New Additions to the Resources Page

As I am now a contributing writer to Christian Notes and the CIR (Christians in Recovery) website, I would like to call your attention to the addition of these two pages under "helpful links". Christian Notes features edifying articles written by and for believers on many different pertinent topics; CIR is an online recovery community for born-again believers struggling with different types of life-domionating sin. (Note: it is not a counseling resource, but CIR publishes helpful articles and refers members to sites and places where they may seek Christian counseling). Also see the NANC directory at right, and Rick Thomas' Counseling Solutions site (the members only section, which only costs $55 per year, gives you access to many helpful resources and monthly webinars).

These are the articles I have had published at CIR:

The Role of Hope in Counseling Eating Disorders

How Does God View Eating Disorders?

and the CIR homepage: http://christians-in-recovery.org/

Visit Christian Notes here: http://www.christiannotes.com.au/


Is Bulimia Your "Temper Tantrum at God"?

Last week, David Powlison of the CCEF posted a superb series entitled
"Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken". The 2-part article went into some depth in giving biblical counselors insight in identifying problem patterns in those who struggle with lust and pornography, as well as helping the counselee truly grasp the grace Christ offers and allow himself to be transformed from within. I highly recommend you read the series (there are many parallels between the life-dominating sins of sexual lust and eating disorders).

Part I

Part II

While reading Part II, I was particularly struck by how similar the thought patterns of a man habitually falling into sexual sin are to a bulimic. Powlison relates a conversation with a single Christian man who has struggled for years and years against his flesh, only to succumb to the temptation after seasons of "success". He vascillates between remorse and apathy; hope and despair. Yet he always goes back to the magazines. Powlison writes:

"I asked Tom to do a simple thing, attempting to gain a better sense of the overall terrain of his life: “Would you keep a log of when you are tempted?” I wanted to know what’s going on when he struggles. When? Where? What just happened? What did you do? What were you feeling? What were you thinking? If you resisted, how did you do it? If you fell, how did you react afterwards? Does anything else correlate to sexual temptations?

Through all the ups and downs, Tom had maintained a great sense of humor. He laughed at me, and said, “I don’t need to keep a log. I already know the answer. I only fall on Friday or Saturday nights – usually Friday, since Saturday is right before Sunday.” If you have any pastoral counseling genes in you, you light up at an answer like that. Repeated patterns always prove extremely revealing on inspection. I asked, “Why does sexual sin surface on Friday night? What’s going on with that?” He said, “I go out and buy Playboy magazine as my temper tantrum at God.”

Now we’re not only dealing with a couple of bad behaviors, buying pornography and masturbating. We’re dealing with anger at God that drives those behaviors. What’s that about? Tom went on to give a fuller picture. “I come home from work on Friday night, back to the apartment. I’m all alone. I imagine that all my single friends are out on dates, and my married friends are spending time with their wives. But I’m all alone in my apartment. I build up a good head of steam of self-pity. Then by nine or ten o’clock, I think, ‘You deserve a break today’ – I even hear the little MacDonald’s jingle in my head, and then sexual desires start to look really, really sweet. ‘God has cheated you. If only I had a girlfriend or a wife. I can’t stand how I feel. Why not feel good for awhile? What does it matter anyway?’ Then I hop in the car, head to 7-11, and fall into sin.”

Amazing, isn’t it? Pornography and masturbation grabbed all the attention, generated all the guilt, defined the moment and act of “falling.” Let’s call that Screening Room #1. But we’ve also heard about anger at God that precedes and legitimates sexual sin: Screening Room #2. We’ve heard about hours of low-grade self-pity, grumbling, and envious fantasies: a matinee performance in Screening Room #3. We’ve heard Tom name the original desire that leads to self-pity, to anger at God, and finally to sexual lust: “God owes me a wife. I need, want, demand a woman to love me.” That’s playing in Screening Room #4, an unobtrusive G-rated film, seemingly no problem at all. It’s a classic non-sexual lust of the flesh that Tom has never viewed as problematic. In fact, in his mind, it’s practically a promise from God: “Psalm 37:4. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. If I do my part, God should do His part and give me a wife.”

Powlison's analysis of the spiritual chaos brewing just below the surface of Tom's life continues from there. (I highly encourage you to read the full article linked above). But I quote this portion to point something out to you that you may have in common with Tom (even if you've never looked at porn): do bouts of self-pity precede your binges? Is anger (or disappointment) with God at the root of your rebellion?

Very often, people in bondage to life-dominating sins (addictions) are most likely to succumb when they are going down the road of self-pity. We feel sorry for ourselves, so we must reach for something - anything - to deaden the pain. Most likely, for you that is food....copious amounts of it; preferrably the high-carb variety. The cycle continues in the remorse following a binge. Powlison continues:

"And why does Tom mope in self-lacerating depression for days and weeks after falling, rather than finding God’s living mercies new every morning? That’s the self-punitive, despairing ‘downside’ of the legalistic construct: “I’m bad, therefore God won’t give me the goodies.” Screening Room #6 is where self-punishment, self-atonement, penance, and self-hatred play out."

It is only by catching these sinful thought patterns as they enter your mind that you can free yourself of the inevitable downward course. In fact, it isn't really you freeing yourself at all - but rather, as you consciously and deliberately yeild to the Holy Spiriut, He will renew your mind in order to help you conform more closely to the image of Christ. In other words, you will "put off" demonically-inspired, sinful thinking (self-pity; anger at God; thinking God "owes" you something), and "put on" the thoughts of Christ (gratitude; love; others-centered thinking; peace in circumstances).

The self-abasement following failure is a subtle form of legalism. Typically, after a few days of victory and fleeing the temptation to purge, do you feel somehow more 'acceptable' to God? Surely He is pleased with me now! Of course, God is well pleased whenever one of His children walks in obedience, but to think that you are more acceptable to God at one time than another is the height of pridefulness. Even your ability to obey is from Him - any big or small victory you have in your spiritual life is all of grace, "so that none should boast". There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more, and when you hide from Him in shame He does not love you any less. (In fact, it is also pride that keeps us running - and allows spiritual apathy to creep in). This apathy is what eventually leads to open rebellion.

So the next time you feel tempted to turn to the food, check your spiritual pulse. What's going on? Why is your soul downcast, or what is it you are expecting from God that He hasn't provided? Self-pity is a sneaky, subtle sin that must be caught and rejected - before it leads you back into the pit of your addiction.


"You're Beautiful!"

Last night, I was listening to a training webinar by Dr. Rick Thomas, a NANC mentor and author of biblical counseling books. The lecture was actually on maintaining sexual purity, but a certain point he made also had direct bearing on the development of eating disorders.

Dr. Thomas cited the "atmosphere of comparison" about one's body created by teen and glamour magazines as being destructive to a healthy view of sexuality. I completely agree, and it is no secret that the airbrushed, seductively-posed photos of teen and pre-teen girls encourage more "average" girls to strive to attain this aesthetic ideal. As I have written before, this breeds an unhealthy preoccupation with one's body (which is the definition of vanity), and leads to an idolatrous view of physical beauty (defined as thinness or sex appeal).

"Fantasizing is a form of dissatisfaction with God over your current circumstances," he said.

In short, when feeling insecure about her body, a girl (whether Christian or not) is falling prey to the twin sins of pride and fear of man. She is not "setting [her] mind on things above, [but instead] on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2). This atmosphere of comparison is antithecal to the Gospel. Psalm 139 presents God's truth about how His daughters are to see themselves:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

This is not "new" information, but it needs to be taken seriously if you are coveting the body types you see in worldly magazines, or seek to use your body to draw attention to yourself. The biblical antidote to this type of wrong thinking is to cultivate inner beauty. See the following verses which describe true beauty through your Father's eyes:

Psalm 45:11, Proverbs 31:30; Isaiah 53:2 (speaks of Jesus - the Messiah Himself did not come to attract attention by His human looks); Ezekial 16:15; 1 Peter 3:3-4.

I came across the lyrics of a Mercy Me song today which illustrate this truth well:

Days will come when you don't have the strength.
When all you hear is, "you're not worth anything."
Wondering if you ever could be loved.
And if they truly saw your heart, they'd see too much.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.

You are made for so much more than all of this.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.

You are treasured.

You are sacred.

You are His.

You're beautiful.

Praying that you have the heart to fight.
Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight.
For all the lies you've held inside so long,
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.

You are made for so much more than all of this.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.

You are treasured.

You are sacred.

You are His.

You're beautiful.

Before you ever took a breath,
Long before the world began,
Of all the wonders He possessed, there was one more precious.
Of all the earth and skies above, you're the one He madly loves ... enough to die.

You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.

In His eyes.


What Made the Last Time...the Last?

A reader just raised the question in Monday's comment box "What was special about May 10 [2004]?" She was curious as to what made that particular day my last one as a bulimic.

The answer to that question deserves a bit more space than I could devote to it in comments, so I'll try and address it here. To begin with, there was nothing particularly special about that day; my process of repentance and God's grace in setting me free from this life-dominating sin had actually begun months earlier. For background info, here is my testimony of how God freed me.

To explain how and why the bulimia ended completely on May 10, 2004, I will try and sketch an outline of the events of the months leading up to that day - most of which I cover in my testimony. After the birth of my third child in the summer of 2003, I returned not only to my binge/purge habits in full force, but also to the Friday/Saturday night ritual of whiskey with my husband. He has never had a drinking problem; I've only had one as long as I've been drinking. I loved being buzzed. I enjoyed being drunk. It allowed me to escape from the reality of who I was - a backslidden, hypocritical professing Christian with an eating disorder- for a few hours at a time.

Then the next morning reality hit with a pounding headache, and I'd seek solace in food while my husband was at work. And on it went.

Somewhere between 2002-03, I tried several times to come back to God; to tell Him I loved Him and wanted to change. I'd always fail. I could never go more than a day or two at a time without bingeing and purging, and each weekend I'd convince myself that I could drink "moderately". Failure and shame were my constant companions. In late 2003, (November/December), I went to a local "Healing Room" (intercessory prayer room at a local charismatic church) and confessed these life-dominating sins to complete strangers. They prayed. I wept. God forgave. I went 8 days - the longest period in 16 years - without bingeing or purging. (Or drinking.) I felt a brand-new emotion: hope.

Some Friday night in December I got drunk and woke up Saturday with a hangover. I hated myself and thought God was angry or, at the very least disappointed in me, but I desperately wanted His love and to be forgiven. I drove back to the prayer room...where I was told (without my saying anything) that God wanted me to know He was not angry at me; He was not disappointed in me; and that He loved me so much.

Disclaimer: I am (now) a cessationist. I firmly and staunchly uphold the sufficiency of Scripture and do NOT believe in private revelation. If that word was a form of 'prophecy' in terms of 'speaking forth the Word', I don't know. Maybe they were guessing. I don't know that, either. All I know is that God hears the prayer of a righteous man (or woman), and these Christian ladies loved God and loved me. The other thing I know is that day in late December '03 marked the beginning of my true turn-around.

When I walked out into the parking lot, I felt clean, forgiven, and joyful. The phrase "Live up to what you've already attained" came to my heart, although I didn't then know where it was in the Bible. (It's Philippians 3:16 for those who are keeping track. Did I mention I am a cessationist?)

I never took a drink again after that day; all desire had left me. (Which isn't to say the thought or fleeting temptation never passed through my mind again; I simply mean it was much easier to resist). The bulimia, however, did not leave so quickly. I would go, on average, a week or so before I would give in to the urge - for whatever reason - to binge and purge again. However, even in my failure, I held out hope - if, after over a decade of purging several times per day I could make it a week, there MUST be hope I could leave it behnd permanently! There were many tearful prayers and much pleading with God from the floor of my bedroom...and I would get back up.

February 2004 was a rocky month. I remember slipping up more often, and thinking I was headed back into the eating disorder permanently. At my daughter's birthday party, and I gave in to the pepperoni pizza....and gave in to the temptation to purge. Odd how that stands out in my mind. There were several other incidents that month, and I recall nearly giving up. But I didn't....I went back to the prayer room and allowed others to intercede. Again.

To emphasize, nothing magical, mystical, ecstatic or otherwise dramatic ever happened in the prayer room. It was NOT a "deliverance" in the sense the word is commonly (and erroneously) used. Two or three other women were praying with and for me for healing as I repented, and then I'd go home...and stay in the Word. I lived on my knees, and studied my Bible every day. I learned what true biblical repentance was, and what grace looked like. Luke 15 reassured me of the Father's love, and Romans 2:4 cemented it for me. I felt Jesus closer than I ever had in my life, and I depended upon Him moment by moment. The caring, fellowship and intercession of the ladies at the Pentecostal church just helped all the more - Galatians 6:2 exhorts us to carry one another's burdens, and this is what these sisters did for me. I also credit them for helping me grow in intimacy with the Lord, doctrinal differences aside. Those matters seem to fade in importance when we gaze in adoration at our Savior.

February gave way to March, and with the coming of Spring new life seemed imminent. There must have been binge/purge episodes on occassion during those months, although honestly I can't remember anything in particular. I think I remember 2 weeks being a huge milestone of abstinence. Or was it 3? I don't remember. I remember really getting into Max Lucado's "Experiencing the Heart of Jesus", and rejoicing when everybody was out of the house and I had a few hours with Him alone (Jesus; not Max Lucado).

May came. The cravings were less and less frequent by now (I do believe bulimia alters your brain chemistry because of the endorphin rush of the binge; but it can be normalized once you go through "withdrawal" and don't give in to those urges). I had put on weight, but it didn't bother me. I truly had, for the first time in my Christian life, the joy of the Lord they sing about in songs. One afternoon, I must have been under stress or something....I did it. I gave in to my old habit, and stopped for a secretive "fix" at Honeydew Donuts. I think I bought half a dozen muffins - I remember at least one of them was pistachio. Pistachio muffins are good; nothing against them, but why are bakery muffins as big as your head? I couldn't eat a whole one now if you paid me.) Well, on May 10, 2004 I binged on a whole bunch of them, and after "getting rid" of them, I felt...

That was dumb. That was the most useless thing in the whole world. I didn't need to do that. That was a complete waste of time and money. I just really didn't need to do that - I don't HAVE to do that anymore. That verse about 'not being a slave to sin' - it's actually true. I don't feel enslaved to bingeing crazily on food and purging it anymore...it just doesn't do anything for me. I got no pleasure out of that whatsoever.

It was sheer habit, and that habit had been broken. I don't know if you've ever been a smoker, but I used to be one. Only problem was, every time I'd get pregnant, I'd have to quit (I may have been a lousy, crummy drunk bulimic smoker, but hey, at least I was a submissive wife). After Baby #2, almost a year after having weaned myself off the smokes, I go out on the deck and light one up - just because I "can", and I am far too Irish to give in without a fight.

Do you know what happens when you inhale, deeply, on a Marlboro after not having smoked in 11 months? You cough uncontrollably. Your eyes water and your head spins. You gag, cough some more, and nearly throw up. (But you keep working at it, because, after all, it's your habit and you're entitled to it, by golly!) Once the habit has been broken - physically and/or psychologically, it just doesn't bring you the same "pleasure", no matter how fleeting. It just leaves you vaguely disgusted, and rather bored with the whole thing.

So that was the last time I did it. I already knew it was a stupid and useless crutch, but this time, I knew it down to my core. All those verses about being a new creation didn't immediately come to mind, but my experience finally matched my theology - I simply was a new person in Christ, with new desires and habits. One of those new habits was immediately turning to Him when I felt stress, anger, sadness or rejection - which previously would have driven me to the food. I had practiced "putting off" the gluttony and "putting on" prayer and thanksgiving for so many months that by the time May 10 rolled around, it was second nature. When I failed by giving in to my "old" nature, I saw it for the useless stupidity it really was.

That may have been a bit longer than you wanted, but I hope it answered your question!


Six Years Today Free of Bulimia...and a Few Good Quotes!

Today is the six-year anniversary of the last time I binged and purged, although I rarely keep track anymore. Far too much to do living for Christ's glory and helping those He's sent me to dwell on the past....and I hope the same will be true in your life soon, as well.

Here are a few quotations from well-known servants of Christ that a reader sent me. I hope that you will be able to draw application to your own walk with God from them.

On gluttony:

"Luxury and gluttony is a sin exceeding contrary to the love of God: it is idolatry: it hath the heart, which God should have; and therefore gluttons are commonly and well called belly-gods, and god-bellies, because that love, that care, that delight, that service and diligence which God should have is given by the glutton to his belly and his throat." --- RICHARD BAXTER, English Puritan and writer

Our surrender and God's deliverance:

"Deliverance can come to us only by the defeat of our old life. Safety and peace come only after we have been forced to our knees. God rescues us by breaking us, by shattering our strength and wiping out our resistance." -- A. W. TOZER
On true repentance:

"True repentance has a distinct and constant reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you repent of sin without looking to Christ, away with your repentance. If you are so lamenting your sin as to forget the Savior, you have a need to begin all this work over again. Whenever we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon sin and another upon the cross; or, better still, let us have both eyes upon Christ, seeing our sin punished in him, and by no means let us look at sin except as we look at Jesus. A man may hate sin just as a murder hates the gallows but this does not prove repentance. If I hate sin because of the punishment, I have not repented of sin; I merely regret that God is just.

But if I can see sin as an offense against Jesus Christ, and loathe myself because I have wounded him, then I have a true brokenness of heart. If I see the Savior and believe that those thorns upon his head were put there by my sinful words; if I believe that those wounds in his heart were made by my heart-sins; if I believe that those wounds in his feet were made by my wandering steps, and that the wounds in his hands were made by my sinful deeds, then I repent after a right fashion. Only under the cross can you repent. Repentance elsewhere is remorse, which clings to the sin and only dreads the punishment. Let us then seek, under God, to have a hatred of sin caused by a sight of Christ's love.

...Go as you are to Christ, and ask him to give that tenderness of heart which shall be to you the indication that pardon has come; for pardon cannot and will not come unattended by a melting of soul and a hatred of sin. Wrestle with the Lord! Say, I will not let you go except you bless me. Get a fast hold upon the savior by a vigorous faith in his great atonement. Oh! May his spirit enable you to do this! Say in your soul, here I will abide, at the horns of the altar; if I perish I will perish at the foot of the cross. From my hope in Jesus I will not depart; but I will look up and still say, savior, your heart was broken for me, break my heart! You were wounded; wound me! Your blood was freely poured forth, for me; Lord, let me pour forth my tears that I should have nailed you to the tree. Oh Lord, dissolve my soul; melt it in tenderness, and you will be forever praised for making your enemy your friend. May God bless you, and make you repent, if you have not repented; and if you have, may he enable you to continue in it all your days, for Jesus Christ sake. Amen."


From My Inbox...

I hope this heart-felt letter from a reader blesses you as much as it did me:

Subject: I Love Your Blog!

Hello Marie,
I came across your blog while searching for testimonies of Christians who have been set free from the bondage of bulimia. I loved reading the few entries I have so far. Your story gives me hope, and your perspective is (refreshingly) Biblically sound.

I have been struggling for 13 years now with bulimia. I developed anorexia at the age of 15, gained some weight back to please concerned people, and then quickly became addicted to the binge/purge cycle. I was in secular counseling for years, along with residential treatment on various occasions as a teenager. I learned tools to cope with emotions, but nothing that worldly psychology had to offer penetrated to the core of the problem. I always resorted back to eating disordered behaviors after leaving treatment. The longest I've gone (apart from treatment centers) binge and purge free has been three months. I white-knuckle it through intense cravings to binge on most days. It feels like I am merely controlling my behaviors; my mind is still enslaved to rigid thoughts about food, image and exercise. I have been married to an amazing, Godly husband for almost two years now, and I am desperate to be set free in my mind and (subsequently) in my behavior! My bulimia hurts my marriage and prevents me from having an intimate relationship with God. I've been a believer in Jesus for 10 years, but live a defeated Christian life due to my idol worship of food. I am a perfectionist and have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The world tells me that I will never fully recover. I refuse to believe this.

I would appreciate any counsel you have to offer. Thank you for promising to pray for me. I am feeling particularly discouraged today. I so badly want to be walking in freedom, but seem to be unwilling to endure the discomfort of life without the numbing effect of binge eating. I truly cannot do this on my own, and I don't know how to fully surrender it to God.
Thanks for listening/reading,

(Name Withheld)

"How Does God View Eating Disorders?"

Recently, I read one of those "Research Shows" articles online which claim that eating disorders have mysterious, undetermined, biochemical causes. The piece was rife with misinformation and unsubstantiated claims, including the following:

"...Unlike a neurological disorder, which generally can be pinpointed to a specific lesion on the brain, an eating disorder likely involves abnormal activity distributed across brain systems. With increased recognition that mental disorders are brain disorders, more researchers are using tools from both modern neuroscience and modern psychology to better understand eating disorders."

As a point of fact, the conjecture that eating disorders are caused by chemical imbalances or abnormal cerebral activity is quite easy to refute. I will only touch on the lack of evidence for these claims, and then turn to the actual underlying problem.

1.) There is NO biochemical evidence, in 2 decades of research, that has ever indicated eating disorders are caused by chemical imbalances, genetic mutations, pathogens, or any other neurological abnormality;

2.) Neither SSSI nor psychotropic drugs (different forms of antidepressants) have been shown to have any effect on eating disorders whatsoever;

3.) Anti-depressants don't even help depressed people, eating disordered or not. A 2000 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry following Prozac and Selexor showed that of psychiatric patients who were prescribed medication, 24% responded well to herbal remedy St. John's Wort; 25% to Zoloft, and 30% to a placebo. Thus, a sugar pill was shown to be more helpful than the drugs.

The question of "chemical imbalance" is a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario. Since it is understood that addictions feed endorphins, the "pleasure center" of the brain, it is possible that the addictive effect of the binge, developed into a habit, has altered the brain chemistry. When re-learning to eat, the bulimic has to fight very real cravings and essentially "re-wire" her brain. In no way, however, does this indicate that the bulimic behavior was caused by chemical abnormalities. Rather, as in a drug addict's case, it points to a chemical dependency that has been caused by the behavior (and not the other way around).

Furthermore, if psychiatrists are so certain that eating disorders are 'diseases', why is diagnosis made purely based on symptoms? What diagnostic tests are used to determine the brain activity that is supposedly so abnormal? Cat Scan? MRI? Blood test? Biopsy? Tissue samples? No. Absolutely nothing. If these eating disorders are just "illnesses", why do the people who carry them feel guilty about their behavior? Would they feel guilty if they had chicken pox, or cancer? Or could it be, just perhaps, that they know, deep down inside, that they are doing something wrong, even if they are not quite sure of the reasons for their compulsion?

Knowing that I am a biblical counselor and have written a book on the Scriptural answer to food addiction, the administrator of the forum where this particular article was posted asked me to write an article on God's view of eating disorders. Let me say from the outset that God's view of eating disorders is the same as His view of all other addictions: He calls it sin. Sin is action, words, or thoughts that go against God's will and character. An addiction is a life-dominating sin.

Re-labeling 'sin' as 'disease' or 'illness' is an attempt to remove personal responsibility for the behavior. Harold Hughes, the Iowa congressman who championed health coverage for alcoholism treatment, admitted that the aggressive campaign to get alcoholism labeled as 'disease' by the American Psychiatric Association was nothing more than an attempt to get health insurance companies to pay for the treatment and thus keep foundering hospitals afloat. (It worked, by the way. More than half of health insurance expenses now go to 'mental health' care.) Those who see their bondage to drugs, alcohol or food as a 'disease' fatalistically tend to believe that they are "never recovered; always in recovery". By contrast, if we realize that this behavior is rebellion against God, in Whose image we are made, and call it what it is - sin - we may have great hope! We already know what the answer is - repentance.

Anorexia and bulimia are spiritual diseases masquerading as physical ones. In fact, for this reason, I believe the term "recovery" is slightly inaccurate and therefore I try to avoid using it. Recover has a connotation of the convalescence and passive improvement typical of physical diseases. What I hope to teach you is how to repent, so that God will restore you. Since the Bible speaks of overcoming sin, we may also use that term here. To all who are in Him, Christ promises victory, and that is our ultimate goal.

Addictions are, in fact, learned behaviors, which can be unlearned. Hopefully, we all agree that self-destructive behavior is sin. I have seen 1 Corinthians 6:19, "do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" taken out of context and used to argue against everything from piercings to eating chips, but I don't think it's a stretch to apply it to eating disorders. The Bible always mentions "gluttony" in a negative light (see Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:21; Matthew 11:19; Titus 1:12). In 1 Corinthians 6:20, Paul goes on to say, "Therefore honor God with your bodies". Later in the same letter he says, "But whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31). Does bulimic behavior honor or glorify God? Does it manifest self-control?

Ask yourself honestly: do I consider my behavior (binging, purging, starving or eating to excess) sinful? If so, are you really okay with continuing on in it? Biblical counselor and author Martha Peace puts the issue succinctly: "Bulimia is wrong for two reasons: First, it can cause serious medical problems such as damage to your esophagus and your teeth. Second, it is a sin because overeating is gluttony, throwing up is a lack of self-control, and wanting to be thin so badly that you are willing to sin is idolatry."

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Paul gives us a laundry list of what types of people, who, if they continue on in their sinful lifestyle of choice, will not inherit the Kingdom of God. He completes his litany of life-dominating sins by reminding the Corinthians, "And such were some of you." He is talking about the Christians who, before believing on Christ and turning from their sinful way of life, were controlled by things like alcohol, greed, and homosexuality. "Were" is past tense. They left this lifestyle behind. If God commands us to repent, and Scripture tells us that if we are in Christ sin no longer has the power to control us, then it must be possible to "put off" an addiction and "put on" freedom. God does not demand something from us we are incapable of giving, and perfect holiness has already been achieved by His children by Christ's death on the Cross. We are therefore exhorted in Philippians 3:16 to "live up to what we have already attained". This includes repenting of the idolatrous sins of anorexia and bulimia.

Article Source: Ezine article "How Does God View Eating Disorders?" by Marie Notcheva