“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.
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.
- The beast of a sweet tooth
- The beast of laziness/procrastination
- The beast of approval
- The beast of apathy
- The beast of pride
- 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.
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
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!