Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Eating Disorders

If you have not lived in a bubble, you have heard many stories about anorexia and bulimia and the way they ravage a person's body. You have probably been repulsed by images of dying, starving, gaunt, frail individuals. Just recently, a young Brazilian model lost her life to anorexia. At her death, she weighed 88 lbs. and at 5 ft 8 was really really, really thin. Her self-inflicted torture has once again put eating disorders in the forefront.
Working in the psych unit, we saw several young women and men with eating disorders. The research says the illness, whether it is withholding food (anorexia) or binging and purging (bulimia), the illness truly has little to do with food. It mostly has to do with poor body image and control.
I believe there are many Christians with spiritual eating disorders. We either deprive ourselves of the food, ie. the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and the Living Water (Zechariah 14:8, John 4:10) or we fill up on the Word and instead of processing it and using it to revitalize and sustain us, we simply regurgitate what we have heard. Neither of these are healthy. Both promise death rather than life. The root of spiritual anorexia and spiritual bulimia are similarly poor body (that is the Church) image and need for control.
Persons with eating disorders, often look in the mirror and see obesity where their is truly only bone thinness. Their view is distorted by their own perceptions. When we become Christians, we become the Body of Christ. (Rom. 12:4, I Cor. 11:24, Eph. 5:30) If we read these passages in context, we see how necessary it is for body health, that each part, each member of the body be healthy and functioning. Belonging to Christ is not about me. I am part of something bigger. I depend on my brothers and sisters and they depend on me. Regardless of conflicts, hurt feelings or unmet needs, I am duty bound to care for the body to which I belong. The easiest analogy is of course, the one the Apostle Paul uses, that of the human body. Just because one part of the body is not functioning correctly, or causes pain, or needs extra care and attention, does not mean the rest of the body withdraws and looks out only for their own needs. The body is not all about the hand, it is about the body. The body is not all about the eye, it is about the body. Likewise, belonging to the body of Christ is not all about the individual Christian, it is about the Body. If we believe it is all about us, we have an incorrect perception of the Body and therefore distorted Body image. The things we do, the sacrifices we make, the encouragement we offer, the areas in which we serve are to be for the good of the Body. The health of the Body depends on the health of its members. This is the correct Body Image.
The other factor in eating disorders is control. Many with anorexia or bulimia have suffered multiple traumas in their lives. Their lives and their emotions have been out of control. So, they take control of food and its effect on their bodies. As Christians, we have been bought with a price (I Cor. 6:20). We are no longer ours. We are no longer in control. The One who purchased us controls us. We sing a song called "Lord Take Control." It is a prayer asking God to take control of our hearts, minds, body and soul. Control should not be a factor in healthy Christians. We do not have control, we are Spirit-led---that means we allow the Spirit to have control of our lives.
In order to be healthy, whole and well functioning Christians, we must see ourselves as the Body of Christ. We must realize we need food, and come to Word to be filled and fed. We need the sustenance only He can provide. As we feed we must absorb the Word, live in it, make it ours and then share it with others. To only regurgitate what we have heard, keeps us from growing into healthy Christians. We must have a true Body image and give over control to God. To do otherwise makes us spiritually gaunt, frail, and ill and will eventually lead to spiritual death.



Blogger Larissa said...

Did you see Dr. Phil yesterday? It had two women on there who had anorexia. They both weighed 62 pounds. It was terrible.

9:49 AM  

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