Chocolate Chip Lies

Chocolate Chip Lies

Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” Genesis 37:26-27

I mentioned a while back that my wife and I had signed up to work with a coach who’s helped us with our diet. It’s been good for me, and i’m still doing it, but it’s required significant discipline, cataloging everything I eat on an app on my phone. If it goes in my belly, it needs to be recorded. A week or two ago though, I realized I was starting to sneak small amounts of food here and there – without recording it. I’d eat just a few chocolate chips but I wouldn’t put it in my phone. Why? I was hungry, but I knew if I ate more now (and recorded it) then I’d have less later. If I didn’t catalog it, then I could eat more and appear to maintain my adherence to the plan. What was the point of my lie though? Who was I fooling? It’s just something absurd I did to make myself feel better about overeating. If I never wrote it down, then on some insane level, it just never happened, right? Except it did. This exemplifies the ridiculous thinking I’m capable of engaging in to justify my unhealthy behaviors.

I did the same kind of thing in my addiction. I knew what I was doing was self-destructive, but I employed a multitude of lies to make my drug use acceptable to my conscience. I need the pills to sleep. I deserve this because I work hard. This is the last time.

This same kind of twisted rationalization was on display in today’s passage. In the story, Joseph’s brothers initially plotted to kill him, but then imprisoned him in a pit instead, while they decided what to do with him. Judah, one of the brothers, suggested selling him to some passing slave traders. He wanted Joseph gone but he also wanted money. If we sell Joseph, we can make a profit. Let’s not kill him. He is our brother after all. It’s not so bad if we just sell him. At least we’re not murderers. He deserves this.

In my self-destructive behaviors, the first lie is usually to myself. This isn’t so bad. I’m justified. I’m not hurting anyone. So, in recovery, I’ve got to work on rigorous honesty – first with myself. Am I lying to myself? Why? If I want the new life of recovery, then daily I must insist on being completely honest with myself in everything – even about what I eat.

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