Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Clever Trick

I was excited. There, in the back of my freezer was an apple pie I had forgotten all about. The perfect complement to the chicken and dumplings, and fruit salad I had prepared for dinner. The pie would be even better with a scoop of ice cream, I reasoned. I pulled on my coat and dashed to the car in the pouring rain. I left the store with not one, but two containers of ice cream. A logical decision since there was a special - two for five dollars. Good deal, right?

After dinner, I thought about my day. Not as productive as I would have liked it to be. I was stressed knowing I'd added more work to the remainder of the week. Frustration set in about mid-afternoon, and I recognized a familiar pattern. I began grazing - you know, a few chips here, a handful of trail mix there, and the piece de resistance, a peanut butter snack bar. All to be followed by dinner and apple pie al a mode - with two flavors of ice cream. I was more than full, and still just as stressed.

Funny to think that Satan tempted Eve with food. What a clever trick used by the enemy. Distracting Eve, so she would not focus on the truth. Look at the serpent's deceptive scheme, "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1; KJV). Casting doubt, was followed by a lie, "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," (Genesis 3:5).

A familiar story. Eve thought about what the serpent said. It sounded like the truth - God probably WAS trying to prevent them from enjoying this fruit. It sure looked good! What would be the harm of just taking a bite? Eve made her choice. And Adam followed close behind.

The enemy has tripped me up using this same pattern. The reality of the other day serves as a good reminder. Because I had scheduled my day loosely, I got distracted by news and websites that became counterproductive. I lost track of time and realized there was no way I could catch up without taking away from family time. I could feel the tension mounting as I looked at the rest of the week, realizing I'd most likely have to table some things till the next week. Stress kicked the door open a crack. The enemy saw his opportunity, and made his move.

Feeling disappointed and frustrated, I reached for what I thought would make me feel better - food. Unfortunately, after grazing and then eating dinner, the truth was that I felt worse. I still had all the same things to accomplish, and now I had to work out harder because of my poor choices. I had never thought of myself as an emotional eater. The truth stung.

Refreshing myself with the truth goes a long way toward keeping me on track. The Apostle Paul shares wise counsel, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God," (Romans 12:2).

Can you imagine Jesus being tempted with food? Remember when He was in the wilderness and the devil tempted Him there? Jesus had just come off a forty day fast and was hungry. The enemy was there to greet Him. "And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread," (Matthew 4:3).  Jesus shares a wonderful truth, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, " (Matthew 4:4).

A revolutionary truth to set me free from emotional eating! Identify why I feel compelled to eat, and take that emotion to the Lord. Realize food only offers a distraction and doesn't solve the problem. Discover what His Word has to say about it and begin living victoriously.

Are you an emotional eater? Can you identify the emotion that turns you to food most often (anger, stress, boredom, guilt, etc.)? Will you allow God and His Word to minister true healing to you today?

Prayer - Heavenly Father, Thank You for the truth of Your Word. It's quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. When emotions get the better of me, help me to be quick to turn to You and Your Word for lasting answers - rather than turning to food. Thank You for Your victorious example. In Jesus' name, Amen.

*A re-post from 2/3/2011


  1. Great thoughts! I'm more of an emotional "noneater," to be honest. Help me, Lord to turn to YOU instead of "other stuff."

  2. I am an emotional eater too. This sheds some light on things for me, thanks so much, Maria. Good "food" for thought! :)

  3. I never thought of myself as an emotional eater, until a few years ago. I eat when I'm bored, and I eat when I'm stressed. And I'm a terrible grazer! I've been praying a LOT lately that the Lord would give me victory in this area of my life.

  4. Boy, could I relate to this! I've had so many periods where social media pulls me and before I know it, I'm behind on my "real" work. I visit blogs much less than I would like to, but I'm feeling better about life in general. :)

    The apple pie looks yummy!

  5. I am currently working on this in my life right now....thanks for this post! I am able to identify what thoughts and emotions I experience when I eat. I try to make note of what I eat and what were my thoughts/emotions/environment at that time, pretty good way to track a pattern

  6. Good post Marian, honest too :) Thanks.
    I think one of the reasons we allow ourselves to be emotional eaters is because it is socially accepted, unlike taking drugs or alcohol, which people do for the same reasons you mention in your post.

  7. I tend to not eat when stressed, but I do love comfort food and have a hard time resisting it. You made some great points today, things I'm chewing on:)

  8. Yikes! A loose schedule and getting lost online...gotta keep focused! Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Hi Maria -

    Since I started working, I find myself wanting to snack. Maybe it reminds me of home.

    After making some bad choices, I prayed about healthy alternatives. I love yogurt, but it doesn't love me. Then, a brand came out with a yogurt that's lactose free. Yay! Now, around 10:30 A.M., I have a yogurt that holds me until lunchtime.

    With an earlier breakfast and dashing around the office, I think I'm burning more calories. Of course, there are the times when someone brings in donuts or cookies...

    Susan :)

  10. I can so relate to this! Thank you for the encouragement of your post, much needed!

  11. A table grace said in my family growing up was, "Lord, please bless this food to our bodies as your word is to our souls."
    If only we would turn to the word of God when we are feeling our emotional cravings.
    Thanks so much Maria for the reminder that we don't get life from food but from the Bible.

  12. Good Morning, Maria!!
    I find this post great food for thoughts.
    I agree with the fact that our spirit needs the word of God as our spiritual food, just like material food is good for our bodies.
    Your recipe is very tasty as well, Maria.
    Thank you for sharing your life lessons and wisdom with the world!!
    I love your wonderful blog, Maria.
    Have a great Sunday!!
    God keeps blessing you!!
    All the best,
    Poet Starry Dawn.

  13. I always marvel at the women who say they lose weight under stress - that stress decreases their appetites. I relate much more to this post - reaching for comfort in food. It's one of my biggest challenges in life. Especially now when Im under stress!
    Great post.