I have a confession...I engage in a behaviour that doesn’t worship God, daily. I do it in front of people, I do it alone and sometimes I do it in secret. What is it? Overeating—I am a compulsive overeater and binge eater. I enjoy my food and I eat lots of it.
What does this mean for me? Physically, I carry a lot of weight. I am considered morbidly obese. Financially, I spend a lot of money buying junk food. I’m particularly fond of Sour Cream and Chives chips. Emotionally, I spend a lot of time beating myself up for being so weak of character.
All sin is bad
Overeating seems to be a funny thing to take to the Lord for help with. We consider other sins to be much worse—things like murder, pornography and the similar. But God doesn’t say some sins are worse than others, he says all sin is bad.
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God (1 John chapter 3, verses 8-10).
It’s hard to think of my overeating as a sin, especially when I consider acts such as murder, adultery, violence and similar. “It’s just food so it’s ok”. The thing is, all sin is bad. Everything that pulls us away from God is sin.
Pulling me away
Overeating pulls me away from God in several ways:
- I lie to my family about the food I eat
- I hide how much I eat and do it in secret
- I feel guilty and bad about myself which means I don’t have the capacity to pray
- I don’t honour God with my body
God tells us to honour him with our body. 1 Corinthians shows this spectacularly,
‘Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 31).
‘For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own’ (1 Corinthians chapter 6, verses 18-20)
When I overeat, I do not honour God with my body. When I eat bad food that is not nutritious, I don’t honour God with my body. When I eat in secret, I don’t honour God with my body—and this is a sin. The devil tells me it’s not, but God’s word clearly shows it is.
There is hope
Thankfully, there is hope. The very obvious one is that God forgives me of this sin through Jesus. Many times, I have confessed to God that I have engaged in this sinful behaviour. Many times, I have asked for forgiveness.
But confession alone is not enough, there must be action. God wants us to try to follow his word as best we can—continuing a sinful behaviour does not conform to this.
God lead me to a wonderful group called Overeaters Anonymous. It is based on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous and aims to help people take back their control over their food and free themselves from the bonds of overeating. God is a central part in this recovery.
By continuing to work at beating my sin, and by not letting Satan tell me that it’s not a sin, I will overcome it. Each day I try this, I honour God. And each day that I might fail, I will come before God, humbly asking for his forgiveness and help.
You might not have an eating disorder, but deep down know there is a sin you are exploiting. There are self-help articles about everything on the internet. Go to God and confess, ask him to help you fight this sin and read to find ways to beat it. Honour God in all you do.
Emma Bamford is a Melbourne writer and edits the International young writers for Press Service International. She has a passion for igniting faithful living in Christ.
Emma has recently started a Bachelor of Theology.
You can view Emma’s previous articles at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/emma-bamford.html