Wisdom vs. Eating Self-control

I’ve heard the question often: ”How do I get more self-control with my eating?” I used to have a standard answer, but now I think differently.

Now, I strive to learn more about the specific situation in which the person thinks they need more self-control.

Most often, I discover they need WISDOM in that situation more than self-control!

Do you need self-control or wisdom you need in this situation?

Here is a common situation. Suppose you have chocolate chip cookies in your cabinet right now. You’ve always had issues with bingeing on chocolate chip cookies.

Now you are watching television and the cookies are calling to you: ”Come eat me, come eat me!”

After a few minutes of trying to resist, you get up, grab the cookies, and have yourself a private cookie binge.

Afterwards, you feel ashamed and guilty. You lament: ”Why don’t I have more self-control?”

In this case, self-control is not the issue. Wisdom is.

Think about the previous statement: ”You’ve always had issues with bingeing on chocolate chip cookies.”

Since that’s true, then ask yourself: Why were chocolate cookies in your cabinet in the first place?

By having the cookies in the cabinet, you made provisions for a binge. So it’s no surprise that a binge happened.

It is no different than an alcoholic keeping a well-stocked liquor cabinet in her home!

If the alcoholic gets drunk, would you lecture them about their lack of self-control? No!

After all, history has already shown them that alcohol hijacks their brain. The question to confront is the reason why the liquor cabinet is in the home in the first place.

Consider the wisdom of Romans 13:13-14:

”Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

– Romans 13:13-14

So with eating issues, always think WISDOM first. It is unwise to make provisions to practice fleshly weaknesses.

We end up wasting valuable energy fighting battles that we don’t need to fight.

It takes away from fulfilling our God-given purpose and enjoying our lives.

God makes us a promise regarding wisdom:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

– James 1:5

If you keep stumbling in the same places over and over, then ask the Lord in prayer, ”Lord, please give me the wisdom I need in this situation to protect my health so I can do what You are calling me to do without hindrance.”

He will give it to you.

Wisdom is more valuable than rubies. Cloth yourself in wisdom because it never goes out of style!

About the author 

Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor is a certified Christian life coach and has a heart to help others struggling with emotional eating and weight loss. Once 240 pounds and a size 22, she can testify of God’s goodness and healing power to overcome. She lost 85 pounds as a result of implementing techniques to overcome emotional eating and binge eating disorder.

Kim is the author of "The Take Back Your Temple Program," which teaches Christians how to take control of their weight God's way and the books "The Weight Loss Scriptures" and "The Weight Loss Prayers."

Kim has been featured in Prevention Magazine, Charisma Magazine and on CBN’s 'The 700 Club' television program.

  • I had a question during my Bible reading regarding the relationship between wisdom and self-control in regard to eating, I found this. It helped a lot. You are such a blessing to so many of us. Thank you.

  • Thank you for this Kimberly. I’ve been making provisions for my flesh. I’m going to memorize Romans 13:13-14. I can use it to help me avoid making provisions for my flesh and stop fulfilling it’s lusts for certain foods.

  • kimberly i need your advice. my goal is to have a NORMAL relationshuip with food. i want to be able to have cookies or whatever in my house and them not consume my thoughts. i just want to be normal and not have a bunch of food rules and restrictions, and no-nos. Given that God can do anything, why cant he do this for me? i am not praying that i be able to eat a box of oreos everyday, all im praying for is that i be able to enjoy God’s gift of food and not fear his gifts or feel like i cant keep it in my house because i may “lose control”

    • Hi Laura – Thanks for your question. You said that you would like to have a ”normal” relationship and not have cookies consume your thoughts. And you said that you want to be able to enjoy God’s gift of food and not fear His gifts.

      Food is indeed a gift of God and food is good. But consider this…are the ”foods” that you crave really food? By that, I mean are they foods that God made for your body to heal, energize and nourish it?

      Or are they foods that man has created that provide no benefit to your body and hijack your brain?

      I recommend checking this out and think about your current eating pattern: https://takebackyourtemple.com/the-hidden-reason-you-overeat/

      Then imagine this scenario: You are scheduled to go into surgery. The anesthesiologist gives you medication to put you to sleep. If you actually go to sleep, would you then say, ”I lost control. I shouldn’t have gone to sleep! Why can’t I be normal?”

      No. That medication was designed to put you to sleep. Your reaction was normal. In a similar way, some processed foods have elements in them that react in our brains like drugs.

      So if cookies are consuming your thoughts, then it is clear that cookies are hijacking your brain. It’s your choice about whether you want to continue to put those cookies in your path and let them consume your life…

      …or pick something else you like that doesn’t hijack your brain and just get on with your life.

      1 Corinthians 6:12 ”All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

      It’s true that God can do anything. But as a loving Father, would He give you the ability to keep on eating something that is clearly hurting you? Think about it.

      God bless you!

  • My problem is my spouse brings junk food into the house and is not supportive. So for me it is a self control problem


    • Hi Katrina – you are in the right place. Struggle is GOOD! Do you know why? Struggle means to: ”make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.”

      So with that definition, are you resisting the habits that are keeping you bound and making you sick? Good job!

      However, if you are just giving into destructive habits without a fight, then that’s a problem. There is no struggle at all.

      I recommend you check out this article 1 Tip to Make Life Easier. While we do need to struggle with some things (eating temptations that are outside of our control), most of the time we are having struggles that we don’t need to have simply because we are making provisions for negative habits.

      I know you want to finish this race well in the Lord. You’ll make finishing well a WHOLE lot easier if you remove the stumbling blocks in your path. I am praying that God give you a revelation on the importance of making straight paths for your feet on the journey. May you finish well in Him!

  • Amen! I threw cookies I had in my freezer away, it makes so much sense. Also today is a Victory for me, I don’t know how I found it, but I found a utube message from Pastor Adrian Rogers re what is your Temple for. For the 1 st time I have been convicted, I have not glorified God with my temple by all the xtra stuff I have put between my teeth. I read your messages which speak so loud and clear, but I have been crying out to God, I can’t do this open my eyes. I hope to write back in a month or so, of what the Lord and I have done together. My body needs nourishment. God bless you Kim for the Words of Truth you share all the time.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Christine – I am going to search for Pastor Rogers message as well so I can listen. The Lord has heard your prayer and will show Himself strong on your behalf. I’m praising God in advance for the breakthroughs to come!

    • Amen! Christine!
      I believe! the Holy Spirit!
      lead you to Pastor Adrian Rogers message on the temple. I believe! The Lord! wants His Bride to be whole and healthy! To carry out His plan and purpose. satan wants us lethargic and tired and weak. God! wants us healthy and! energized for His kingdom! Stay strong! Christine! We are all in this together!

  • Hello! Kimberly
    Thank you! for that message! Especially! about wisdom! My weakness and you could call it my binge food! is ice cream! Doesn’t matter if it is half gallon, quart Dixie cups or pints! It is hard to stop at one dish half cup doesn’t do it for me! I have often heard you talk about binge and trigger foods. And! keeping them in the house. I did not like when you would mention that! I thought I would let something go for lent. I decided ice cream, it has been a month now! I haven’t had any. It hasn’t been hard for me! I don’t know how long it will last.
    But! The funny thing is I feel a freedom! I didn’t think! I could let it go! But! God! showed me I could!
    Everyone has a certain food trigger. I think! the wisdom is knowing and, acceptance in what it is that sabotages our victory in our Weight loss! We already! have the Victory!
    satan is a liar and deceiver!
    We will not be deceived!

    • Amen, Mary! I just had to laugh when you said you didn’t like it when I wrote about not keeping binge/trigger foods in the house. Yeah, I didn’t like it either when the Lord convicted me about it on my weight journey! But yes, when you follow it peace and freedom is the fruit of it. I am agreeing with you…we already have the victory in Jesus and we walk in the light of His truth!

  • I didn’t realize that wisdom in these areas was what I needed.So boundaries and controlling environment is wisdom.

    • Absolutely, Linda! It’s a common mistake. Asking the Lord for wisdom to manage our boundaries/controlling environment is a grace-based approach. In this way, we only fight the battles we MUST fight rather than setting up unnecessary food fights for ourselves.

  • I found this statement to sum up my failure to succeed at weight loss, ” It is unwise to make provisions to practice fleshly weaknesses..” For me that means clean out the kitchen of ALL temptations and stop bringing them into the house. Then get healthy snacks that I can have within reason. Thanks Kimberly, I needed this today. Now to start the process …

    • You are not alone, Freida! I am praising God that you are starting the process. Is this easy? Nope! But it is EASIER when you keep your eyes on the prize, which is to fulfill your God-given purpose and remove anything that hinders you. I am praying Hebrews 12:1-3 for all of us:

      ”Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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