Yesterday we looked at the non-biological causes for eating disorders. I ended by telling you that the fact it is not genetic or biological but rather, a reflection of what is lurking in the heart.
Pride is the reason we cannot simply alter the behavior of a person with disordered eating. Unless and until the heart is affected by conviction of sin and the knowledge that they are dishonoring God with their treatment of the body, they will return to their former way of life in fairly short order. I have written previously on the topic of pride on this blog so I won’t go there again in depth.
Other heart issues that must be addressed in the eating disordered person are:
- Anger- the person who starves, binges/purges, or overeats is angry at someone or something. It could be themselves, another loved one or family member, or God.
- Rebellion- a person who as a lifestyle exhibits these behaviors is rebellious to authority, including God’s authority over their body and life. They are in essence saying, “I don’t care what anyone (including God) has to say, I will live my life my own way!”
- Sorrow without hope- otherwise known as depression. When these behaviors come to be habits and are so ingrained that life is lived by what is or isn’t eaten, when you threw up last, or how bad you feel for all the food you ate and you feel powerless to stop- sorrow without hope sets in.
- Guilt- You feel guilty because you are guilty. Guilty of disobedience and rebellion; idolatry as you place your own heart desires and wants above what God wants for you.
- Self-deception- the person who has disordered eating has deceived themselves into thinking they are fat when they are not, that they are in control when they are not, and that they can stop any time they please.
- Idolatry- They are guilty of placing their wants, desires, and motives above what will glorify God.
The reason idolatry is so devastating is because it is designed to consume you. It desires to own you and make you its slave. You have been created to worship, but you are worshiping the wrong thing.
Your heart wants to worship “YOU” instead of God, and we see that is revealed in the thoughts you think and the resulting actions:
- I want to be attractive
- I want comfort when I am stressed
- I eat for the sensation and comfort food brings me
These are misbeliefs, wrong thoughts, and unbiblical motivations and they come from the sinful heart. The heart is self-deceived and it lies to us all the time! The sinful heart of mankind is so good at deception that often times we don’t realize we are being fooled until it is too late.
This is why James says,
“Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death.” James 1:14 (NLT)
If you are a person who struggles with dis-ordered eating your heart is focused on gaining the evil desires to be thin, to binge, to purge, to overeat. In the end these things may very well lead to death and they will certainly lead to other issues.
These major issues of the heart must be dealt with to overcome these sinful behaviors permanently. You must deal with your heart.