Eating disorders do not come from God. In fact, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia go against what God wants for our lives. The bible doesn’t mention much about eating disorders, but there are a couple of verses that are mentioned in the bible, for us to care for our bodies.
For example, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 writes:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were brought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (English Standard Version).
Hence, we ourselves do not own our bodies, God does. And He wants us to glorify Him through our bodies – so by taking care of it, nourishing it, and keeping it healthy.
Eating disorders also distort our visions of ourselves. We look in the mirror and cringe at the reflection staring back. Not good enough, not thin enough…just never enough. But God is a judge of the heart, not our outer appearance. He doesn’t care if our stomach sticks out a little, or our skin isn’t perfectly clear; He cares about what’s inside. That is our choices of good and evil, our decisions, and motives etc. This is mentioned in 1 Samuel 16:7:
“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.”
Those with eating disorders would likely also have developed an unhealthy relationship with food. Restricting food intake, avoiding food, purging food, or even feeling guilt/shame after eating. Genesis 1:29 writes that, God created food to nourish our bodies, not for us to fear:
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”
Recovery from an eating disorder is probably one of the hardest things you’ll choose to do. It will be full of challenges you need to overcome every day. But remember, you do not need to overcome these challenges alone. The bible states that through the power of Christ, we CAN overcome these challenges.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at Romans 8:7:
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt so far in recovery, is that negative thoughts and feelings towards food and yourself WILL come into your mind – pulling you down, discouraging you from recovery. However, we as the children of God have the right to bind those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. Only Christ can deliver us from the bondage of our eating disorders. Our right to bind those thoughts, is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 10:5:
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Let me tell you, even though I am in recovery from anorexia, it doesn’t mean I’m free from those thoughts. In fact, I’m far from it. Most days I still look at myself in the mirror and dislike what I see. The thoughts would start to feed my mind with negativity – to restrict, to avoid food, that I wasn’t good enough etc. But during those times, I guess you just have to turn your focus onto other things, and bind those thoughts in the name of Jesus.
I don’t judge people based on their outward appearance now – but rather on their personality. I love you based on your personality, your goodness, your strengths and even your weaknesses. Not on your looks!
In my opinion, anyone who is beautiful on the inside will definitely be beautiful on the outside regardless.
Centre your life on Christ; as the bible mentions that we must ‘deny ourselves’ in order to fully live for Christ. So surrender all to Him. Put our own desires aside, and seek His purpose for our lives instead. Check out Luke 9:23:
“And He said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Notice how God doesn’t promise that by surrendering all to Him, our lives would be free of problems/challenges. No way. But He does say that He will walk with us through every challenge we face in life.
God loves you ~ believe it!! You are his precious child. His beautiful and perfect creation. He loves you for who you are on the inside. As long as your inner beauty shines through, believe me, your outer beauty will shine just as bright. God bless.
By Tiff currently studying in Australia