Spiritual Eating Disorders, Pt 1
Our media and our culture here in the United States has tried to fill our minds with pictures of what the ideal person should look like. The person that is attractive and beautiful is one who is "skinny" and not overweight. This has led to a lot of problems. People (especially women) who feel like they are not meeting the ideal picture that our culture gives them of how they should look, start to feel too self-conscious, and this leads them to starving themselves and developing eating disorders so they can get back to the ideal weight. These eating disorders are dangerous. Let's look at two of them for a moment.
Anorexia (The Physical Disorder)
Anorexia is a serious, potentially deadly medical disorder characterized by self-starvation, eventually leading to significant energy and nutrient deficiencies, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and muscle and organ wasting. About 10-20% of people (most women) that suffer from this disorder will die because of the complications it brings.
We may understand how dangerous this disorder is to our physical bodies, but unfortunately, it would surprise me if many Christians have anorexia's spiritual counterpart. Let me explain:
What is our food spiritually? It is God's word. It is described in the scriptures as something that we need to hunger for, and it is described as meat and milk. It is as sweet as honey. How often do we look at the scriptures as something that we must feed upon if we want to be healthy spiritually? That is why I am convinced that there is a spiritual counterpart to this eating disorders, and many Christians have suffered from it, including myself. The enemy has been incredibly successful in spreading it.
Everyone can get Spiritual Anorexia. This spiritual disorder has led to countless families falling apart; and countless Christians falling away from the Lord. So what is it?
Spiritual anorexia is an aversion to reading the Scriptures.
We have all seen tragic pictures of starving children in third world countries. Many of them don't have the strength to even stand up. Anorexic Christians are the same spiritually as those children are physically. Why? They both lack nutritious food!
The words of Jesus in Matthew 4:4 make the point about the scriptures that "Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Deuteronomy 32:46-47 says: "Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life"
Do we really believe this to be true? Moses here is talking about the Law. If this is the case for the Law of Moses, how much MORE is it the case for the New Testament scriptures? How often do we feed on the scriptures?
One of Satan's greatest tactics that he uses to keep us ineffective is to keep us out of the scriptures. It wouldn't surprise me if this is his primary goal in approaching Christians. He is relentless in giving us reasons and temptations not to read God's word. He wants us spiritually anorexic.
We often say things about the scriptures. We say we hunger for the word of God, that we love it, we treasure it, we respect it. It is a guide for our feet and a light to our path. That is all fine and good, but how much do we actually feed on it. How often do we read it and study it?
Satan doesn't care about how much we say we hunger fo, revere, and love God's word. As long as we are not feeding on it, he has already won.
We would never think of skipping a meal or two each day, but why do we so easily make the decision to skip a meal, or multiple meals spiritually? We skip meals, then we wonder why we are falling into temptation and feel weak, lazy, depressed, and luke-warm spiritually.
We need daily reminders of who God is and what He is capable of. We need daily reminders of what is right and wrong so we can face our battles equipped. We need to strengthen our convictions and evaluate ourselves and where we stand in the faith by feeding on God's word.
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