I have been reading a fascinating book over the weekend: The End of Overeating by David A Kessler. I picked it up because I am intrigued by the difference between Ramos & myself – if there is chocolate in the fridge it calls me until I finish it, but Ramos can forget that he has chocolate and leave it until months later. But although the book is about what compels some people to overeat and how to break those habits I found myself thinking the whole way through that this is really a book about how to break habits of sin. The common cry of dieters all over the world can easily be reflected in Paul’s words:
Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
For Kessler all overeating starts in the brain – habits are formed and thoughts and stimuli lead to actions. He suggests that stopping the thoughts is one of the ways to deal with temptation.
“Turning off a thought has to be almost immediate. “You’re not helpless about this; you can make a decision, but you have to make the decision quickly”, said Rawson. The more seconds you spend thinking about what to do in the face of an urge, the greater the chance that you’ll ultimately give in to it. Once you begin to debate “Should I or shouldn’t I?” you’ve lost the battle.” pg 221
How interesting that science recognises what God has been telling us for ages – sin starts in the mind – a thought entertained that leads to an action. That is why Paul tells us so much to deal with our minds and thought-life – we need a new way of thinking if we want a new habit of living.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Being aware of our thoughts and acting quickly to correct them is the only way to form new habits rather than mindlessly repeating the same old habits and being victims of our compulsive thoughts. I’m glad that science is catching up with what God has already warned us about.