Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Tell Me The Old Old Story"1 (Lyrics)
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.