Summary: 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. This has led many to develop eating disorders, The same happens in a spiritual sense also.
Eating is a popular thing to do. I like to do it. I do it at least 3 times daily (sometimes more). We all need food to be healthy in this life and to be able to have the energy and strength to serve and love God. The way we eat, or don't eat, shows how devoted we are to being healthy physically. If we eat healthy, get all of our vitamins and nutrients, but if we don't we can have some terrible health problems.
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, look at themselves as fat, 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 because my goal today is to show us that these eating disorders have spiritual counterparts.
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.
Bulimia: The Physical Disorder
Bulimia is an illness with recurrent, compulsive episodes of binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting and/or purging with laxatives. This disorder is also very dangerous. It casn lead to stomach and esophagus problems, dental problems, and death in about 1% of cases.
Don't these eating disorders seem terrible. The kind of complications that they bring can be devastating to the body. There are so many studies going on that are trying to learn about these disorders and how to prevent them. Schools are finding ways to educate young people about these disorders and their dangers.
THE SPIRITUAL COUNTERPARTS
We may understand how dangerous they are. But unfortunately, it would surprise me if the majority of Christians suffer from one of them. (In a spiritual sense)
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, it is described as meat and milk. It is as sweet as honey. I'll give some more references shortly But 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 these eating disorders, and many Christians have suffered from them, including myself. The enemy has been incredibly successful in spreading it.
So lets take a look at both of them from a Spiritual Perspective:
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? 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.