That’s my Sunday. That’s been my Sunday for the last three to four weeks now, but that all depends on when I decide to actually make this post public. It has not always landed on a Sunday but I try to fast for sixteen hours, one of the days of the week. I usually stop snacking after 8, Saturday evening, to then eat my first meal of the day at noon on Sunday.
Fasting is brutal. Not the most wonderful selling point, I’m well aware, and the emotional side of me is awkwardly torn between recommending it to you while telling you to stay far away from it. That makes me laugh, logically, I would recommend everyone to at least try to fast because I have learned a lot from it – even if it’s not necessarily a “food fast”.
I obnoxiously do not ever miss the opportunity to tell people about the importance of learning how to delay gratification. I firmly believe in actively practicing self-control. A lot of the brokenness I have seen in myself and in others partly stem from a lack of self-control. Key word: myself.
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
My non-Christian friends, do not leave this post because I put up a Bible verse, if I took out the reference, you’d agree with that sentence too. At least, that’s my guess. In a world where we long for efficiency and immediate gratification, I think more so now than ever do we need to practice self-control. We want it. We buy it. We feel a desire. We fulfill it. We don’t like it. We get rid of it. I cannot be the only person that sees the flaws in a “instant fulfillment” mindset. You can hate God and hate Christianity but still see the errors in living in a world that preaches doing what makes you happy. We are not wise, especially when we have such strong God-given emotions. Praise God for emotions, but also I am the dumbest person I have ever met. Do you see the catastrophe that will inevitably occur from selfish living?
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. ” 1 Corinthians 6:12
And maybe the iceberg is yet to cause damage right now, what about in the next five or ten years? Breaking habits is a tedious and strenuous process especially the longer you have it and breaking addictions is even harder. I am not judging you, friends. I can relate to it all. Do you know how badly I want to fulfill any good or wrong desire? Yeah, I have a strong moral compass but I also have strong emotions and desires. Out of all the fruits of the Spirit, I will be completely honest with you and tell you that I struggle most with patience and self-control. It’s a daily struggle.
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26
The reason I fast is not to brag about the amount of self-control I have. It’s not an excuse to “glorify” myself for being able to say “no” to a Boston cream donut. I fast because improving self-control in one area often extends to self-control in other areas. I fast out of humility. I fast because I lack self-control and I see how destructive that type of lifestyle can become. I have experienced how destructive that type of lifestyle can become. Can you consider how dangerous it can be to live a life where we preach fulfilling our desires without considering wisdom? Can you consider how problematic it can be to live a life that chases happiness without considering wisdom?
Let me humbly reiterate, I am not judging you. It’s extremely difficult to wait. It is extremely difficult to not give in when all you can hear is your emotional side telling you to do something. I get it, friends. I do. I would be also be lying to you if I told you that mastering self-control fixes all your problems. I tell you this because the Bible talks a lot about fasting and self-control and personally, much of the pains I still feel are from the repercussions of not practicing self-control, and not taking what the Bible has said about it seriously. I say this out of humility.
I say this out of genuine love and care for you, friends. More often than I’d like to admit, I have gone throughout my life doing what I think makes sense and giving into the world’s mottos yet to realize, after some sort of suffering or trial, that maybe I should have considered the Bible’s perspective on things and taken wisdom from that. I am not trying to guilt-trip you into fasting, but rather I am sharing the benefits from my personal fasting “journey”. You are loved fully, created intentionally, and made worthy regardless of what you think or what you do. It is faith alone through Christ alone, by the way. Consider Romans 10:9.
Consider the benefits of fasting. Consider how powerful it can be to want something yet to say “no” to it. Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I am an imperfect person that has been saved by grace alone and solely wants to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a Christian with you all. Oh, and by the way, Jesus actually explains how to fast in Matthew 6; consider it.