I'm going to steal the cover's tagline, because it summarizes what this book is about perfectly. Made to Crave is about "satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food".
I bought this book months ago and had it on my 2012 reading list. It's 2012 the last time I checked, and so this baby was next on my list!
I think some of these questions at the end of the chapters are a little cheesy, but I'll go with it!
Chapter 1 - What's Really Going On Here?:
1. If you could personify your cravings based on your experience of it, what form might it take? Would it be like the little orange Weight Watcher mascot (remember him?) or would it take a different shape? Describe what your craving looks like and how it behaves. If you could sit down and have a conversation with this craving, what do you think it might say to you? What questions would you want to ask it? How do you imagine it might respond?
Honestly, I'd say when I think of what my craving might "look" like, I think of the devil! You know that devil/angel shoulder thing like you see in the movies? I think of it exactly that way - the devil whispering in my ear to "go ahead and eat that entire bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!" There is always that tiny voice in the back of my head saying, "You don't need that Hilary". But then, when the craving comes on strong, it's as though adrenaline starts pumping through me. I have to do whatever I can to satisfy that craving, despite the little "angel" telling me I don't need it. If I had a convo with this character, I'd imagine he (yes, definitely a man!) would be trying to convince me to eat all the wrong things in all the wrong quantities. However, I wouldn't even want to converse with the bastard - I'd tell it to get lost! I'd imagine him slithering away into the darkness, kind of like Ursula in The Little Mermaid - no doubt to reappear again later in another guise. It's kind of hard to tell the devil to go to hell when he's already there!
2. How do you respond to the idea that God made us to crave? Have you ever pursued a craving that made a positive contribution to your life? What do you think distinguishes that kind of craving from the craving that leads you to eat in unhealthy ways?
As you can see, these questions are loaded! :) I agree with what the book says. From a religious standpoint, I agree that we are made to have a 100% desire/craving for God, and nothing else. But we are sinners, and that's just not how it is unfortunately. I hope that one day I can look back and say, "I wasn't passionate about my current job, so I decided to pursue a career where I can help people - nursing - and it has made ALL the difference!" That would then be a great example of where pursing a "craving" paid off in a positive way! I think the distinction between positive impact "cravings" and negative/sinful ones is the ease at which they can be accomplished. It's not hard to give in to a food temptation at all. However, trying to pursue your dream career, your passion, that takes work and dedication and perseverance and faith - it's not a quick fix! Anything worth having is worth working hard for!
3. If it's true that we're made to crave, how might it change the way you understand your cravings? Do you believe there could be any benefits to listening to your cravings rather than trying to silence them? If so, what might those benefits be? If not, why not?
I guess this is about realizing that it's not necessarily a bad thing that we have this emotion, this desire, within us that causes us to crave things. The distinction is what we're craving and why. So, we don't necessarily need to say to ourselves, "I wish I didn't have any cravings at all!" We just need to crave the right things for the right reasons. I think there is a huge benefit to listening to your cravings. For example, I know I crave sweets a lot, but it's usually due to boredom, stress, sadness, loneliness, etc. I really should be address those emotions, instead of drowning them out with food.
4. The Bible describes 3 ways Satan tries to lure us away from loving God: cravings, lust of the eyes and boasting (1 John 2:15-16). Lysa explains how Satan used these tactics with both Eve and Jesus (in the book). Using the list below, think back over the last 24 hours or the last few days to see if you recognize how you may have been tempted in similar ways.
- Cravings: meeting physical desires outside the will of God. In what ways were you tempted by desires for things such as food, alcohol, drugs or sex? We have a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop near our house. We just recently visited it for the first time! WHAT A MISTAKE!! Now every time I drive past it I have an intense desire for a glazed doughnut!
- Lust of the eyes: meeting material desires outside the will of God. In what ways were you tempted by desires for material things - clothing, financial portfolio, appliances, vacation plans, cosmetics, home decor, electronics, etc? Confession: I LOVE shopping. This one is right up my alley. What keeps me "in line" is that I refuse to go into debt, so I don't have a problem in that I have credit card bills that are never paid off. However, that doesn't mean it's not a problem at all! I have a nail polish addiction, and just this past weekend I caved and bought 2 Nicole by OPI polishes. Didn't need them at all - but I gave into that desire. There is nothing I need right now at all, but I desperately wanted to go clothes shopping and jewelry shopping this weekend. I did a quick scan in Target of the jewelry and left with nothing (thank God!). But yes, this is a problem for me.
- Boasting: meeting needs for significance outside the will of God. In what ways were you tempted by desires to prop up your significance - perhaps by name dropping, exaggerating, feigning humility or other virtues, doing something just because you knew it would be observed by others, etc? I am a flowery story teller, also known by most as "being dramatic". It is a weakness - I want validation from my listeners that my story is enticing. While this wasn't mentioned in the book, but can we say Facebook? I mean, isn't that what FB is about anymore? Posting pictures in order to boast about your life. I'm guilty of this too!
Of the 3 kinds of temptations, which is the most difficult for you to resist? Which is the easiest? Why? The most difficult to resist is a tie between cravings and lust of the eyes. I love shopping and I love eating. It's a very close tie. The least is boasting. I would actually rather operate my life with integrity and humbleness and I have some great mentors who behave that way. I just need to get there too.
I'm actually glad that I took the time to go through these questions, as much as I dreaded this :). I learned a few things and I hope you did too!
I hope your Monday went smoothly!