Get Truth, Get Free

April 10, 2019
by Nan St. Louis

Today, I am making four batches of my favourite dessert: creamy rice pudding. It was in response to a request for the community dinner in two days. I could eat bowl after bowl of it, it's that good, so it has been a bit of a struggle. I'm not having any. Why? Well, I read a very useful book about six weeks ago, Switch on your brain, by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She is a Christian and a neuro-research scientist.

Dr. Leaf has scientific evidence to demonstrate the truth of so much of the Scriptures regarding human nature, for example, "As he thinks in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7a NKJV) The truth is quite amazing: our brains are actually shaped by what we think about, and it affects our bodies. So, to help us to see the truth about ourselves, she has a five-step process: gather, reflect, write, revisit, and active reach. I thought, I'm going to try it!

To test out her program, I picked losing the thirty pounds that I've been carrying around for twenty years, mostly from snacking on sugary products.

The step of reflection has been very interesting. It has revealed motives that I didn't even know I had that are wrapped up in eating: social acceptance, fear of offending, I'm tired, and I need this, or I've worked hard today, so I deserve this. It has laid bare how I justify indulging in sugar. And it has exposed the plain truth that this is not about losing weight; it is about self-discipline.

I realize that like many people, I don't want to hear or know the truth about myself because it can be pretty painful. But unmasking what my real thoughts and motives are and facing the truth about myself has empowered me. Submitting to the Lord in all things is an ongoing process. How much we need God's truth to show us the way!

I have lost weight, by the way, and exercising self-discipline is refreshing. So even though there is a huge bowl of rice pudding sitting in front of me, it has lost its power to persuade.

I praise God not only for the truth that He gives us, but also for the courage to face the truth about ourselves: the weakness, the sin, and the deceptions that we so willingly believe. By the Holy Spirit within us, we can have the victory through Christ.

John 8:31-32 – Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (NKJV)

Galatians 5:22-23a – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (NKJV)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us to follow You in humility and truth, living in the fruit of the Spirit and glorifying You in all things. Search our hearts, know our thoughts, and see if there is any wicked way in us. Grant us courage to hear the truth that You bring to our hearts and to embrace it. Forgive us for telling ourselves lies, and for believing them rather than You! For Your glory, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Nan St. Louis <nanstlouis1@sympatico.ca>
Durham, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the challenge, Nan.


    Very good devotional today Nan. Thank you!


    Congratulations and thanks for the encouragement to change.


    Sounds like a thought-provoking book. Thanks for sharing and God bless Nan!


    Thanks for your devotional Nan. I think I shall read that book!
    (Texas)


    It sounds like the writer you have been reading has been listening to Joyce Meyer. Glad it’s working for you, as she is right on.
    Blessings.


    Nan, thank you for this daily devotional. Like your old self, I have been carrying around an extra 30 lbs. Your message exposed my thinking patterns. Thank you so much.
    God’s blessings.


    Your devotion really spoke to me today. Especially that it’s not about losing weight but about self-discipline. I’ve struggled with my weight for years. In the past 2 years I’ve lost 50 lbs. but I still have more to lose and I’m still struggling. Blessings to you.


    Thank you, Nan, for your wonderful Devotional.
    Now of course you know I am going to ask for your recipe of rice pudding (a favourite of my Husband’s), or is it a family secret?
    God Bless you and keep you.
    (On, Canada)


    This really spoke to me. Well done on following through with your decision and sticking with it. Dark chocolate and caramels are irresistible to me. I shall try the steps and search out the reason for this.
    It’s always been an issue for me, although I’m not overweight.
    Thanks for the challenge. Bless you as you use your beloved recipe for others!
    (BC, Canada)


    Hello
    This was so good, I really enjoyed it and good for you not to give into the rice pudding. It is amazing how much will power we actually have when we ask God for it. Been that and done that!!
    I found the different steps interesting also.
    We have things in common, like our weight and striving to eat sensibly!
    God bless you and all the best.


    Hello Nan,
    A good reminder to us to reflect on God’s word and ask Him to give us the courage and strength to discipline ourselves. Congratulations to you for sticking to your resolution to refrain from too much consumption of sugar products. God is so good and ever ready to assist when we call on Him.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Thanks, Nan, for sharing this devotional with us. Indeed, it’s so easy to nibble on that sweet to satisfy our sweet tooth. Praise God for Lent assisting us by encouraging us to pray instead of snack. My downfall has been gooey good cinnamon rolls at breakfast! They’re so good with eggs and bacon! I rationalize by thinking its morning and I can work it off with housework and dog walking… but who am I kidding? No one, not even myself. Again, thanks for this encouraging reminder. Blessings.


    Hi Nan,
    Good to read your devotional this morning. Very good words and good scriptures as well. I like the paragraph about feeling that we deserve something because we have worked so hard. I am not overweight, but it is a continual struggle to not become that. Right now, I am addicted to chocolate, and quite often I feel that I have earned a bar for lunch on certain days because I worked so hard and accomplished so much. I feel a reward is in order.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Nan. I can just taste that pudding too. There is also such a thing as compulsive overeating, rather than giving our problems to God. It is an actual disease that comes from a ‘broken sense of self.’ The only cure is a spiritual one, but I can’t do it by myself. “I can’t handle it, God. You take over,” is the prayer I use daily. The great thing is that having this disease makes me have to learn on God in my life, become a spiritual being because ‘self-discipline’ never works for someone with the compulsion to overeat or to use sugar as a way to block God’s presence in their lives. As I did.


    Good writing. Thank you.


    Dear Nan St. Lewis,
    Thank you for the precious Biblical devotional with all its helps toward eating discipline – and other Godly disciplines.
    I pray that along with self-control you will allow yourself to enjoy a small-sized bowl of that delicious rice pudding.
    You could send me the recipe for the pudding! I don’t have a problem with being overweight.
    God Bless you. Keep writing.


    Hi, Nan! I am so excited to read your devotion because here we are studying as a men and women’s Bible study her book, The perfect you! it is fascinating as she blends science with scripture! When we realize that we do have the mind of Christ and we are responsible for our thinking, feeling, and choosing, it very powerful! May this thinking wow you eternally!
    Blessings to you.
    (Nevada)


    Dear Nan, I just wanted to say how your devotional caught my attention. I could relate right away as I too have been carrying around thirty pounds and never getting any real success with dieting. I had just cried out to God a few days before I read your devotional for help for another issue that’s going on in my life but when I googled Dr. Caroline Leaf, I believe this is the answer to my prayer. I’ve ordered her books and can’t wait to read them.
    Thanks again for writing that devotional.
    God bless.

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