone liked a pic of your before and after and the transformation, it blew my mind. I have since saved that pic and I am the road to recover the health, body and life that I believed God intended me to have.

    Your love for God is not predicated on the church you attend or if you attend at all, but I do hope you consider fellow shipping with like believers in the house at God because what you have done with your life and body is a ministry that is sorely missed in churches. All church gatherings are centered around food and very unhealthy food I may add. What a blessing you could be to congregation in sharing your journey and knowledge…I hope you will consider it 🙂

    You number one “Stalker”
    Secret Brown

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    • LOL! It’s not “stalking” – it’s “following” here in blogger land. I’m a blogger with a Facebook page – pretty much an open invitation to my life. You are the third person to suggest to me that I reach out to congregations. I’m starting to think that there is a message here that I’m supposed to hear – I’m so slow. My angels have to work very hard. 😉

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  6. Stacy

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. The Shack had a motivated me in a similar way. I appreciate your honesty and hope it helps others break through their veil of excuses and or denial. The truth is right there in front of us at all times. No amount of advertising or scientific genetic modification can change the truth. The truth has set you free! God is just waiting patiently for us to reach out and place our hand in his to help led us out of temptation and deliver us from evil. We weren’t designed to do it alone. Keep writing! Your message is so important!!!

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  7. I appreciate this post.
    So often we neglect truly taking care of ourselves be it out of sloth or glutton, or even because we are too busy trying to take care of people around us.
    I think health and religion tie in together, and this post definitely brought that to my attention. This is really excellent.

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    • I’ve been a little timid about talking about my thoughts on this subject because I didn’t want to turn anyone off. But yesterday, I read a comment on another FB page about those of us who take this journey are “vain”. (Tied in with the narcissism topic I’ve been exploring too). All these things together pushed me to pull up the draft and get it out there.

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  8. Colin DeWaay

    Very well said Tammy! I really like this a lot. Something we don’t really think of often but is so true. Love the reference of refraining from alcohol but not the the foods that poison us just as bad.

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  9. I like this post, Tammy! I was born and raised Catholic; my parents were very involved in the church growing up and we children couldn’t have had a more strong, moral upbringing. But despite knowing all the right from wrong, sometimes we do let the smaller things slip through.
    I am on your side about being judgmental; it’s hard not to be when you have so much knowledge that others don’t and you just want yank the bad foods from people when they talk about wanting to lose weight.. ugh. annoying.

    Regarding your comment above about being vain, I think it’s so much more than that. Yes, I can guarantee almost everyone, especially women, who do venture into body transformation can admit that there is some vanity there, but the sustainability of a healthy lifestyle can’t be considered vain at all! You choose to eat real food, and exercise your body the way it was intended, and you ultimately look good for it.. I think that’s just the reality of taking care of yourself and having the self confidence to know you are doing the best for yourself!

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