I have recently been co-leading a life group at my church based on Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave. Before even the first study, I had devoured the book, so you can probably guess that my review is going to be a favorable one. I will try to make this brief yet thorough.
Made to Crave was a delightfully easy read that felt more like sitting down and chatting with a friend than reading at all! TerKeurst has a lighthearted, humorous way of bringing truth to a sensitive topic: obesity brought on by gluttony and lack of self-control. Her candor is paired with her empathy due to a past ridden with food-related struggles and low self-esteem. In a word, she is relatable.
Despite a coffee date feel, she dropped some serious, Bible-supported truth that is hard for those of us struggling with food addiction to swallow (no pun intended). Using God’s Word, she explained that obesity is an outward manifestation of spiritual deprivation. She discussed how it is wrong for us to use anything else, food included, as a substitute for God. This resonated with me deeply as I have often found myself using food as a salve and reward for my emotions. When I was depressed or stressed? Food was my comfort. When I was happy or excited? Food was my joy. That should not be.
The reason I used past tense in those last few sentences is because, God used this book to change me. It has changed the way I look at food. It has alerted me on more than one occasion of my reliance and obsession with food, especially when I am going through a difficult time.
All of that being said, this book is not a “How To” or dieting book by any means. In Lysa’s words, this book is not for finding your “how to” but rather for finding your “want to” (p. 11). As you can imagine, your “want to” is all about the Lord.
It is a very quick and easy read- the chapters are short and include “Personal Reflection” questions at the end of each. She emphasizes important quotes on the pages which helps the reader remember and focus on the main points. She includes verses throughout to support her views- this is very important to me as a Christian woman. I want to make sure everything that I read for guidance lines up with God’s Word.
There is one thing I want to mention that was the one issue I had with the book. Beginning on page 113, TerKeurst begins a small portion entitled, “Prayers Where I Don’t Speak at All” in which she discusses her prayer time in which she sits silently waiting for God to “speak” to her. This is “contemplative prayer” or “centering prayer” and is more of a pagan mystical meditative method of praying. When we as Christians pray, we need to “meditate” on the Word of God. God has given us every word we need to “hear”… in the Bible. His perfect Word. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit as we meditate on God’s Word rather than empty our mind so God can “speak “directly to us words that we cannot discern as His verses ours.
Let me clarify. If I sit silently waiting for God to speak to me personally in sentences hand-crafted for me, I cannot discern whether it is actually, truly His voice or if it is my voice brought on by my own thoughts. God isn’t going to say something to me that doesn’t come in the form of His Word. If He reveals something only to me through my contemplative prayer time, then I should go to the people who print the Bible and let them know that God breathed those words into me.
What would be the difference between Him speaking to me and Him revealing His Words years ago to the people He chose to write the Bible through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Anything that He breathes out to me should be just as weighty, right? Wrong. His Word is perfect. We must rely on His perfect Word to speak to our hearts, not some special conversation and revelation during our prayer time. For example, I am not going to “hear” Him say “Brittany, you can do this! You can lose this weight!”, but I may meditate on His Word and pray and feel God speak Philippians 4:13 into my heart, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
“I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways.” Psalm 119:15 (ESV)
Contemplative prayer is a little complicated to explain, but all you need to know is that it is not Biblical. Yes, you should pray. Yes, you should meditate on God’s Word (remember: “on Your precepts”). Yes, God will speak to you through His perfect Word. However, you should not sit in silence waiting for God to speak to you directly. This could easily lead to confusion: is He speaking to you or are you speaking what you want to hear to yourself under the guise of it being God speaking into your heart. Ya feel me?
Other than that one very small section, I thought the book was awesome, and I have been recommending it like crazy! If you have ever struggled with the rollercoaster weight issues associated with many women stuck in the dieting cycle, I encourage you pick up a copy! Honestly, even if you don’t struggle with your weight, it is still an awesome read with a lot of great, Biblically sound points that can help you take a closer look at your walk with the Lord and your relationship with food (In my case, it opened my eyes to other things I was using as coping methods as well).
We are absolutely made to crave– not food, but Christ alone.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (ESV)