smashing the idol of the scale

This morning I had a very happy post planned about birthday parties, and I prayed God would give me the right things to say about how to throw a birthday party on a budget. Mmmhmmm.

{You can laugh. I understand. :)}

But it turns out He didn't want me to write about that at all. Instead He told me to share something that I don't want to. {again.}

He never ceases to do things that surprise my feeble little human mind.

Back in early August we had all kinds of parties and things to go to. I eat really well at home, but if I'm at a party or a dinner out with my husband, my rule is to eat and enjoy. And I do.

After a few parties and events, ahem, :) I gained a couple lbs.

I expected it. But you know what?

Every morning I weighed myself, and it made me upset.

Really, though, who really cares about 2 or 3 lbs.?

I did.

And I let it get to me.

My morning weight often affected my emotions for the rest of the day.

But one morning was different. I stepped on the scale as usual, scoffed at the number that wouldn't budge no matter what I did, and as I was getting ready for the day, God whispered this to me:

Cast down your idol.

Throw away your scale. 

A number on a plastic box doesn't deserve your emotions, your attention, your heart.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

In the name of self-discipline, I've spent years entrapped by a number on a plastic box.

I have spent years bowing down to my scale with my emotions.

I let a number that tells me the effect gravitational force has on my body affect my soul.

Does that sound ridiculous to you too?

My heart started beating like crazy as I imagined a world free of even knowing what I weighed.

Before I could shove the idea away, the Spirit helped me and I told my husband, "I think I'm going to throw away my scale."

I told him how much I let it affect me {as if he didn't know...}. He told me he thought it was a good idea.

When I came home from the gym later that week, the scale was gone.

For the last month {and the first time in years}, I don't know what I weigh.

It was only one little idol, but it had a big part of my life.

Throwing out the scale was like cutting off my hand.

I know it had become an idol in my heart.

I know Satan had a stronghold in my life because of it.

I sometimes still want to go get one and forget I ever took it out.

That's how ingrained weighing myself was in my life.

But God was gracious to me and let me see what it was doing to me.

I don't like sharing about it, honestly. It's too personal, too close to home. I like to keep my heart to myself, especially when it gets uncomfortable. It was an idol I closely protected.

But God is so much bigger than me. He knows what I can pretend is a good habit can be an addiction in my heart.

What the world sees as self-discipline can be dangerous to my soul.

Matthew 5:29-30
 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

I can be healthy, I can lose weight or gain weight, and I don't need a number to tell me that's happening.

I just want to encourage you, if you're struggling with this weight thing, don't let it become a stronghold in your life. It's not the weight that's important. It's the state of our hearts.

Satan offers us the apple just like he did with Eve- it looks good to the eyes on the outside, but God knows what's behind it.

If there is something like a scale in your life- something that seems good on the outside, but controls or affects the way you feel in a way that is not pleasing to God, cut it off.

If Pinterest makes you lust after a life you don't and can't have, cut it off.

If Facebook brings jealousy to your heart, cut it off.

If Twitter makes you long to be part of a clique that you're not, cut it off.

If you're a blogger and your stats control the way you feel every day, cut them off. Block that page from your browser if you have to.

If you see someone who is prettier, or thinner, or better dressed than you, and you feel envy, stop looking. Take those thoughts into captivity.

It is better that we lose social media and gain a few pounds than lose our souls.

Who is our god?

Does the one true God have all of our heart? What are we keeping back from Him?

For me, it was my physical body. I wanted to control what I looked like.

And He's still working on me. All.the.time.

Walking with God is both the hardest and the easiest thing I've ever done.

Getting rid of a scale was really hard for me. It would have been impossible two years ago. But God is so good, that He made it so easy. I wanted to do it.

Because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

The chains of sin are broken.

We don't have to stay in them.

We can be free in Christ.

We can share our weaknesses, because He is God, and we are so desperate- so broken and in need of a Savior.

What are your strongholds? What are your idols? Give God all of you, and I know He will take them out. He will smash them under His feet.

We praise you God, for redeeming our hearts, and rescuing us from the chains of sin. Thank you Lord, that we can boast in our weaknesses because in them you are strong. We can trust in you!

I would love to pray for you if you have something in your life that you know God wants you to cut off. He can do it sweet friends. He WILL do it if we ask!!! email me at mandy@ biblical homemaking .com.

If you have something you're struggling with, chances are someone else is going through the same thing.

If you are struggling, or God has done something in you, please feel free to share in the comments- praise Jesus, we have a community of sisters in Christ here that can rejoice and pray for each other! Living in Christ is a beautiful thing! 

48 comments

Liz Rincon said...

Loved this post.

Adora Wilkins said...

This is wonderful. Thank you for writing this.

Rhonda White said...

Mandy, I really enjoyed this post. About a year ago, I made this same decision. I had to put away from me the scale and haven't been on it since. I gave myself freedom from the pressure of having to be a certain "number" on the scale to be normal. I aim to be healthy and exercise instead. The amazing thing is that I'm now more successful in maintaining my weight. My clothes fit better and I feel better. BTW, I shared this post in my first newsletter issue of the year here: http://app.flashissue.com/newsletters/newsletter-issue-jan-9-2013

God bless you and your family!

Christa said...

what a great post. combining Biblical truths with real life. thanks for bringing it down to where it's practical. sharing this with my readers. thanks!

Alexis said...

Thank you so much for this. I needed this so badly. I have lost 50lbs in the past year since my 2nd baby was born. It has been a huge challenge, lots of hard work, new eating style, new commitments... ect... I can tell I am losing control and my new body image and scale have become idols to me. I still have weight to lose and amd working hard to still do so.... but as Christian I am struggling with this. My motives are no longer pure (I think?) and I don't know how to find balance. I am working towards finding a diet that is healthy and pleasing to God (whole, real foods) and I love how myself and my family is feeling. I have deciced to start one last fitness challenge to lose what I want before summer. It will require 5 days a week or workouts in my basement (using beachbody) I am excited to start this and hopefully move into a maintenance mode after..... my concern is working out this many days that other things start to slide (like morning quiet time) and I get a bit obsessed...... balance. I am struggling to find balance. To put God first but also to keep striving to a healthy strong body..... how do you do it? Thank you for being so honest with this. I am a chronic weigher too :)

Nicole said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I constantly battle within myself about how I look because I am overweight. Always upset because I try to eat right and my flesh wants to NOT eat right. I need to let HIS Spirit guide me and I know things will fall into place. True in every aspect of my life, not just this. Thank you for following the Holy Spirit in this post and any others you make. I am a new "follower" but I'm sure you were put in my path for a reason. Thanks again, Mandy!

Mrs. Me said...

What a wonderful post, well said!!

Mirjam said...

Thanks for sharing this Mandy! Very true, honest and encouraging. I read the book " So long insecurity" from Beth Moore and this really opened my eyes to many things you´re also talking about...

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for sharing this! I have a difficult trip to make today and I have been obsessing over my appearance, as if the perfect fit of my jeans or a perfect braid will make the day go any better. I do tend to make idols of things like appearance. I appreciated reading your post and remembering to keep my heart and mind focused on God and his will in my life today.

Sam Kelley said...

I so needed to read this! The scale has done the EXACT same thing to me. Maybe it is time for it to go!

Amanda Pausley said...

Maybe on the opposite end, kind of. Back at the beginning of the year I had been doing WW consistently and had dropped 10 pounds quick. I was excited and eager to keep losing the bad weight and shape up. But then... life got busy and I stopped making it to my meetings, and, stopped keep track of points, etc. I've gained 7 back and have never felt more defeated. And, instead of working harder to get back on track - the defeat leads to eating more. {weird woman thing I guess... as I've had several friends tell me they do the same} Anyway, great post and great reminder. Whether its a scale, food, working out, whatever... we MUST take captive our thoughts and keep our eyes on Christ. Thanks for sharing this!

Victoria Milam said...

I am sitting here at my desk at work, crying...tears literally falling because I have been struggling with being overweight by about 40 lbs since the birth of my daughter 6 years ago. I struggle daily with it. I get angry at myself and I do envy those that are thinner or prettier or can eat and not gain a lb.


I want to be free of this insecurity. Thank you for sharing your heart...you've given me encouragement today.


And your prayers are so appreciated. Thank you.

Melissa Hendrix said...

I know you don't know me from atom but I wanted to share with you what I have been doing to help with the same issues you have. I was overweight before I ever had my daughter and have always been insecure. Through a friend I learned about a website that deals with addiction. It is SettingCaptivesFree.com. They have 60 day bible study/lessons that deal with every addiction in the world. I am currently going through the study for overeating called The Lords Table. I have never been more challenged and encouraged!! For the first time in my life, I have hope that God will break the chains to my addiction to sweets/foods. I know that He is capable of doing this and this bible study is walking me through it. I would encourage anyone who has struggles with overeating/binging/purging/etc to check this out. God is changing my heart and my mind on every aspect of food.
I am praying for you Victoria and I hope this can be of some help.
http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/courses/lords-table/

mandyBH said...

I will so be praying for you sweet sister! I know those feelings! I know Jesus can free us from them. I know He will do it for you. much love to you!!

mandyBH said...

oh, thank you for sharing your story, Renee! I'm praying for you sweet sister!!

Renee said...

THANK YOU! On July 4th I had an emergency appendectomy. My appendix had burst a week before the surgery (long story, but I didn't know they had burst). Because of waiting so long I had infection spread throughout my stomach. I could have very easily died from yhe infection, but God chose to spare my life. I was in the hospital for 8 days & by the end of this I had lost 25 pounds. Let me back up a little bit...before I got sick I had been working out & eating very healthy trying to get in better shape. I became obsessed with it. By the time I got out of the hospital I didn't care how much I weighed I was just happy that I was alive. But as I said I ended up losing 25 lbs. I'm smaller than I've been in my adult life (I'm 40 & have given birth to 3 children). I wear the smallest size clothes most store carry. All of my old clothes fall off of me. I know I need to gain weight, but I've had so many people come up & tell me how good I look this thin (I was not overweight to begin with, so I'm terribly thin now). Anyway, when people started telling me how good I look I began to listen to them. Bringing back on the obsession with eating, my weight & my scale. I'm scared to death I will gain weight. I watch every single bite I eat. I weigh myself every morning & every night. I KNOW THIS IS WRONG! I know it's an idol. I get so frustrated bc I should just be happy I'm alive & just serving My Lord with everything I've got. I don't want to be like this! I want people to see Jesus NOT ME! Thank you for this wonderful reminder! I'm praying for the courage to throw the scale away!

mandyBH said...

It's such an easy thing to do, isn't it? It's such a hard thing to balance, for me anyway. I'm praying for you!

mandyBH said...

I haven't ever read one of her books, but I've heard so many good things about them. It's such a sneaky thing, Satan and our hearts are so easily deceived that it is a constant battle, thank you Jesus for delivering us because you have already won! :D thank you for your sweet words, Laura!

Laura Haske said...

Just finished reading the chapter "Crushing Your Idols" in Elyse Fitzpatrick's book Idols of the Heart. Then I read your post. Idolatry is so subtle and, like you identified, often wrapped up in things that are good (like health), but which become sinful when wrongly elevated in our hearts. As soon as my heart starts whispering, "I'll only be happy if . . . " - I know I've placed something above the One who gave everything for me and is everything I need. Thank you for the encouraging word, for being vulnerable, and for showing us what it looks like to smash an idol.

mandyBH said...

much love to you Leigh Anne, He is so good, isn't He? :D God bless you, sister!! :)

pharmgal22 said...

Thank you so much for sharing this and being obedient to the Lord! This is something I really need to hear. I totally understand when you say you let the # on the scale dictate your mood. I do the same thing & have for most of my adult life! I'm trying to lose about 10lbs. to be back to my pre-three-kid weight. I will pray for the Lord to give me strength in this. At this point, it is about healthy eating choices for me and not giving in to every little food temptation. So, I will gauge by how my clothes fit and not what the scale says :) Thank you Mandy! God Bless You!

mandyBH said...

ohhh, let me know how it goes! YAY for smashing idols! :DD

mandyBH said...

Oh, thank you for your sweet words Jen!!! Your comment encourages me!!! So so much!! thank you for your kind words!

Jen said...

Mandy, I've been reading for several months now, and a comment is long overdue. I just want to thank you for your obedience to share with such transparency what God is teaching you. You're ministering to many (myself included) by your willingness to be so sincere. I think all women relate to this post, and your example encourages me. Thanks for reminding me that God cares so much about the inside of my heart, I should stop listening to a culture who wants me to obsess about the outside.

Rachel said...

I have really struggled with overeating. Last summer I joined a pornography addiction group because I knew overeating was an addiction, but I felt so silly disclosing that I was there for food. I received a booklet that helped a lot. (http://addictionrecovery.lds.org/addiction-recovery-program-guide?lang=eng) I lost 40 lbs last summer and then got pregnant with my 3rd baby. She is now 8 weeks old and I have been tempted to become obsessed with food again. I read Melissa's post and think I will reference her suggestions as well as the booklet I already went through. I am grateful for Mandy's post and for the follow up comments and encouragement we can share as sisters!
Thank you for following the promptings of the spirit Mandy!

Sandy said...

I so need to do this with my mirrors. Every time I look into the mirror in the bathroom before I take a shower well it makes or breaks my day. So when I get home the mirror will go.

Guest said...

I can't believe you let a couple of pounds get to you! (not saying this in a condemning way, but in an admiring way). I always see you in your blogs and feel envious at how beautiful and skinny you are. I leave thinking, "Man, I really need to lose weight so I can be skinny and wear anything and look great the way she and Abi do." After my third baby, I just found it soooo hard to lose this belly. I do sit ups and exercises and diets, but as I'm almost 40, I've heard it is harder to lose the weight. I just don't feel good about myself. But I needed this great reminder, more for my blog than anything. I've become consumed with trying to make it "make it." I have spent hours and hours every week linking up and doing things and I really hoped that this would be a way for me to make some money for us. I work hard growing plants to sell and doing crafts for Christmas sales, but we don't have even enough that I feel I can go to church on Wednesday nights b/c I feel guilty spending the money for gas. It's been esp. hard lately b/c a very good friend's blog has exploded, and some of the things she has done, she got from projects she learned from me. She goes to church all the time, and sometimes I don't think people understand why I am not there; it has nothing to do with not WANTING to go, and it has become a thing of contention for me b/c I wonder at God, why I have to sit back and watch in my "mediocrity." Some days, I just want to hang home-schooling up, go out and get a job, and feel like I am helping my husband instead of beating my head on this keyboard trying to do something that is out of my control. I need to let it go. Perhaps it has become my idol. I know God is trying to work on my contentment issues, my pride. Right now, it's just incredibly hard and I don't even feel like I have anybody I can talk to about it...except God, of course. So, you got whammed with it. Sorry. Your blog just happened to pop up and when I read this today, it all came spilling out, tears and all.

mandyBH said...

Oh, sweet lady, I'm so sorry you are going through that!! I struggled early on with blogging- I remember some of the same feelings- wondering how I fit in in the blogging world with saying these things. The best thing that happened to me was God taking me and telling me that my blog wasn't for me, it was for Him. That was so freeing, because I stopped caring about numbers or if I ever grew at all- I wanted to write because I felt God wanted me to do it. It was so freeing, so easy- if God wanted my blog to grow, it would grow. When you stop caring, you can write whatever you feel God wants you to say- even if it is not popular or won't get pinned because it's a long bible study post. ;) Another comfort was the reminder that the bigger the blog, the more work, the more distraction, the more responsibility, the more time away from my family- God didn't want me to neglect them to work on blogging stuff all the time! :) I don't know what your situation is, but maybe you can step back from it to take an evaluation of how it all affects you? Ask God to show you what you need to do with it- He will bring you peace and comfort, and it's so much better than taking the work on ourselves, anyway! :D I'm praying for you this week!!! much love to you!!

Faithful_Mommie said...

I just read your blog for the first time and I must say this is JUST what I needed to hear right now! I have bowed down to the scale far more than I care to admit. It has taken a hold of me and caused bouts of frustration as I watch it rise or lack change. I am laying it down before my King and praying that I am able to cut it off! :) Thanks for the great post!!

Melissa said...

I've just started following your blog after a friend referred me to your facebook page. I seriously am so blessed by you and by this post. It spoke so much to me!! Praise the Lord for your willingness to be obedient and put yourself out there in writing this, it's something that needs to be said and isn't often enough. I'm throwing my scale out today (totally relate with that one!) and I've struggled SO much with blogging, just began again a week ago after taking a year+ off. I was constantly comparing what I was writing to one blog in particular and instead of just being ME or obedient to what I felt the Lord was wanting me to share, I would try to live up to some standard or something, that wasn't me. The freedom I felt after reading this post was huge. Thank you.

alexa said...

Thank you for being obedient to God! I have been dealing with this exact issue for many years, and, to be honest, even after reading this the thought of getting rid of my scale terrifies me!! But you are right why am I letting a number decide how I feel for the rest of the day, or how I think others see me...It is such a bondage!! Please, pray for me to be able to get rid of this idol... God used you through this...thanks!

K said...

Just stumbled on this blog and i am in love with it! thank you so much for this article! It really inspired me to set myself free from things like isntagram and twitter and facebook and let me tell you, i already feel better! your walk with God inspires me to want to continue to grow in mine. i strongly believe God sent me to this website for a reason tonight. Thank you

Anonymous said...

I know this is old - but I huge giant thank you!!!

I do this - a lot!

thank you! thank you! thank you!

Cathie

Gina said...

Me too! ME. TOO!

Now I'm off to throw away my scale...
www.reallifetitustwo.com

Anonymous said...

I happened to stumble upon this post as this is something I am struggling with in my life... not with just weight, but with social media. I have been struggling to "cut" things off and everyday it seems I get closer and closer to doing so! Thank you for this post.. even if it is a year old! :)

Anonymous said...

i applaud you for your honesty, bravery, realness, and openness to be obedient to god's direction and leading. you have allowed god to use you as a vessel to touch many hearts through this act of obedience. i have walked a journey with many ups and down in finding freedom from an eating disorder and the lingering emotional and spiritual damage it has done. with god's great mercy and love i walk each day more free and closer to who god created me to be. thank you for sharing. i pray that you continue to realize your true worth and value is found only in the reflection of your master creator not a scale that the devil used to deceive you with. take time to reflect on the amazing, talented, gifted, predestined, preplanned, unique, chosen, sought after, desired, desperately loved, dearly cherished, precious, extraordinary, miraculous, and one of a kind masterpiece that you are whom was created by the master artist with great love and perfection! may you be blessed by your obedience and the lives you allowed god to touch through your great step of faith.

Natasha Powell said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! This is exactly what I needed to hear. It is something I as well have been struggling w/for awhile. At the beginning of summer I weighed around 115-120 & I was happy w/that & happy w/how I looked. Although my precious husband says that I'm beautiful anyway. Well my doc put me on a new prescription & she did warn me that I would gain weight & I told her no...I won't b/c one of my other meds that I take (not for this, specifically, it just happens to be a bonus) actually suppresses the appetite. So I told her as far as weight gain, I figured that they would work against each other/together (however, you would say that) but anyway I was totally wrong. Only being on the new drug for 1 month, I gained 20-25 lbs...whoa! Needless to say, I didn't refill that med. Although God has blessed me w/a wonderful Christian doc, she also gave me a script for a different drug that treated the same thing, but just not as well as the one that caused all of the weight gain. I got so depressed & was doing some working out here at home & nothing was changing. It's amazing to me though how God used that, for me to develop a very close friendship w/another young lady in our church & now we work out 2-5 times a week doing zumba together, but as well just the 2 of us have recently began a Bible study together....something that neither of us would've done on our own. Again I thank you so very much for sharing your story...I've received great inspiration from it & have already emailed it to my friend b/c I know it's something she needs to hear as well. May God bless you greatly.
Love in Christ,
Natasha

Betsy Sheena Joji said...

Mandy,
This post was really powerful. May God use you more and more. I praise God, because you dared to share this!!! It is a liberating message for many.

KarynsHouse said...

Thank you for your honesty and opening your heart about this. It is a beautiful testimony of the working of God in your life and blesses me tremendously! God bless you!

Marlene said...

Thanks for sharing that article. I too have reached a point in my life where the scale had become my nemesis and was getting upset and stressing over the weight that I knew I needed to lose. For me the diet thing never worked. Over the years I have lost and gained the weight equivalent of many people. My moment came when I realized that I needed to quit dieting and make a lifestyle change. I quit weighing myself every 2 seconds to see if I had lost an ounce. Oh what freedom that gave me....all the food that I thought that I couldn't have because I was "dieting" became less important. Since then I have lost over 100 pounds and live each day looking up and forward to what's ahead instead hanging my head looking at that dreaded scale. The Lord is so good!
Blessings to you and yours,
Marlene

Janna Webber said...

Oh Man. Conviction level=Maxxed out!

Do you know that I actually PRAYED LAST NIGHT that the Lord would show me why I wasn't losing weight?!?!!? I have been so depressed lately because I feel like my husband isn't attracted to me as much, and I attributed it to my weight. I have always had trouble with idolizing my figure (or lack-thereof) and fitness, but God is definitely using you! Bless you Mandy!

Janna Webber

Tessa W said...

This is beyond incredible. We threw out our scale a long time ago (partially because the cat peed on it lol) and haven't bought a new one. My husband grew up in a weight obsessed family and it drove me nuts! He has been able to (mostly) break free from that and now I pray that the rest of his (and my) family and friends will too. I'm definitely sharing this post around!

Lori said...

I am stunned. Because I really needed to read this. I was meant to read this and will likely need to read it again and again. Up until 3 years ago I had never known what it was like to have a "weight" issue. Due to health issues I gained 50 lbs in less than 2 months time and haven't been able to lose it. I have struggled with deep hatred for my new over weight body. I cannot stand for my husband to barely touch me and I do feel like he is no longer attracted to me. I am now addressing my health issues. When I first got sick I barely ate and over exercised in hopes of gaining control. It only made things worse. I have made my previous body and weight a god. I live in such shame of anyone seeing me like this that I try to stay home as much as possible. I need to face this. I need to release this to God and stop worshipping an ideal that is stuck in my head. Thank you for sharing your story so that so many of us could be encouraged.

Suzanne Cole said...

WOW! It is absolutely amazing how close your posts hit to my home! Thank you again!

Grace Baltic said...

This is incredibly just what I needed to hear! The Lord has really used your blog so far in my life, and I'm excited to keep reading your posts. Thanks for being so encouraging and reminding me to quit caring more about myself than about God. My struggle over 5 lbs or less sounds alot like yours. What a minuscule thing in the scheme of eternity! I really appreciate your posting outside of you comfort zone. It looks like alot of your readers were effected the same way I was.

Rosemarie Emily said...

Oh, thank you, thank you so very much for writing this! You have open my eyes and heart to help me see all the things I have been letting control me and I have been putting as a idol. Thank so much for writing this, I am literately in tears over this. This is what i really need to read/hear today. Thank you again, and God bless.

Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with acne since the 7th grade. This year was the worse it has ever been. I started on acne medications before I knew Jesus. Once He came into my life I still used it because it wasn't an idol. I finally got the clear skin that I had when I was younger. Then summer hit and my acne developed a resistance to the antibiotics. I started to stress over it and it soon became an idol. I have been reading about divine healing and I have been praying for God to heal me. He said he would, but I needed to trust Him so I threw away my acne products. But them my skin started to break out worse and I started to use my products again. I know God wants me to give this to Him, it has been the only part I have been holding back. I feel like He is refining me. I just find it so hard to trust Him to heal me and to go to school with breakouts. I feel like that is what people stare at.

WilnTommy Miller said...

Yes, SCF is an excellent source of studies for many different issue, addictions, etc. !!!