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December 30th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

My Take: When the fat girl got mad at God

Editor's Note: Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food. Lysa blogs daily at www.lysaterkeurst.com. 

By Lysa TerKeurst, Special to CNN

Three years ago I was stuck in a rut of wishful thinking and excuses with my weight loss. At the beginning of each day I would say I wanted things to be different. I would vow in my heart to make things different. I would even make a plan to stop the snacks, increase the veggies, and say no to the desserts.

But then life would happen. And the excuses were so very plentiful. So, my resolve would melt away like butter on a hot yeast roll.

Of course the next morning I would always get up and weigh myself hoping that somehow magic would have happened over night. Despite my indulgences from the day before, maybe just maybe the numbers would have gone down.

But the scale was not impressed with my wishful thinking. So you know who I’d get mad at?

God.

I’d beg God to help me one minute while scarfing down an order of fries the next. And then I’d be doubly mad He didn’t steer my car away from the drive-thru.

I deemed myself a victim of tragic genetics, overactive taste buds and a stomach that demanded large portions.  What I failed to realize for years is there was a much more significant issue going on with me.

More important than the ever increasing size of my jeans was the deception going on inside my heart. My weight was outside indication of an internal situation. There was a crucial spiritual situation that needed to be addressed.

I was relying on food to be my comfort, my ever present help, my guide, the thing that got me through the valleys and the first thing I wanted to celebrate with in the good times. Honestly, I might as well have taken Psalm 23 and replaced the Lord’s name with various food choices.

My proper little Christian self would have never expressed that out loud. But my body wouldn’t keep secrets. I had an issue. And the ever increasing size of my body demanded the REAL issue be addressed.

I don’t write to point out anyone else’s issue. There are certainly medical situations that can cause weight gain. But my issue was truly a spiritual one. And no diet would have ever been permanently successful until I got to the real root of my problem.

The root of my issue was craving food more than God. I desired and depended on the instant high of physical gratification because I hadn’t learned how to let God satisfy my deepest needs.

God wasn’t causing my weight issues as some sort of cruel consequence for my poor choices.
God was actually the very thing I needed to help overcome my issues.

Dr. Floyd Chilton who teaches at Wake Forest University of medicine wrote an article that said, "Your willpower is in constant battle with your genes and your calorie-excessive environment. Often your best efforts are no match for your genes and environment which is why so many diets fail so miserably... Will power alone is not enough to bring about this change; start by realizing that can not do this alone. If you are a person of faith, use that connection to help you change."

So, I set out to understand what the Bible says about how to consume food without food consuming me. I started in Genesis and read through the Bible with an appetite for truth rather than chocolate, chips and cheeseburgers. This was a spiritual journey that yielded great physical benefits. I lost 25 pounds in 4 months but more importantly, I have kept it off for nearly two years. That’s a first for me!

Now, I sense my weight issue was actually a gift in disguise. I never thought I’d say that. And yes, three years ago I would have rolled my eyes at someone saying that too.

But I don’t say it as a Pollyanna lollipop girl with too much air between her ears and no cellulite on her hiney.
I know this is a tough issue. I’ve walked through the tears and the feelings of failure. Remember, I was the fat girl mad at God about this whole deal. So, hear me out.

Learning to turn to God to fill my soul instead of food to overstuff my emptiness, has changed more than just my jeans size. It has changed my outlook on life. I did lose the extra weight I needed to shed and kept it off. But the real reward was what I gained with Jesus in the process. He became the best part of my journey. And I wouldn’t have missed this new found closeness I now have with Him for anything in world.

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food,” Romans 14:17-20.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Lysa TerKeurst.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Food • God • Opinion

soundoff (1,314 Responses)
  1. Barb

    1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
    2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
    3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
    4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
    5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
    6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
    7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
    8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

    January 5, 2011 at 5:53 am |
    • Tammy Grisham

      Amen Barb:~)

      January 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  2. NL

    Hi everyone,
    Thank all you believers for giving me this most excellent opportunity to reply to your posts. It has truly been wonderful sharing my atheistic beliefs with you all. I only wish that I had more time today to get to you all.

    Take care, think about what I've said, and try to limit how much hurt you cause with your beliefs. See you tomorrow. Pleasant dreams.

    January 5, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • Tammy Grisham

      Hello again NL:~) I have replied to you several times above, and I just want to say sweet dreams to you as well.
      I know that some people become angry and closed off when you want to descuss their faith with you. We don't need to stick up for God/Jesus just love him. I want you to find true happiness, my is in the FACT that I have experinced God intamitaly. He has protected me and blessed me several times. No one can or should force you into believing, Jesus does the knocking, you have to answer yourself! You may not understand now at this time in your life, but you still have breath in yor soul, so I have faith that you will someday find the truth. It is a choice you have to make, we can explain the facts to you, but you have to see for yourself. Jesus does not push himself on you and neither should anyone else, but he LOVES you, all that you have to do is except that:~) You really do sound like a beautiful person, but that does not get us to Heaven.

      January 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • NL

      What makes you think I haven't found true happiness already?

      If heaven is not filled with 'beautiful', meaning good, people, then why want to go there for all eternity? I choose not to hang around bad people nowadays, why should I change?

      January 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Elizabeth

    Mr, Kraken,
    I can only imagine you are a man for being so pigheaded. Taking "religion" into the ballot boxes and on the street and into schools, etc. are the freedoms that this country was founded upon. If the religious of Europe had not sought a refuge on this continent where they could practice their beliefs (based on the Bible mind you), then you would likely today be living in a Muslim nation where you couldn't write about religion without being stoned to death.
    A true Christian's beliefs, based on the bible and not on "religion" hold nothing truly offensive except to those who wish to live in complete anarchy. It is the only religion based on LOVE, true love, forgiveness, justice and FREEDOM.
    Relying on God's strength to accomplish what it is we are here to do in this life is BIBLICAL. "Lean not on your understanding...." It is freeing to acknowledge that in our own strength we can do nothing but with God all things truly are possible.
    Lysa's article here is, appropriately, in the faith section of the CNN website. If you do not have faith and do not believe in faith, then why are you reading this? In all likelihood, you also believe that we should all be tolerant of others, but here you are along with many many others bashing Christianity. I find it interesting that we must tolerate (aka "accept as equally true and valid) other beliefs such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.but when it comes to Christianity, we are ridiculed. Baffling.

    Thank you Lysa for posting this, for being out there and encouraging so many women who are struggling. What exactly is wrong with the Mr Kraken? Have you never struggled with anything ever? Perhaps that is why YOU haven't found Him yet?

    January 5, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • NL

      Do you honestly think that the Puritans, with their low regard for Jesus and policy of banning Christmas, would be accepted in today's America? Frankly, I think they would be catching the first boat back to Europe where real religious freedom is more evident nowadays.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  4. RogersNC

    It's seems to me so much harder and requires so much more imagination to doubt God and His seeking/love for each of us. Food doesn't satisfy or we wouldn't keep eating more and more hoping to attain that happiness and satisfaction. We like to think we're open to new ideas...why not honestly consider this one? What if Lysa's right?

    January 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • NL

      So, you are arguing that it takes more imagination to believe that the world is just as it seems, natural and without any gods?

      January 5, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • NL

      What if Lysa's right?

      If she turns out to be right then evidence that supports it would have been found and it would be proven. If that happens then I will gladly accept it as truth, but in the meantime I am justified in being skeptical.

      Lots of things could turn out to be true with new evidence, like Bigfoot, space aliens, elves, the healthy aspects of smoking, astrology, magic, ... it's a pretty long list of 'possibilities' that is only limited to the human imagination, right?

      For argument's sake, however, if a god other than your's were proven to be real, would you accept that? I would, but that's only because I respect the concept of 'truth'. How about you?

      January 5, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  5. Karen

    If an atheist has a young daughter, and the child is suddenly stricken and can't breathe, and is fighting for her very life awaiting an ambulance, and..... it looks like she will not be able to hold on, will that atheist not cry out in desperation to God (who does not exist, remember??) to have mercy and let his little daughter live? Now just say that he DID pray, in desperation, but the child died. Will the atheist quietly affirm that he was indeed correct in not believing in God because his prayer did not save his daughter? It is my experience, on the contrary, having observed similar cases, that the atheist will be ANGRY at God (who does not exist, remember??) and curse Him for being heartless and mean. The bottom line is that Lucifer (Satan) is the father of lies, and is telling some awfully big whoppers, which atheists are swallowing whole. Sadly, Satan is laughing his head off .

    Lysa, Jesus said the world will hate you for no cause, even as it hated Him. Keep your faith strong. You rock! Thanks for a great blog, Lysa, and thank you CNN!

    January 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • NL

      If Satan is so good at lying then how do you know for certain that you are not the one being lied to, or that Paul wasn't lied to in the very beginning? Remember, he never actually say who was speaking to him at the roadside.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  6. LPSL

    This article hit home for me. Wonderfully inspired words! I know God has given you this message to help millions of people with all kinds of addictions.

    January 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  7. Angie Yates

    Lysa, its very sad that people will bash you for what you believe. Personally in my opinion these people have no clue what you have went through.. and to sit here and read all these terrible comments about "YOUR" struggle leaves me in complete shock. As I was listening to you on KLOVE this morning , I said a prayer for these people just dont understand. One day if not sonner than they realize they will regret these comments. Lets just hope its not too late ❤

    January 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • NL

      I don't hear too many people questioning that the lady had a weight problem. We just disagree on the fundamental truth of what she claims was her cure.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  8. HistoryBacksBible

    I heard you Lsya on Focus on the Family in the 5 minute long commute I have to work. The fact that I caught you on there talking about your book alone is a miracle in itself. My mother and my cousin struggle with weight from issues of the past and when you said that this book makes you want to change, you sold me and I had to go and buy it for them. Thank you so much for your work. I know that a lot of us will benefit from this and God is so proud of you!

    To the unhappy campers posting comments: it's easy to disbelieve in God when you take the Bible out of context and you don't understand it or you are too mad at God and refuse to believe in Him. If you look at the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies of the Bible, those alone proves His exsistence. Seek Him honestly and you will find Him. Everything makes sense when you research it. It seems that nearly every atheist I know or come in contact with is unhappy and feels a void in their life.

    January 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • NL

      Can you prove that the Bible was written before the events that it supposedly foretells? Can you prove what the 'proper' context is in reading the Bible when so many Christian groups disagree even amongst themselves? Yes, everything does make sense when you research it, which is why I am an atheist. I stopped taking everything on face value just because it sounded right and actually examined why I believed in what I do. Living this way has brought me nothing but joy because I know that I am making well-informed choices that I will not someday regret.

      Seriously, how many atheists do you know personally? I don't mean people of faith who suffered a loss and rage that their idea of a loving God simply cannot exist because of it. I mean actual atheists who accept that God never was real, like all the other gods that you probably don't believe were ever real either? We're just voicing our opinion and aren't any more unhappy with our lives than the average activist protesting against government overspending is.

      Been nice talking to ya'll, and I'd like to continue, but I gotta jet. TTFN

      January 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  9. Mel

    Great article. Bravo on the weight loss. I'm sorry people feel the need to attack you in a faith based blog site. If they don't like what you write, then why read it.

    January 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • NL

      Seriously now, what gives people the impression that this is a 'faith based' blog? Some of you seem to think that it is one of those Christians only sites. I assure you, if it were, I'd have been banned the moment I said that I didn't believe that God was real. They're not particularly fond of free speech on those sites.

      From the 'About this blog' welcome:
      "The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives."

      If you haven't noticed a great many of the articles here reference atheism directly, so why would you feel that atheists haven't a right to be here? I also feel compelled to discuss how religion and belief affects my life. Like how it is delaying the development of stem cell medical advances that can save millions of lives, to name just one example.

      You may not see it, but your beliefs and your faith have a negative affect on everyone's' lives. For many of you, it's not your fault. You've led sheltered lives and have only been fed the message that your faith is entirely positive, and without question. Stick around and read atheist posts if you want to get the other side.

      January 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL~ I have been reading and listening to you, I respect your choice. I think that people are just saying that this blog is about Lysa and her book and wants to know why it became a descution on if God is real or not. You are not bashing, you are just giving your opinion so you should not be kicked off. We should not be fighting over God, but loving eachother unconditionally. I don't know if you read my testamony back a bit about my drug use and God healing me, but I just wanted to share why I believe with ya'all. You have to find God in your own experience, we can not do it for you:~) But I can still respect you and love you as a fellow human being:~)

      January 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham-
      "I think that people are just saying that this blog is about Lysa and her book and wants to know why it became a descution on if God is real or not."

      She refers to believing that God is real as a key ingredient in her diet system and then she wants people to buy into that system, right? If she were claiming that eating Christmas Tree needles helped her with losing weight wouldn't people be justified in questioning that claim?

      "We should not be fighting over God, but loving eachother unconditionally"

      Why can't we love each other and still tussle over God?

      January 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      As I told you before, I do love you, I don't only love Christians:~) I actually have a lot of family and know a lot of people who do not believe in God, some even practice wica, but I still love them:~)

      January 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  10. Teresa

    Bless you Lysa for sharing your heart and story with us! My heart breaks for all of those who will discover the truth a second too late. I pray for them to have their eyes opened just like Sauls eyes were opened from killing Christians to being a saint of God becoming Paul!

    January 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • NL

      It's great that Paul stopped killing Christians, but can you be certain that he led the faith in the direction that Jesus wanted? What if Jesus had actually only been a wise rabbi preaching for Jews to treat their fellows better? Paul had an ailment, the 'thorn in his side' and his attack on the roadside sounds like a seizure or some other attack. What if all of his theology is actually the product of a brain tumor affecting his mind? Can you say for sure that it wasn't? Remember that the gospels, and the rest of the NT were written after Paul's letters. He defines Christian scripture and belief, not Jesus.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:23 am |
  11. Tyler Detrick

    How good to see evidence of a fellow Christian consistently appealing to Gods ultimate authority in all areas of her life.
    This is even true for weight loss, for in Christ "all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom are hidden.." (Col. 2:3)

    God does exist. But, of course, I dont need to tell anyone on this blog that because they already know it. The Triune God who has revealed himself in the BIble exists and the proof of this is the impossibility of the contrary. Only Christianity can account for the preconditions of intelligibility that make any knowledge true whatsoever. In other words, the non-Christian must stand on Christian ground to "know" any given thing at all. Therefore all facts can be used to prove the truth of Christian Theism.

    Consider toothpaste. When one wakes up in the morning and squeezes a tube of tooth paste, they take for granted that toothpaste will effectively come out of the tube. However, even this fact can prove the truth of God's existence. Why do we take for granted that squeezing a tube of toothpaste will squirt out the paste? Because there is uniformity in nature. Correct? The future reflects the past. But what worldview can make uniformity in nature intelligible? What worldview justifies the future reflecting the past? In the atheistic worldview, the universe arose from random chance and time. Why, in the atheistic universe should squeezing the tube produce toothpaste? Why not explode into a billion tiny peices? Atheism simply cannot account for uniformity in nature. It might be insisted that in the past, the future has reflected the past. However, the atheist still presupposes that the future reflects the past but cannot justify this within his/her own worldview.

    Christianity, however, accounts for uniformity in nature. In the Christian Worldview, the future reflects the past because the universe is not only created by God, but God himself has promised to uphold uniformity himself (Gen. 8:22). Therefore, the toothpaste situation is justified within the Christian Worldview. The Atheist then, is borrowing from the Christian Worldview whenever he presupposes that the future reflects the past. The Atheist cannot be consistent within his/her worldview, but must borrow from the Christian worldview to know anything whatsoever. My argument is this;
    1.)If Christianity were not true, uniformity in nature would not be meaningful.
    2.)Uniformity in nature is meaningful
    3.) Christianity is true.

    Let us build our thinking on Gods Word as our Ultimate authority!

    January 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • NL

      Tyler Detrick-
      "God does exist. But, of course, I dont need to tell anyone on this blog that because they already know it."

      You're new here, I presume?

      "The Triune God who has revealed himself in the BIble exists and the proof of this is the impossibility of the contrary."

      Not so, it is completely possible that the Triune God does not exist. Just apply any logic and reason that you might use to dismiss the actual existence of any other god to your own and it works equally well.

      "In the atheistic worldview, the universe arose from random chance and time. Why, in the atheistic universe should squeezing the tube produce toothpaste? Why not explode into a billion tiny peices?

      Past experience using toothpaste, tooth paste commercials, the fact that exploding toothpaste tubes are not often recorded?

      "Atheism simply cannot account for uniformity in nature."

      Explain 'uniformity'? The uniformity of the fossil record that suggests an evolutionary pattern to life on this planet? The cosmological observations that indicate a universe billions of years old? The uniform lack of any objective evidence to suggest that any of your ideas are even remotely true?

      January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL, you are in my prayers:~) I love you...

      January 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham-
      My hopes for a better world include all of you too. 🙂

      Peace!

      January 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham-
      I forgot to ask, but did you follow what Tyler was arguing? If you did then in what way was I incorrect in my remarks? If I was incorrect I truly would like to know where.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Tyler Detrick

      NL,

      As for arguments against "other gods"... I would join you in this. These are false gods. However, these arguments would hardly suffice against the Triune God of the Bible seeing as to argue, one must use the laws of logic which are only justified in the Christian Worldview. In arguing against God, one actually presupposes God, thus proving His existence. What I mean here is that God exists because of the impossibility of the contrary.
      1.) If the Bible were not true Laws of Logic would not be meaningful.
      2.) Laws of Logic are Meaningful
      3.) The Bible is True.

      As for Uniformity in Nature; I dont want my argument to seem too difficult here, because its really a simple thing. When I speak of uniformity in nature, I mean the fact the the universe behaves in a uniform nature. That is, the future reflects the past. We all must take this for granted for science, observation etc. to be possible. Now, we know this for sure! But, where I want to go now is pose the question; "Which worldview can account for uniformity in nature?" Now, lets (just for arguments sake) say that atheism is true. If atheism was true, however, uniformity in nature would not be possible, because the atheist universe is in a constant state of flux. To the atheist, this universe is a closed system that acts and came into existence by random chance and time.There is absolutely no reason why, in such a worldview, that the laws of gravity would not stop behaving the same way 4 seconds from now. Atheism cannot justify the uniformity in nature we must take for granted and actually destroys the possibility of it, thus rendering science impossible. Atheism self-destructs itself. That is, if it were true, it could not be true. Christianity however, can account for uniformity in nature as I pointed out earlier. Thus, the atheist is not being consistent when he does science, but is actually standing on Christian ground. He is borrowing from the Christian worldview. Therefore, Christianity is true due to impossibility of the contrary. It God did not exist as He reveals Himself in the Bible we could know nothing.

      I dont mean to be militant in presenting this, and really just want to help you out. I pray that God will lead you the truth however He might do that. Because the God of the Bible really does exist, He is right in all He says. That means that though we are all sinners, he became a man to pray the price for sin. God took upon a body of flesh in order to offer the free gift of eternal life to you and me. What great love this is that our God has given us! I'd love to talk to you if your'e ever up for it.
      If you'd like, shoot me an email at pmeyers9393@gmail.com.

      In Christ,
      -Tyler

      January 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • NL

      Tyler Detrick-
      Why is your god any more logical than any of the 'false gods'? Why are the laws of logic dependent upon the Bible being true?

      "There is absolutely no reason why, in such a worldview, that the laws of gravity would not stop behaving the same way 4 seconds from now."

      Shouldn't the argument be the reverse, where the atheist expects natural laws to remain constant and the believer expects them to change on the whim of God resulting in 'miracles'?

      "Christianity however, can account for uniformity in nature as I pointed out earlier."
      You stated this earlier, but did not demonstrate how it could be true.

      "To the atheist, this universe is a closed system that acts and came into existence by random chance and time.Atheism cannot justify the uniformity in nature we must take for granted and actually destroys the possibility of it, thus rendering science impossible. Atheism self-destructs itself."

      If this were true then Christianity self-destructs in not being able to answer where God came from, right? Think about it for a moment. Your explanation is actually far more complicated and against the odds than the natural explanation for the universe. The contrary to Christianity being true is actually quite possible.

      Sorry Tyler, you say a lot of things, but you don't really explain why any of them can be true.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL, I was just letting you know that I love you:~) I don't think that you are a bad person, I just do not agree with atheism. I know that God is real because he has showed me. I should be dead right now if not! I just want you to know that you are in my prayers, and I am sure that you are a great person, and want world peace as I do. We all need to work together, please don't feel hated on, we just disagree on this subject.

      January 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham-
      I would argue that you only think that God has shown you. To the objective eye there is no evidence that he has. Sorry, but it is my opinion that you have deluded yourself.

      January 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL~ The FACT that I am still alive prooves there was a devine intervintion!
      You never have mentioned how you believe that we came to be life!?

      January 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham-
      The fact that you are still alive proves that you beat the odds, a fortunate development, but hardly one requiring divine intervention by any objective standard. Sorry, but that's how I call it.

      If God were proven to exist, he would stop being something we call 'supernatural', right? So, any way you cut it, we, as a species, came to life by some natural process. 😉

      January 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  12. Michelle

    Lysa, Thank you for writing this article, your books and for being you. I heard you speak at SheSpeaks in NC last summer and it changed my life. You are a truly honest and loving woman who is on a mission from God. Blessings to you and I can't wait to read the book and be a part of your webcast next week. By His Grace, Michelle

    January 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Stephanie

    Lysa, this was an eye opening article. I've been struggling with my weight for years. I've tried so many diets and exercises and not one of them stuck. I've turned to food for comfort and celebration. Motivation is not my issue as many comments have suggested. There is something else missing in my life and the food nor the weight loss I have accomplished has filled that part. I am so looking forward to learning to do what we have been lovingly asked to do, rely soley on God. That relationship isn't where I would like it to be either. I cannot wait to get closer to Him and feel the love and the peace that comes with that closeness. The atheists and other beliefs that have commented in a negative fashion, until you seek Him and witness the miracles that happen in your life that you haven't worked for or sought after, until you feel the love that comes from true believers, and until you really read the Bible with a heart that wants to at least understand where Christians are coming from, you will never understand the comments that have been made in this forum nor understand Lysa's message. If your disbelief comes from a negative experience with a Christian, please consider a couple of things before turning away from God and His love and promises completely; keep in mind that not one of us Christian or not, is perfect. In our humanity, we all do things that are hurtful, sinful, and hypocritical at times. Also, remember that in every belief, there are pretenders. The truest way to know a Christian is when they do something wrong, their heart and conscience convicts them and they are truly remorseful of their actions. Please read and talk with an open mind and an open heart before being so negative. You don't have to believe what others believe, but treating each other with respect is not just a Christian concept. Thank-you again Lysa for passing on your messages regardless of the critics that are out there. God will continue to guide His messages through you to those who need it and are open to it.

    January 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • NL

      "If your disbelief comes from a negative experience with a Christian"
      Well, such experiences surely don't help people like me believe, but the fundamental issue for most of us atheists is that there is just no objective reason to say that God is real.

      It's like looking at the Mets and claiming that they are the best team in the whole league. Statistics will never back up such a claim, only love of the team will. You believe that God is real only because you love him, or perhaps only the idea of him. To you, that makes him real, but in reality it really doesn't, see?

      January 5, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Stephanie

      @ NL: I understand your point. Browsing some of your comments, I can see that your belief is in reality. Do you believe in love and hope? If so, these are not tangible concepts, they are ideals as well. We are granted free will on this earth and can choose to believe how we wish. I do choose to believe in God. I made that choice not only b/c of unexplainable feelings and convictions, but b/c this reality that we live in is falling. Crime rates and murder rates are increasing (at least in my area), the generations coming up behind me have no respect for others and many of them, not for themselves. The world has turned to where the lazy and the greedy tend to be rewarded. In this reality, where is the hope? Why is it wrong to want better and to believe that there is a God who loves us and will never fail us? Being a Christian does not make one immune to this world and the consequences of our own actions. He just gives us the strength, the hope, and the comfort to help us persevere through our low points. I disagree whole-heartedly with "Bible thumpers" and those speaking not in love, but in judgement. That is not the reason we are here. We are to spread God's Word, but not to force it. We are to judge our brothers and sisters in a loving way by holding them accountable for things done and helping them, but we are not to judge non-believers. I am happy that you are happy with your life. I do hope that one day you will come to believe that God is real and the tangible evidence is all around us as well as the "supernatural" evidence. If you have any inkling of doubt in your beliefs, please try different churches until you find one that is comfortable and give it a chance. Religion doesn't matter. I will follow your lead if I have any doubts in my belief.

      January 6, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • NL

      Stephanie-
      You're right, the concepts of 'Love' and 'Hope' are not tangible, but love and hope in action bears tangible results. The concept of 'God' is also not tangible, but the belief in God made into action can have tangible results, some good, and some bad. Emotions are like that, and God is more like an emotion than anything else. Whether you express God as love, or hate, or rage, or jealousy, or compassion, or something else it doesn't actually make the concept of God any more tangible, or 'real', than 'Love' and 'Hope', right?

      "the generations coming up behind me have no respect for others and many of them, not for themselves."
      I find the opposite actually. Many of the younger generation have far more respect for people different than themselves then we ever had growing up. I take that as a sign of a brighter future for them, thanks almost entirely to the greater secular influence upon our society and globalization through the internet and other media. The fact that an atheist like me can speak freely in a place like this must surely be a sign of growing respect, right? Naa... The kids are all right! 😉

      "I will follow your lead if I have any doubts in my belief."
      Sounds nice. Let me just give you one bit of advice. Before acting according to your convictions ask yourself if what you are doing hurts somebody else. If the answer is "Yes, but my faith tells me that it's OK anyway" then consider the possibility that the faith may actually be at fault, and not the person being hurt, all right?

      Or you can also apply the 'Golden Rule' to an issue like same-s.ex marriage. Wouldn't you allow their right to marry just as you would have them allow your right to marry?

      January 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  14. marya

    Awesome blog Lysa ! Thank you so much for sharing your faith with us!!!! You are an awesome woman of God and Im sure He is pleased with you. God Bless us All and may He continue to have mercy on all of us!! He loves us even the least of you who seek to offend, tear down, and disrespect... Yes GOD loves you too!!! Isn't that amazing? YES, HE loves you before you even love Him!!... Cause He is just that AMAZING!

    January 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • NL

      marya-
      "you who seek to offend, tear down, and disrespect... "
      Would you never seek to offend a Muslim by disagreeing with their beliefs because it might show a lack of respect? Do you speak out against anyone who wishes to tear down their faith? It would be hypocritical to do otherwise, correct?

      January 5, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  15. Mary

    I for one, am not afraid to stand up and say that I AM A CHRISTIAN.......if you're living like there is no God...you'd better be right....
    Romans 14:11 KJV
    For it is written , As I live , saith the Lord , every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    Philippians 2:10 KJV
    That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow , of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

    and thanks Lysa for following your heart and doing what God has called you to do...Keep up the good work...1 Peter 4:16

    January 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • NL

      Well, if we are right, then just imagine how far advanced our technology and medicine would be now had people wised up sooner. If we are right then imagine all the hurt that the gay and Jewish communities could have been spared from throughout history. If we are right then imagine how much better off we all would have been without pedophile priests and swindling pastors.

      Alas, we can only dream of what glories might have been, right?

      January 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  16. Melissa

    Picked up Made to Crave by chance on last Wednedsay and I have not been able to puit it down! Love it, and love what God is doing through you Lysa. To HIM be the glory, forever and ever.

    January 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  17. Erin

    Lysa,
    Can't wait to get your book and remember: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33. God bless you and all of the doubters whom you have reached through your article.

    January 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  18. Jennifer

    AMEN! I need to read your book-I'm going through the same thing. Thank you for following God's calling in this. You weren't kidding about the negative comments but thank you to all those leaving negative comments: now we Christians know how to pray for you better.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  19. Maybe

    Magical thinking knows no bounds. If word got around that rubbing a lucky rabbit's foot or hovering your hand over a pyramidal crystal every time verboten foods beckon, oh, the books, lectures and webcasts that would proliferate.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      But Jesus did walk the earth, it is a part of history rather you believe it or not. What he physically went through is not possible for anyone to endure. And I don't know of ANY human that would go through all of that for our mess ups!

      January 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Maybe

      Tammy,
      "Jesus did walk the earth..."

      The evidence for this is slim to none. An all-knowing "God" would have certainly left better docu.mentation than biased, ambiguous writings which have been much-disputed, mistranslated, misinterpreted and misunderstood. The supposed most momentous, earth-shaking event since the beginning of time would not be open to dispute.

      January 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy-
      Besides the Romans crucified many thousands of people, and the Bible makes a point of stating that Jesus wasn't able to endure it nearly as long as was expected.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      The evidence is out there, you just have to read history. Even the devil believes. God loves you anyway:~)

      January 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL~I am not talking about what the bible says about pain, I am talking about psychology! I have took plenty of that to know! He died for you and maybe too:~)

      January 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham
      "The evidence is out there, you just have to read history."

      What history, the Bible?

      "Even the devil believes."

      If he were real then he would be in a position to know God firsthand, given their long history together, so he would be basing his belief on hard evidence, not faith, right?

      January 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL~ Not just the bible, your history books too! Do you ever watch the history channel?
      The devil does know first hand, that is why he is trying to take down as many people as he can!
      The devil is not dumb, his best lie is tricking people into not believing in God!

      January 6, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham-
      Sure I watch the History Channel. Some of the shows support a historical Jesus and others do not. Some support historical accuracy of the Bible while others do not. They're interesting, but I prefer to examine the actual scholarly work, and then make my judgments. Generally I take shows that use the expression "Some people believe..." as a sign that not a whole lot of scholarly thought has gone into it, and take them for their 'entertainment' value. My wife actually got me a copy of the series "Clash of the Gods" about myths and their tie-ins with Christianity which replaced them. All I have to say is Poor Medusa!

      If the devil is not dumb then why is he following the script set out for him in the Bible? Surely he has free will, otherwise the story of his rebellion makes no sense, right? If I had my enemy's strategy to read I certainly would take advantage and not fall into the trap awaiting me.

      If he is so tricky, leading even some Christians astray, then why can't he be behind other possible 'tricks.' Maybe he has tricked people into misinterpreting certain parts of the Bible, like those used to support 'prosperity gospel." He is now assumed to be behind the pro-slavery misinterpretations. Those folks were unaware that they were being tricked, so how can any Christian know that they are reading scripture without being influenced by him? Maybe he tricked Saul into believing he was speaking with Jesus? Proposing a devil with the power to deceive opens all of these things to the realm of possibility, right?

      NL~ Not just the bible, your history books too! Do you ever watch the history channel?
      The devil does know first hand, that is why he is trying to take down as many people as he can!
      The devil is not dumb, his best lie is tricking people into not believing in God!

      January 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL~ hello:~) The Holly Spirit leads me not the devil, that is how I know! Yes people do interprit the bible differantly, but the general meaning behind it is the same, Love God/Jesus with all of your heart, love your neighbor as yourself, and believe in the resurection. That is most important.
      The book your wife got you sounds interesting. Is she an athiest as well? What if she had an experience with God, how do you think you would react if she wanted to go to church and Love him? I am not being mean, I really want to know, I have found that you and I are able to descuss these things openly:~) I like that. I can tell that you are a good person.
      I look at the Holly Spirit like this, you can feel the wind but you can't see it, we can feel the Holly Spirit but we don't see it:~) Although we can definantly see what it does in our lives:~)

      January 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • NL

      Tammy Grisham-
      How can you tell the Holy Spirit from the devil claiming to be the Holy Spirit? Being deceived is not so impossible when you consider how many renegade pastors like Fred Phelps are out there, right?

      Clash of the Gods is a video series, and my wife's position on God is her own business. I really wouldn't feel comfortable speaking for her, and who really knows what anyone really believes about God anyway? The person sitting in the pew next to you every Sunday may actually be somebody who thinks like me, but continues to dutifully attend church because it's expected of them. Having doubts is believed to be a character flaw by some in every congregation.

      I commented on the wind analogy in another post. Hope you see it, because the wind really doesn't do God the justice you want to give him.

      January 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      NL~ I replied it is up further on the 8th. I wish that we could reply to each individually! LOL

      January 8, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  20. Karen

    Awesome, Lysa – thank you for sharing and for accepting the opportunity to have your words published here! And kudos to CNN for publishing it. Your words have already touched so many... I can't wait to start with you in January and to get a copy of your book!!!

    January 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tammy Grisham

      I know the diffrence between th Holly Spirit and the devil!
      NL~I don't know what the person next to me in the pew or even the person listening to me preach feels about God, that is between them and God. I am here to share the love of God. It is what they do with that that they will be judged on in the end.
      But I do know that anyone who is still taking breaths have an oppertunity to experience Jesus:~)
      I just wanted to know how you would feel if she believed. I am sorry that your up bringing with the Lord was bad, that is not good.

      January 8, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • NL

      "I know the diffrence between th Holly Spirit and the devil!"
      But how can you tell? I know that you are convinced that you are not being deceived, but does the devil ever deceive anyone without their being totally convinced that they have not been?

      "But I do know that anyone who is still taking breaths have an oppertunity to experience Jesus"
      Well, there are those in comas and the outright brain dead kept alive through life support. Tell me, can the soul still accept Jesus even when the brain has stopped functioning?

      "I am sorry that your up bringing with the Lord was bad, that is not good."
      My upbringing in belief wasn't bad at all, actually. No childhood tragedy to blame some 'God anger' upon, I'm afraid. I had trouble accepting the bias against gay people, and I felt quite badly for both the targets of this bias and the good folks who were forced to adopt it simply because their pastor's directed them to. My curiosity led me to seek knowledge, and knowledge has led me to see faith for what it really is, empty promises.

      January 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.