Good morning, my friends! We are so close to the end of our Made to Crave journey. Thank you for being a part of this with me. I don't know about you, but I often struggle with follow through. So, to see that we only have two chapters left after today is amazing to me. We've been having this discussion for more than 17 WEEKS. Amazing! I usually give up when things get tough or emotionally messy. Maybe you deal with that tendency as well. Well, way to go US for sticking with it and continiuing to encourage each other as we travel along! This week will be no different. Here. We. Go.
Discusion Questions for Chapter 17
1. If you had been in the room with the three pastors Lysa describes at the beginning of the chapter, how would you have answered the question, "Is discipline really sustainable?"
Jill's answer: I think I would have had a similar answer to Lysa's. No, of course not, discipline is absolutely NOT sustainable because we are weak, imperfect beings. In our own strength, biblical discipline cannot take place long term. BUT, with God, YES! With the help of our Maker and Savior, we can find a lifestyle of discipline and obedience that can be sustained for a lifetime. Only by keeping our trust and hope in and our eyes on Him!
And, OH, how I need to renew my focus on Jesus in this area. My daily discipline is so poor it's laughable at times. Except, the impact is has on me...and my FAMILY...is not funny at all. My choices impact my husband and my daughter just as much, if not more, than they impact me. It's time to grow up and take repsonsibility for myself and my choices! Jesus HELP me, here!
2. Lysa points out the crucial connection between holiness - being set aside for a noble use - and daily disciplines with food. How do you understand the relationship between your food choices and your ability to "put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph 4:24)?
Jill's answer: When we cross that line of faith, we are new creations. Our slavery to sin is over. Gluttony is sin. It's that simple. I don't like being so blunt with myself, but it's SO true. Eating more than I need to eat, to the point of gluttony...is SIN! Yuck, I hate the S word. It takes what I like to thing of as a mere struggle to ugly disobedience and even indifference to God. If I'm truly going to "put on the new self", I'm going to allow God to rescue me from slavery to my impulses, desires, and tastebuds! I'm going to allow Him to recreate me from the inside out!
3. "The very next choice we make isn't really about the food...It's about whether or not we're positioning ourselves to live the kind of God-honoring lives in which, by God's strength, sustained discipline is possible". Does this idea encourage or frighten you? Why?
Jill's answer: A little bit of both. It's encouraging to know that it all centers on ONE CHOICE at a time. But, it's frightening to think that every little choice can take me either closer to or further away from living a God-honoring life in which sustained discipline is possible with Jesus' help. It really helps me to see the weight of my everyday decisions rather than just viewing them as little meaningless actions! And, I realize how I need to lean on His strength for every little choice that I make.
4. Is Lysa's "Unsettle Me" prayer one you feel you are ready to pray for yourself? What fears would you have about praying this prayer? What excites you about the possibilities of this prayer for your life?
Jill's answer: I have been praying versions of this prayer when it comes to seeing the needs around me and how I can help meet them in Jesus' love. I've been praying this type of prayer when it comes to being the kind of mother and wife I truly want to be and that my family needs. But, when it comes to food, I haven't been praying anything like this at all. I've just been asking God for an overarching 'strength' and then trying to muscle through. I have failed so many times. So, yes, I want to be completely unsettled in this area. Food has such a hold on me, as does a sedentary lifestyle. I want to be unsettled to the point where unhealthy choices and inactivity just no longer satisfy!
5. "One wise choice can lead to two, can lead to three, can lead to a thousand, can lead to the sweet place of utter dependence on God and lastng discipline". Do you esteem your small, daily food choices or do you tend to feel they don't really matter all that much? How might your life be different if you could achieve utter dependence on God and lasting discipline? What benefits would you most enjoy experiencing?
Jill's answer: I think my daily, small choices are allowed to slip by unnoticed for the most part. If I were to achieve utter dependence on God and lasting dscipline, I would enjoy the freedom that comes from letting go of an attachment to food and grasping onto an active lifestyle focused on Jesus. I want to be able to make those healthy choices even when it seems like a small decision. Even when I feel like I've been giving up so much, just a little indulgence won't hurt. I want to remain obedient and God-honoring in the small choices as well as the big decisions. I can only imagine the freedoms this kind of daily obedience would bring. More than smaller size and liking what I see in the mirror. I can imagine more peace and contentment as well! Right now I'm experiencing brokenness. With God helping me to have a daily discipline, I can see that my life would become whole!
OK, this is getting pretty tough, huh? No more excuses. No more blaming hormones, genetices, or even the lack of training I experienced in this area growing up. It's time to get real about dying to myself when it comes to my total addiction to FOOD! God is my refuge and my strength, not food. It's time to live a life that reflects this Truth!
How about you? Where are you in this whole process? Please share your journey with a comment, even if you haven't read the book. I'd love to hear from YOU!