Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Feeling Shame?

They suddenly felt shame. (Ge.3: 7)

I know that feeling and it isn’t great.  This feeling of shame may come in many forms.  One of many spiritual disciplines to help overcome shame is fasting.  Fasting can be full, partial or specific.  Adam and Eve could eat freely from anything in the garden but were to fast one specific fruit from one specific tree.  Genesis 25 describes a man named Esau who sold his future for an immediate meal of bread and lentils.

The way we interact with our food really does matter.  For one piece of fruit, and one meal of bread and lentils, people in our past history, made really bad choices.  What if, they would have continued to live a long-suffering life, choosing to not let a specific food be their downfall into a shame based experience?

Food disorders are not uncommon.  Being hangry, that combination of hunger and anger is also not uncommon.  Saying no within a willfully chosen fast can build one’s self esteem and experience the opposite of shame.

On Super bowl Sunday, together with others in our community of God’s people, we will end our self-imposed finite fast of 21 days.  I am not obsessing over it, but I am preparing for it.  Recent trips to the grocery store now include soda, chocolate and honey, all of which were the things I volunteered to fast. 

This time frame has passed fairly quickly because the focus is not on the fast, but on “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:1-4)

Being able to continue my voluntary exercise program during the fast has also built up my self-esteem, my reservoir of grace and peace from God and some positive side benefits.  While losing 5 lbs., in the process of conditioning I experienced suffering, and that is a good thing.  All our life, we will suffer with all our choices whether good or bad.   We will suffer shame for the wrong choices, and/or suffer with the feeling of denying ones self a full meal, a partial meal or a specific food item.  On Sunday I am looking forward to sweetening my coffee with honey, drinking some Ginger Ale, and eating chocolate cake. I hope to share a few pieces of chocolate cake with my grand daughter who chose to fast chocolate for 21 days. Meanwhile, this time of total immersion in the Word has brought some glorious moments with the Lord.  This fast has helped me understand more deeply the Word of God and how to apply it to my life.

“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18(KJV)

Looking for a way to overcome a feeling of shame?  Join us in the journey to freedom.  Visit viennaag.com for more information.

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