Since I haven't seemed to be able to get myself mentally into what I need to do, I decided to pick up a book that had helped me before. How to Say No to a Stubborn Habit by Erwin Lutzer has been reworked into Winning the Inner War, but the older copy I have was published in 1994. I don't kow if anything else has changed in it besides the title. The subtitle to How to Say No to a Stubborn Habit is "When you really want to say yes." The book itself goes far beyond stubborn habits, though, and tells how to overcoming "besetting sins." My self-control in eating is just one area I struggle with, so I needed to visit this book again.
I don't know that I'll jot notes here from every chapter, but I thought by doing so here and there it will help me remember and incorporate what I have read.
The first chapter deals with the "whys" of temptation and the thought that we'd be able to avoid it so much better if God would keep Satan from us (or destroy him altogether), would take our passions from us, or would intervene to help us avoid those situations where we're more likely to fall. Occasionally He will intervene in those ways, but not usually. Lutzer gives just a few reasons for temptation:
1. A test of loyalty (i.e., Abraham and Isaac)
2. Development of our character
One point that especially struck me here: "Temptation brings the impurities to the surface." In other words, God is allowing us to see and experience an area that needs work.
3. To show God's grace and power, His strength in our weakness.
There are suggested actions at the end of each chapter, and one for this first chapter is to read and compare the temptation of Christ in Matthew 4:1-11 and that od the children of Israel when they were hungry in Exodus 6 and Numbers 11.
The next chapter is "The Ground Rules," and in skimming over it, one line I had underlined previously caught my eye:
"No matter how many pleasures Satan offers you, his ultimate intention is to ruin you."
How I need to remember that when I want to succumb to the pleasure of excess food. I tend to tell myself that one item is not sinful in itself or to downplay its negative effects, yet just by looking at me you can tell I have succumbed way too often. I can tell myself that that momentary pleasure is not worth the end results, yet I still find reasons to go ahead and enjoy. I am hoping to be able to change my mindset through this study.