Spiritual Eating Disorders

We’ve been talking a lot about eating disorders and disordered eating here on the blog. You may not have a strained relationship with food, but it’s possible that you still struggle with a spiritual eating disorder.

In fact, many of us are guilty of developing spiritual eating disorders. We binge and purge on Jesus or fast from Him altogether, and our souls quickly become malnourished.

Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Do you hunger and thirst for Jesus? Are you thirsty for the touch of His hand on your life? Or have you developed a spiritual eating disorder? Let’s do a quick checkup.

Spiritual bulimia

Do you binge on Jesus? Do you get filled up at camp or youth group then purge so you can live the life you want to live? Instead of getting a steady diet of Christ through His Word, do you count on filling feasts of God every once and a while?

Check out what Jesus says in Matthew 13:5–6: “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.”

If you have spiritual bulimia, you are like the shallow soil. Without the constant nourishment of consistent time in the Word and fellowship with other believers, your heart will get sick.

Spiritual anorexia
Do you starve yourself of Jesus altogether? Do you go weeks and months without seeking Him in prayer, fellowshipping with other Christians, or digging into His Word?

It is impossible for your spirit to stay healthy when it is cut off from the source of life and strength. Anorexics delude themselves by thinking they can avoid food and still stay healthy, but it doesn’t work that way. In the same way, you cannot grow spiritually without the nutrition that God offers.

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Col. 1:9–11).

Growth and strength come from being filled by God. Don’t starve yourself of His teachings. Feast regularly. Get filled up. It is simply the only way to grow in Him.

Spiritual stress eating
Are you a crisis pray-er who runs to Jesus only when the going gets tough? Do you neglect Him when life is smooth but seek Him with urgency when the road gets rocky? He is certainly able to provide for us during times of trial, but He asks us to seek Him at all times, not just when troubles hit our lives.

First Thessalonians 5:16–18 teaches us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Did you catch it? Always … continually … in all circumstances. We are to ingest a steady diet of Christ rather than just running to Him when we are stressed and afraid.

Do a spiritual checkup. If your walk with Christ has developed some disordered eating habits, pull up a chair and feast at the banquet table of God. Allow Him to fill and nourish your heart.

Note: Portions of this post are taken from Erin’s book on true beauty, Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves.

About Author

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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