I’ll admit that one of the first things I did after recognizing the sin of food idolatry was throw a pity party.
“Woe is me. I suck. This sucks. And now I can’t even make myself feel better about it by getting a milkshake.”
It seriously went like that for awhile.
But, God is good. He let me wallow for a little while, but then he gave me a sharp kick in the behind to get me busy in the process of repentance and renewal.
So many reminders. Scripture was speaking to me about the need to repent and turn it all over to Christ to change me. I just happen to be reading two books on this topic right now, one which is called How People Change (duh). God started saying, “Um, lady, these are about you, so apply them.” And my mom, sensing that I was wallowing, gave me a gentle reminder to turn it over to Jesus.
I did spend a little more time wallowing, I admit, but then, I moved on.
A friend recently posted a helpful sermon on her blog that spoke to this issue of finding your idols and turning them over to Jesus, yet another example of God’s perfect timing in my life (Thanks Keisha for helping, even though you probably didn’t even realize it).
In the sermon, Pastor Tim Keller explains the need to rejoice after you repent of your idolatry, because otherwise, you’ll end up in an endless pity party, much like I did: “Rejoicing and repentance must go together. Repentance without rejoicing will lead to despair. Rejoicing without repentance is shallow and will only provide passing inspiration instead of deep change.”
So now that I’ve repented of my folly, of worshipping creation instead of the creator, of putting food on God’s pedestal, of running to it for comfort instead of to the God of all comfort, I’m fixing my eyes on Jesus and rejoicing in what he has done and what he will do.
Yes, I’m going to have setbacks. You don’t just step away from habitual sin like this, never to return. Well, it does happen sometime, but often, there are bumps in the road. I’m a realist about that.
But, I’m so grateful that Jesus has forgiven me for my sin. Not only that, he’ll forgive me for my failures to come. And he’s here with me, sanctifying me, replacing my weak idol with himself. I’m not fighting this alone.
I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” O Lord, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.