The Lies We Tell Ourselves
There are hundreds of tiny little "white lies" we tell ourselves every day. "I'll do that tomorrow." "I'll be better tomorrow." "I'm fine." "It's okay."
Some of the most dangerous lies we tell ourselves are about our own bodies, especially when it comes to food. People use food as a means of escapism, coping, or even self-abuse. There are two sides to eating disorders but neither gets the attention of the church they should. Gluttony and Anorexia/Bulimia. Eating too much or not enough.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that our bodies are "a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
We eat when we feel bad and call it "comfort food." We eat away our feelings rather than dealing with them. We eat out of boredom, as rewards. Humans find excuse after excuse to eat more food and most don't notice the waste we leave behind. It is okay to eat a snack or have a treat here or there. The problem is when you eat to excess; when it causes weight gain that harms your body or to the point of wastefulness.
Anorexia and Bulimia also stem from an emotional point but usually one of self-abuse or body image rather than the pain of gluttony. Not eating enough food is just as abusive to yourself as eating too much. It can stem from thoughts of "I don't deserve to eat." or "I'm not thin enough so I can't eat until I look a certain way."
In both situations, the solution is not to eat to excess or to deny yourself food but to reach out for help both from Christ himself and a spiritual leader to help hold you accountable and hold you up when you fall. In more severe cases even reaching out to a medical facility for a plan to bring yourself back into full health.
This is not meant to make you feel guilty about having believed these lies you tell yourself but a call that you are not alone. A reminder that you were made in the image of the Lord God Almighty and He is with you no matter your struggles.
"Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants, you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? " Psalm 8:1-4
The same God who hung the stars in the sky made you, so take the first steps to love yourself by believing He loves you. You deserve to look and feel healthy. You deserve to respect yourself. Yes, God made you the way you are and for some of us, we are a little bigger or smaller than others. That is why it is important to consult a doctor before attempting any major weight loss or gain. This isn't about being a perfect number or a perfect shape. It is about taking care of yourself and saying no to the chocolate cake when it tempts us in our down moments.
Fasting is not the same thing as being anorexic and should be done with your "noodle-theology in mind." We will talk more about practical applications of fasting and health next week. Until then hold onto Galatians 5:22-24 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentlenesses, self-control; against such things there is no law."