Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11 (NASB)
This is a challenging time of the year for many people. Treats and snacks are plentiful and it is very easy to indulge the desires of the flesh with “just one more.”
…that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NASB)
Yesterday I wrote a little about eating disorders. One of things secular counseling does not address is that over eating, under eating and gluttony are all aspects of idolatry- a love for self that originates in the sinful heart of man. We know this is true because the Bible says that all of our beliefs, desires, motivations, and even our thoughts are a reflection of what is in the heart.
Michael Bobick in his book, From Slavery to Sonship says, “The nature of idolatry is heart-worship. Anything to which one is devoted to in opposition to God can properly be called and idol.”
Jesus says, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” Luke 6:45 (NASB)
“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” Matthew 15:18-19 (NASB)
And He said* to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” Mark 7:18-23 (NASB)
Do you see the emphasis Jesus places on the fact that what you eat won’t defile you? He says the food is just that, food! The heart of the man or woman is what defiles them! Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”
The issues are just these: that which is in my heart is what is most important to me, and what is in my heart is “ME!” I want what I want when I want it. If what I want is to be a size 3 or if I am a size 7XL then that is what will occupy my thoughts.
If I think I want:
- To be thin
- To be noticed
- To be happy
- My own way
- To do it myself
- To be comforted right now
If my heart is desiring:
- To be noticed
- To be loved
- To be left alone
- To feel good
Do I believe:
- I am “above” eating food
- I can eat whatever I want as long as I don’t have to suffer being fat
- If I eat this (thing) I will be fat
- If I eat 500 calories today I will be fat
- No one will notice I ate the whole pie
- No one will figure out I throw up after eating
- Eating this (thing) will make me feel better
- I am stressed so I eat to feel better
Have you ever found a verse of Scripture that says, “The thin will inherit the earth” or “Blessed are those within the target weight on the chart?” Are the thin and fit people blessed by God because they are thin or fit? Does God even care?
Do you believe that weight loss is an activity that is blessed by God? Does His favor rest upon you more when you deny yourself that Snickers bar or take that extra lap around the track at the gym?
If these things were true, what would that say about God?
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