Cycle of Failure - Will You Run FROM the Cross, or TO the Cross?


I have gotten away from eating as I should. I seem to be in the pit again, and don't know how to get started. I feel like an alcholic who has fallen off. The guilt is incredible, and weighing me down again of failing. How do I get back to God, and walk in forgiveness when I cant even forgive myself.

What am I doing that I can not walk in freedom in this. I know that you were healed in about 6 months. I keep sinning, but do not know how to stop, I have a few good days, then I blow it, and never get back up- at least not for a while.

I want to be free of this, but don't know how to begin again, once I 've failed, or been in a cycle of failure...

This letter is typical of many e-mails I receive from Christian ladies struggling with binge eating and bulimia. My response:

There is definitely a way out of this, but it sounds almost as if you have run out of hope! Don't!! Hey, about failure - I want to share with you one thing that I've learned...that failure that keeps you in defeat and makes you essentially run from God (rather than towards Him, as He continually says "Come to Me"), is that worldly sorry (remorse rather than repentance).

It's what Judas did! That hit me today when I was driving to work; Judas and Peter both betrayed Jesus. They both were ashamed and felt guilt weighing them down. So, what was the difference? Judas ran AWAY from Him; ultimately self-destructing out of shame and misery. If he had truly repented, he would have gone to Christ - while He was on the Cross, even - and confronted the full horror of his sin. He would have been forgiven, even then.

Now, contrast that with Peter. We really don't know the exact details or time of when Peter repented; but we know that he did because he's with the other Apostles Sunday morning (they were all hiding out together); he's there in the Upper Room when Jesus appeared to them, and obviously he had become "right with God" before John 21's beachside picnic, because he jumped right out of the boat to swim to Jesus (and of course Jesus reinstated him in a sense; the past was finally laid to rest).

Sure, what these guys did seems way more dramatic than your struggle with eating, but there's a principle to be applied there: don't let the guilt of your sin drive you further down into defeat, or away from Christ. Don't believe the lie that it's too late or futile to repent. That's pride, and it cost Judas his very soul. Be like Peter -- by no means perfect, but willing to humble himself before his best Friend and confess that he needed Him.

You don't need to "forgive yourself". Just confess and repent of this sin, and trust that God has forgiven and cleansed you - because He has promised to (1 John 1:9) and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

Yes, it seems like you have all the right books, but any truth contained within them is not making its way down to your heart. It sounds from your note as if you are not spending much time renewing your mind in the Word, either...and subsequently your prayer life has suffered. I don't want to give you another book to read, but in Jay Adams' "Godliness Through Discipline" he explains biblically how we cannot expect to grow in sanctification without a measure of discipline. For a bulimic or habitual overeater in the process of transformation, that would include considering ahead of time (before you are in the middle of temptation) what you are going to eat, and how much. Prayerfully consider what your weaknesses are ("binge triggers"), and where and what circumstances are most likely to set you off.

Don't eliminate all carbohydrates, as that will cause cravings also, but avoid those sugary/fatty things that you are most likely to binge on. The One Who is in you is stronger than the one who is in the world...remember that prayer fortifies you, and being in Christ means that you are no longer a slave to sin. The only way to begin again is by repentance...it's not a one-time event. Tomorrow is a new day. Get out of that kitchen once you have finished a reasonable, healthy meal, and go spend time with God! That was a BIG factor in my breaking free - realizing where my idol was, and that Christ was far more beautiful than any temporary satisfaction that "idol" could offer.

Let me know how this week goes! Go back to God, humble yourself (again), and ask for His help. Establish an eating plan and prayer time, and stick to it. Discipline is key to growth (Proverbs 15:32).

In Him,


  1. Thank you! Very timely for me even though I don't have bulimia!

  2. This cycle of failure is one I find myself in all too often. If I could break just one of the 'links,' (i.e. identify triggers), then I can begin the climb out.

    There's one thing that keeps me down--pride I'm proud when I do what's right, and I'm self-focused (another form of pride) when I mess up.

    I have cried out to God just about every time I've fallen, but it's getting harder and harder to get back up. HELP!


Thanks for visiting! Please leave me a message, share your testimony, or feel free to ask questions. Anonymous comments are welcome. Or e-mail me privately at marie4thtimemom@yahoo.com.