Don’t you hate it when everyone around you is on their fourth piece of pizza, and you’re sitting there with a salad on your plate?
Somehow, it seems unfair. If they get four pieces of pizza, we should get four pieces of pizza.
So we sit there feeling deprived until we can’t stand it any longer. Then we eat.
In the back of our minds, there’s a tiny little lie that’s fueling our actions: Life should be fair. And it’s not fair if everyone else gets to eat, and I don’t. If they get to eat, I should get to eat, too.
This sounds like the truth. After all, weren’t most of us raised by parents who did everything they could to make sure all us kids were treated equally? And don’t we live in a country that tells us every day, in one way or another, that life should be fair?
When we’re bombarded with the message everywhere we turn, it’s hard not to buy into it.
It’s Not Fair
It’s not fair. I’ve probably written those words a hundred times in my truth journal.
I then go on to tell why my life isn’t fair: because I have to do more work than someone else. Because someone else is getting recognized for their work, and I’m not. Because I’m always the one that has to apologize.
There’s no end to the reasons I can come up with of why my life isn’t fair.
No matter what the reason, God always gives me the same truth: If He were to line up all the people in the world on a line based on who had the “fairest” life, I would be near the top of the line.
The Fairness Line
Think of it. Kids who have been sold into the sex slave trade are on that line. Women who are watching their kids die of AIDS because their husbands were unfaithful are on that line. People who are starving in third world countries are on that line.
And I think it’s unfair that someone else gets to have a treat when I don’t? Give me a break. The truth never ceases to convict me and bring me to my knees in repentance.
We believe the lies that make us eat because the culture spoon feeds us those lies from birth. When I write the lies in my journal, I believe them – until I take the time to look at them.
Today I want to encourage you to keep persevering with the renewing of your mind. We’re never happy when we’re believing the lies of the world. And we’ll never break free from our compulsive habits if we don’t break free from the lies that fuel those habits.
The truth will set us free, but only if we pursue it. Let’s do a little pursuing right now.
The Social Eating Bible Study
- Read Philippians 2:4. What would you be concerned with if you were looking out for your own interests at a potluck?
- What would God like you to be concerned with at the potluck? (Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
- Why do you think the culture tell us to stand up for our rights?
- Why do you think God asks us to give up our rights (Philippians 2:5-11)?
- What would giving up your rights at a potluck look like?
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Romans 13:14, and 1 Corinthians 6:12 . How do you think God wants you to respond in the following situations? Why? (Include both your attitude and your actions.)
- When you walk into the kitchen and your spouse or roommate is having a bowl of cereal but your boundaries won’t allow it.
- When you’re out for dinner with a friend who is a toothpick even though she eats like crazy.
- When your spouse is threatened by your weight loss and tries to sabotage your weight loss efforts.
- When you’re at a church retreat where everyone around you is constantly eating.
- When you’re at the end of the potluck line and the person in front of you grabs the last piece of chocolate cheesecake before you get to it.
- Will you have to give up any rights to love those people well? Explain.
- Think of an upcoming social gathering where you’ll have to control what you eat if you want to follow your boundaries. If life is about indulging your desires, will you have much to be thankful for in that situation?
- If life is about loving God and others, will you have much to be thankful for in that situation? Why or why not?
Deb Wolf says
Isn’t it funny how young we are when the “fair” comparisons begin? Life isn’t fair. However, we tend to compare the bad in our lives with the good in someone else’s. We rarely complain we’re soaring and those we dislike are struggling. I’m working really hard to stop the comparison game, all it does is rob my peace and joy.
I just reread the last four chapters of Job yesterday. I needed it! Letting God be God and trusting His wisdom. Thanks for this great series! Blessings!!
Yes, it definitely starts young. hard to break free from it after all those years practicing it! Glad you’ve enjoyed the series, Deb.
I love food, especially at social gatherings. So hard to resist. I used to be better at it. God help me to gain some control.
It’s hard with all those church potlucks and other opportunities to eat, isn’t it? All those yummy goodies!
Dan Black on Leadership says
I can be known to over eat in social settings. It’s hard when everyone else is eating good food. I guess this is something I should pray about and be careful with so I can better manage my eating habits.
I’m guessing most of us can be know to overeat in social situations! It does help to prepare with truth beforehand.
Dan Black on Leadership says
I agree with you Barb. Being prepared is important.
Shelia Stewart says
Life IS about loving God and others not indulging my desires, therefore I do have much to be thankful for and plenty to enjoy in social settings!!
Thank you for the reminder!
Barb Raveling says
Thanks, Sheila. You said it in a perfect nutshell! I just got back from camping and backpacking with my family for a week. Thanking God for all His beautiful creation!
What a perfect post to read on Thanksgiving Day! It will be a social occasion with many opportunities to decide if I am going to remain faithful to the boundaries that I have set and many opportunities to put others ahead of myself rather than thinking selfishly about my own desires and wants. Thank you!
Barb Raveling says
Hi Darla! Hope it went well! And hope you had a great Thanksgiving!