May 14, 2013

Posted by in Featured, Good Living, Spiritual | 28 Comments

Stop Feeding the Beast

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“Clare, this company will take everything out of you. The more you feed it, the more it wants. You have to figure out YOUR limits and stop feeding the beast.”

It was a conversation I had with a co-worker years ago when I was working in corporate America. I was in a department that had gone through its shares of ups and downs. We had gone through a layoff and I was one of the few left to manage an overabundance of work, to say the least. I have a tendency to be a workaholic and since there was a ton of work, I was working all the time (This was before I was married and with kids). After 2 weeks of driving home in tears, I realized that something had to change. God sent that conversation with my co-worker to me soon after and it was an eye opening moment. I never realized the power my job had over me. I felt enslaved to it and when I was told that it was MY CHOICE to create the parameters of what I did, then I felt relief and freedom.

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I tell you this story because I feel like we are all really good at feeding the beast. The beast looks a little different for each of us, but we all have one. Many times we don’t realize that we are doing it, yet wonder why we feel so enslaved to something. Some things in our lives will take and take from us, never giving us reprieve. We keep feeding it, many times, because we don’t even realize we are doing so and other times because it’s the only thing we know what to do. It takes a hard stop and intentionality to move away from it.

Not sure what I mean by feeding the beast? I consider a beast something that is never satisfied (in a negative way) and has control over your life (in a negative way). Here are some examples I’ve had from various emails from you of real life circumstances.I could expand on each of these but that would take me 3 posts! I think you get my point. :)

Physical:

- The beast of a sweet tooth

- The beast of laziness/procrastination

Emotional:

- The beast of  approval

- The beast of apathy

- The beast of pride

Relational:

- The beast of toxic-ness (is that a word?!)

- The beast of comparison

HOW we feed each of these beasts look a little different for everyone. Maybe it’s lingering on the dessert page of pinterest, watching that reality tv show that displays everything you want on it, scheduling every minute of the day, or staying in a dating relationship just a little too long. Remember–none of these things in and of themselves are bad or wrong, but in the context of the beast in your life you may need to reconsider.

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3 Steps to Defeat Your Beast 

- Determine your beast(s)

Not sure what they are? Refer to some of the ones listed above or think through what ties you down emotionally and mentally. Ask someone close to you who you trust. What are you enslaved to that is not bringing freedom?

“for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” 2 Peter 2:19

- Note your triggers

Once I resolved to stop feeding the beast of work, I needed to know what would trigger me to slide back into it. I knew that as soon as I had a pile of folders on top of my desk, that my natural tendency was to kick into overdrive. I had to step back at that moment, take a breath, and reevaluate. This is where it starts getting hard. It’s where we have to look at some things that have always been our “normal” and kick them to the curb.

- Stop feeding it (snacks included!)

Do you want to know the quickest way to stop a beast from growing? Stop feeding it…now. Stop with the small snacks, too. The more taste he gets in his mouth, the more the beast wants. He may seem happy at one point, but give him some time and you’ll be back at it.  Turn around. Walk away. Quit feeding it. Just do it.

I want to end by saying that if you are feeding a beast all day, every day, it means you aren’t feeding anything else. You are consumed by this problem that has a never-ending appetite and other areas are malnourished. Oh friends, I want nothing more than for you to be FREE of things that enslave and chain you. I know what it’s like to be in that spot and it’s a fight that I am often engaged in, however, it is so worth the struggle because at the end of the fight you have freedom and abundant life!

Please don’t try to do this alone. A hungry beast has a loud roar and a scary presence. He can cause us to do things we never imagined ever doing. You need a real life friend to keep you in check but also remember, you have the ONE living inside of you who has stomped on death and has already won! Reach out, hang out, and let the Ultimate Satisfier fill your need!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may  have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10

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Do you have a beast in your life that is never satisfied? Would you mind sharing below? If you have gained victory over a beast, I’d love to hear about it too! Please share whatever God may lay on your heart! I will be praying for all you specifically who note something below!

  1. Katrina B says:

    Oh Clare this is me!! I have had a beast for too long! I fed it and fed it and got bigger and bigger! It stopped my life! I was a prisoner to this beast in my own home! I wouldn’t go any where because it made me feel worse but as soon as I ate it was happy! I can joyfuly announce that I BEAT the beast!! Since April 1st I now do challenges and extra workouts, I am eating less and I go to Him when I feel bad. But since I have kicked the beast to the curb I have had no more depression!!! Thursday I go see a doctor at a weight management clinic near me that will give me a food plan and also other plans to finaly get rid of this beast once and for all!!!!! Thanks to you for all your help!! I also thank Jannice at Faith Fitness and Nutrition on FB and Liz at Focus Fitness on FB!!! You girls ROCK!!! :)

  2. This is so so great Claire!!

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

    You are such an inspiration and impacting so many including myself! :)

    Blessings,

    Kristine

  3. My beast is not eating healthy things. I want carbs and sweets more than anything else. I definitely need help in this area.

  4. Thanks so much for this blog. My “beast” is worrying about crazy things…..coming home from a meeting to find my family murdered, a crazy man taking them out at Walmart, the car in front of us blowing up and torching our car…..I KNOW it’s crazy but I can still make myself sick, worrying! I’m starting a Bible Study next month called “Breaking Free” and I’m hoping it will help. I’m also printing out this blog (with the website), I think it will be a great conversation started for our first meeting.

    Again, thanks and God Bless!

    • Ayme, I can relate to you very much. I will briefly tell you that I am a mom of 4 and have been with my husband since we were 14 years old! My husband has bipolar disorder and OCD, and all 4 of my kids have mental illnesses too. We are a Christian family and without God’s grace and guidance we would be soooo lost. I don’t know if some of them would even be alive. Matt 6:25-34 has been very important to me. I am NOT saying you have a mental illness, but because fear and worry is so real and HUGE in my family, this made me have to respond to your comment. I understand your fears. Trust God, it is hard, but He will hear you and help you. Please also read Psalm 37:23-24. Also Judges 6:23 the story of Gideon. He was an “unimportant” man who was full of worry and fear and look what God did through him because he trusted him. One more for you. Deuteronomy 31:6. I am praying for you right now.

  5. Irene Holmes says:

    My beast is myself. My displaced focus…satisfying my food desires, beating myself up because I failed once again, resignation that I can’t overcome it, focusing on it all the time and looking for quick, easy answers without any sacrifice. Thinking I can conquer wwith my own power instead of His.

  6. My beast is certainly the beast of laziness/procrastination. I have try fighting this beast for several years now and it not only affects my health (eating right and exercising), but it also affects other areas within my home (staying organized, etc…). I’ve started pulling some scriptures out and writing them down to read through out the day and even put some of them to memory.

    Thanks so much for this article and your encouraging words!! =)

  7. Wow…this was convicting! Especially these lines…”I want to end by saying that if you are feeding a beast all day, every day, it means you aren’t feeding anything else. You are consumed by this problem that has a never-ending appetite and other areas are malnourished.”

    UGH…I hate that this is true in my life. Your two examples under your “physical” heading are me to a T. I feel like God sent this directly to my inbox. I need to make changes. It is so hard.

  8. Thank you for encouraging me in this way. I definitely need help to stop feeding the beast since that is all I know to do right now. It is amazing how bad habits come so natural and have to be replaced by good ones. My beast is ineffective use of time (some might call it laziness). I spend a lot of time at the computer, and watching tv and it consumes me. There is fear in letting go of what I know, illogical fear, but fear non the less. I want to experience life, not just watch it go by on a television screen. Time to take a serious inventory of the “food” I am giving to the beast and clean out the pantry so that there is no, food, and no snacks!
    Thank you for speaking the truth in love!

  9. Danielle says:

    My struggle is that I am a slave to my to-do lists (and other lists), creating an ineffective use of my time. While I have good intentions of making lists so that I can accomplish various tasks, I end up feeling paralyzed in carrying out many of these tasks, either because I am so focused on things I could be forgetting to add to said lists or because I never actually revisit the lists I created. It is as if I have this overwhelming desire to be organized, but lack the ability to create a system that makes me effective/productive due to the “mental clutter” that consumes me.
    Additionally, there are so many books, magazines, blogs, etc. that I want to read that also consume my thoughts at times, when I should be looking to the Bible first and foremost to guide my thoughts and actions.
    (I’m sure both of these things are the evil one’s tactics to distract me from the Truth).
    Ultimately, I need to continue praying that I would be free of this bondage and SIMPLIFY my life & lists (rather than try to create some other system of organization). I need to let it go and STOP FEEDING THE BEAST! Thank you for the reminder that good things are not always good things, if used in the wrong manner.

    • Danielle, that would be me.!! The queen of lists of unaccomplished tasks! I tend to write down sooo many things to do that will end up the day frustrated and disappointed. I have taken a day just to throw away all my lists and not allowing myself on doing more than four or five things. When I do them, then I can go to the next and so forth. This is caused by stress, anxiousness, and sometimes Pinterest! Lol! You see so many astonishing things for decoration, and such that sometimes are impossible to reach. Anyways, thanks for sharing, and God Bless!

  10. Feeding the beast is something that I can relate to whole heartedly. I supervise people who are not very disciplined and only meet the standard. It frustrates me and I find myself picking up the slack and correcting their mistakes. This causes me to be very irritable and critical of myself and others. I need to stop feeding the beast of rescuing others, because my health is suffering as a result. I have a strong need for approval from others and have very high standards for myself. Consequently, regardless of how much I accomplish, it’s never enough or good enough. I need to rely more on God to help me recognize the beast WHEN it occurs and give me strength to handle it differently, by turning it over to Him.

  11. Clare, almost every one you mentioned I feel I suffer with or have suffered with. “Needing” of approval, pleasing others, and the comparison trap are big beasts in my life…..Some days/weeks, I think I am accomplishing much and then seem to fall right back into “old” pits. I am a Jesus-believer and I know I have to totally surrender this to God, and continue to on a daily basis. Not to mention the beasts relating to being over-weight which you mentioned a few of those I believe I have too. I would appreciate your prayers. There are a few trusted friends I ask for prayers about these areas also. Thank you for encouragement, and truth in love! God bless, Holly

  12. My beasts are perfection and uncontrollable snacking – once I start I just eat more and more. Same thing with perfection – specifically cleaning my home. I just go crazy. I can’t stand clutter and chaos and yet that is exactly my problem. I live with all boys and a man and they are so different. Things that are important to me like being caught up with the laundry, a clean kitchen in the morning, clean bathrooms – they could care less about these things. I just need to learn to stop and say no in these areas. It’s really tough, but I want to be free to live in peace, joy and contentment.

    • I can so relate! I seesaw between being mad at them or giving up. My teenage son seems to see a clean kitchen as an artist canvas that needs to be covered in paint. I just finished “dish mountain” about 30 mins ago and he’s in there cooking. I feel like I spend all my time griping about stuff only I care about! I’ll be praying for you!

  13. To do lists is one of them, the other is fast food addiction!! I have found that saying never again to fast foods is impossible, but you can have some kind of control on setting up a specific day for you to eat out. That helps very much! Praying for every one of us and for you too Claire, thanks for this! :)

  14. Brittany says:

    My beast is definitely obsessing over what I put in my mouth. Now I know that normally one would assume that this means junk food– but it is quite the opposite for me! After being overweight for much of my youth and re-learning how to eat the correct foods in my 20’s, I now obsess over how healthy something is, whether or not I’ve gotten my right macros in, how much butter is on something, if there will be “healthy” foods for me to snack on at social events, etc.

    It might sound like a good problem to have, but it has been the thief of MUCH joy in my life because I’m always stressing out/thinking about it! I’m ALWAYS thinking about my next meals, and I just want to feel like a free woman.

    • Brittany, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone and I struggle with this very same thing. I often feel alone and that no one truly gets what I’m going through – maybe you feel the same. I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you often. Every time I catch my obsessing I will lift you up in prayer too!

  15. Jacqueline says:

    GREAT POST!!!!! Thank you so much not only for writing about the beast, but also how to identify it and finally what to do about it!!

  16. Clare!! Thank you so much! I printed this off the day it came in my email and I carry it everywhere! I have three beasts: shopping (especially handbags), eating sweets, and laziness when it comes to exercise! They are horrible and overwhelming me!! I’m actually in therapy for the handbag issue; I have gotten my poor family in deep debt. The beast just gnaws and gnaws at me! I try to ignore it, I try to talk to it, yet it always seems to win in the end. I feel frustrated and hopeless, and out of control. I’m doing two Bible studies at the moment, one on contentment and one on self control. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. My poor patient family! The deception involved in feeding my beasts, all of them….I feel so far away from The Lord so much of the time. Why would He want to talk with me and listen to me if I can’t be good consistently? Thanks for this post. It helps me work through it, instead of flailing around lost.

    • Hey Glenda. Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate your honesty as you tackle your beasts head on! Not many people do that so I admire that! I know what it feels like to feel far from God due to our own hang-ups…I just want to assure you that He is always there and He isn’t moving! His love and determination for my soul is what propels me to make the right decisions! Hang in there, putting one foot in front of the other as God guides you!
      Praying for you today…
      Clare

  17. Thank you for calling it what it is – a beast!! I’m so tired of myself going around and around and never getting anywhere with the 10lbs I want to lose. I find myself wanting to snack starting about 10 a.m. and I don’t want to quit until supper time! It’s so ridiculous when I actually put it into words how much effort I’m willing to put into eating. Makes me sad. I am going to stop feeding the beast. Thanks for the inspiration. I love your Facebook posts and your website!!

  18. My beast if food this prison of unhealthy choices and the resulting physical weight, weight of emotions and pattern that we won’t broken in our family. It’s a source of pain with my husband & I and is bleeding into the children. I have 2 beasts though the other is comparison these combined set me into a mental emotional landslide. I feel if I’m not free this year I’ll wither away. God is working to free me, thank you for the post today. Walking away from feeding the beasts only with Gods strength.

  19. Clare, This is the very conversation my husband and I had as we drove home last night. Sometimes, we tend to take on other peoples beasts, instead of being influencers. Thanks for this post! Mine had been fear of confronting issues that were hindering relationships. no more!

  20. Thank you for this, I love it! It is so true and it seems very obvious now after reading, but is more difficult for me to implement. Praying for strength. Also “toxicity” is the word you’re looking for ;)

  21. I have struggled with overeating and procrastination and people pleasing for years. I am currently working out and eating better and have gotten some projects done that have been on my to do list for years. One morning a few weeks ago came to mind …”make no provisions for the flesh”….because if I do it the last of my flesh (the beast) is never satisfied. You have to starve sin. When I quit smoking, I quit smoking. I knew I could never ever give back in to it because my flesh loved smoking and my flesh did not want to quit but I have been quit for over 20 years. A few years ago, my husband and I loved wine. My husband was the type he could just stop with a glass or two and our adult children were drinking alot. We quit cold turkey. Someone in our Sunday School class said what we do in moderation, our kids will do in excess. I don’t know but for us it was a decision we made. I still struggle with other sins but it is part of sanctification.

  22. The verse is Romans 13:14

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