A Letter About Christians and Defeating Bulimia

Eating disorders such as bulimia are only one way the devil tries to destroy lives.
Eating disorders such as bulimia are only one way the devil tries to destroy lives. (Flickr )

In the more than 10 years I've had takebackyourtemple.com online, I recall few messages from people suffering from bulimia. 

I've received messages from two individuals who described symptoms of this eating disorder this week. I don't think that is a coincidence. So I knew I had to write about Christians and bulimia in case you are having the same issue.

Bulimia is a disorder in which a person overeats or binges on food, but then vomits the food up, starves themselves or abuses laxatives in an attempt to "undo" what they just did. This behavior sets up a self-destructive cycle in which the person feels trapped.

I'm writing this letter in response to a comment posted publicly on the TBYT website:

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"Kimberly, thank you for your article on temptation and the way our Jesus dealt with them.

May I ask if any of your members have a problem of beating oneself up with guilt and try to clean up a past guilt indulgence with excess exercise, fast or laxatives?

God bless you and your ministry in Christ Jesus." —MC

I've meditated on this issue from a biblical perspective and decided to write a letter to MC. Since the comment was public, I'm making the letter public, too.

I pray this letter helps to set those who suffer from this issue free:

Dear MC,

Thank you so much for your question. I'll start by answering it directly first, and then I am going to give you information for which you didn't ask.

So please forgive me in advance if I'm stepping out of bounds.

The answer to your question is "Yes;" I'm not aware of many TBYT members who have suffered from bulimia; however, a few have admitted to past struggles with this.

I say "admit" because there are probably others who have practiced this habit but don't admit it. Bulimia is a disorder in which upholding secrecy seems an essential part of maintaining the cycle.

In public, the person appears in control, pulled-together. But in private, in the bathroom, they are falling apart.

The Lord does not want any of His people living that way.

Gal. 5:1 says, "For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

You did not ask how you get free from this. So I am not sure if you are ready for freedom at this time or would like to remain unchanged.

I do know that anorexia, bulimia and binge eating are points along the same destructive line. It does not matter if the results of the habit are visible, as in obesity. It is the same bondage. The habit still causes the body harm.

This reminds me of the man of the country of the Gadarenes, who was possessed and lived among the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones. Wicked spirits bound this man (see Mark 5:1-20).

Now, I do not believe demonic possession is possible for a Christian. After all, the Holy Spirit seals us for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). However, I do believe that Christians are subject to demonic influence if they believe the enemy's lies above God's Word.

One of the things the Lord provides to set His children free is His Word. When we know, believe and live His Word, no demon in hell can bind us.

Another situation in the Bible that bulimia reminds me of is the case of the Pharisees. They were the religious leaders of the day. They looked good on the outside, but their insides did not match. Jesus said of them: 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness" (Matt. 23:27).

I just noticed a connection between the man of the Gadarenes and the Pharisees. Did you notice that the word "tombs" is mentioned in both stories?

Tombs signify death. Death is the signature of the enemy's handiwork. Jesus described him as a thief who only comes to steal, kill and destroy.

With bulimia, is the enemy making you live among the tombs, among dead things? Does he constantly remind you of the past ... your pain, the things you suffered back then?

The Lord is calling you to life. The Son of God has saved you. He specializes in resurrection!

Jesus wants to make whole that which is broken in you, the part of you that is drawn to dead things and living among tombs. 

Your healing requires submitting your heart to Jesus in this area, because He is the only One who can fix it. According to Prov. 4:23, the heart is where all life issues originate, not our body size.

The foundation of freedom is knowing who you are and to whom you belong. Knowing who you are determines what you do!

Here is a personal example:

For years, I saw God as angry with me. I could only see Him through my past sins.

Even though I said the prayer of salvation, I had no interest in having a daily relationship with God. I said the prayer of salvation only because I saw it as my "Get out of Hell Free" card.

I saw myself as a rebellious teenager—going against her strict Father's rules. But back in 2001, everything changed. The Lord revealed His love for me in a unique, special way. He touched my heart, and I have never been the same.

Once I knew who I was in Jesus, I grew in love for the Father. I saw myself through the blood of Jesus, not my sins.

God loves me apart from my appearance and performance. I am a royal daughter, joining her Father in the family business. Because of the Father's love, I wanted to obey Him. My motivation for obedience is wanting to do those things that please Him.

That is how my "want-to" changed. It was not about willpower or duty. The Holy Spirit revealed to me God's love, gave me a hunger to study His Word and the power to walk out what I learned.

Here is a good Scripture to memorize regarding this issue:

"Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever who comes to Me shall never hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst'" (John 6:35).

 During those moments in which you are tempted to binge and purge, you are hungry for something, likely love, acceptance or comfort.

Jesus invites you to come to Him at that moment. Come to Him every morning to start your day. Come to Him in the evening to review your day. Come to Him as often as you like. His extends His hand to you: "Come ...."

Next, He asks you to believe in Him. Believe He can heal you of this. He is no respecter of persons; what He has done for others, He will do for you.

Learn what the Bible says about God's love for you. This is where freedom begins.

To get free of anything that has you bound, you must believe that the Lord loves you right where you are. You don't have to jump through hoops or over hurdles to make Him love you. This belief is critical for victory. We love the Lord because He first loved us (see 1 John 4:19).

Without loving Him, we will only obey Him out of duty or legalism. And that eventually brings rebellion.

The healing sequence goes: God loves us > We love Him > We obey His Word.

Without love, this sequence does not work.

Galatians 5:6 tells us: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith which works through love."

Love is required for faith to work. 

I do hope this was helpful to you, even though you didn't ask for advice. I am praying for your complete deliverance. It's available if you want it.

If you want to know more about overcoming binge eating (and bulimia is in that category), feel free to check out my online course, How to Stop Binge Eating.

Over 1,000 people have taken the course, so you are not alone.

Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify of God's healing power to end binge eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website takebackyourtemple.com. Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

For the original article, visit takebackyourtemple.com.

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