January 20, 2012
We need God. We won’t enjoy life, be fulfilled in life, or attain our God-given potential without closeness to Him. God desires it as well. Unfortunately, so many factors and forces keep us from this closeness to God. Eating disorders, unfortunately, are one of those forces. 30-35% of our society struggle with significant eating issues that disrupt their lives. Coming from a long line of Italian women, this really hits home with me.
“Eating Disorder” basically means unhealthy habits of restricting nutritional intake, overeating (yes, this is a large part of our American society), or being obsessed with or spending too much time focusing on or actually worshipping elements, rituals, or the results of eating. It really becomes an addiction. People tend to get so preoccupied with body image, and what others think, that they develop a distorted view of themselves. Their concerns, or lack of concerns, about food, diet, body, and weight even begin to affect their health, relationships, and their ability to function in day-to-day life.
Like almost everything in life, God gave us food to use in moderation. Too much isn’t good, but not enough isn’t good either. Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit to reside in and God wants us to be good stewards of our body and health. But more importantly, we need to look at the psychological and spiritual aspects of our eating habits. If you are struggling with food or weight, determine not to let your focus on your body or food keeps you from closeness with God and with others. Decide how you wish to spend your energy: pursuing the “perfect” image or the comfort that food brings, or focusing on your spiritual growth and your real personal and interpersonal needs.
The outside, what man sees, or the inside, what God sees? Society changes its view of what is beautiful … styles come and go. But God’s view of beauty never changes. Identifying and challenging your distorted thoughts and feelings about your body and food, and keeping God’s view in mind is essential to accepting yourself and your body. We all have feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Don’t let food or your body image be your soothing mechanism. Let God and His grace and love bring you the peace you really are hungry for and crave. He is one buffet where you may eat all you can without consequences! Indulge to your true heart’s content!
Today, as you approach food and eat meals, examine the importance you put on these elements. What do you get out of it? Are food and your eating habits a coping mechanism for you? Are you getting healthier, or are you harming your health? Remember, your value as a person is not based on how you look or what you do. Your value is based on the unchangeable fact that God loves you so much that He gave His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you. Eating issues are about believing lies. Seek the truth. Your decision, so choose well. WITHIN REACH can help you access soothing and value God’s way.
Dear Father God, I’ve been pretty confused lately. I’ve been so concerned about food or used it to comfort me that I’ve ignored You … and relationships with others I care about have suffered as well. Please help me begin thinking more clearly … to see things from Your point of view. I know I need to eat to live, but I don’t want to live to eat. Help me turn control over to you, and not be controlled by the next meal I think about. I pray this in the name of the One who loves me as I am, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7