In the over ten years that I’ve had takebackyourtemple.com online, I recall few messages from people suffering from bulimia.
However, 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 on the TBYT website publicly:
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.
I’ve meditated on this issue from a Biblical perspective and decided to write a letter to MC. I’m making the letter public since the comment was public.
I pray this letter helps to set those who suffer from this issue free:
Thank you so much for your question. I’ll start with answering it directly first, then I am going to give you information for which you didn’t ask.
So please forgive me in advance if I am 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.
Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a 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 (Ephesians 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! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (Matthew 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 Proverbs 4:23, the heart is where all life issues originate, not in 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 like 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:“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
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 that 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 avails anything, but faith working 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. Deliverance is available if you want it.
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. When I weighed 240 pounds, I discovered that my food selections played a key role in how bad I felt. I was low in energy, was depressed, irritable, and prone to feelings of self-pity. But in my weight loss journey, the Lord showed me how to eat to maintain emotional stability so that I could think clearer and make wiser decisions in all areas of my life.
It may seem like a small thing, but our Lord said:
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much (Luke 16:10).”
In the Take Back Your Temple program, you will learn how to eat for emotional stability so that you can reach your ideal weight. You will discover how you can feel your best so that you can do your best with what the Lord has given you.
In counseling, I came to realize both the seeking peace from food and the craving to please people and receive their affirmation was idolatry. This helped me to be free, as I wanted Jesus to be the only One I worship.
Please pray for me to get a handel on my eating habit s , I’ve been off sugar , whezt & diary for over 3 years pretty much. I have a sensitivity to each these foods. I’ve lived w/ this stuff noise for years then 3 years ago I found out I have a sensitivity to these foods. Also watched typ2 dialectic my A1C has been great for a couple of years but I still crave sweets. I can go a couple of weeks w/ out then I just want some . So I covert your prayers the leave it alone . My weight is fine tho i hsve gained 7 # this fall but I’m 127 & 73 years old , t hank you & God bless.
Guess I can’t spell , ha
I went to treatment in 1991 for bulimia…..
I vomited and exercised myself to death…..
Long story to it all…..
Today I am a pastor….minister to many women….
Just did a women’s conference and talked about bulimia!!!the shame keeps so many quiet…..
Thanks for this article…..hopefully more women will be healed thru it….
Pastor Beverly Kopp
Freedom by the word church
“brokenness made whole”
I meant to say “…that heart Learning, not heart earning.”
Thank you for this insightful commentary on bulimia and your perspective on spiritual healing. I too have struggled with obesity and bulimia in the past, first as a Christian teenager, craving to hear the external affirmations from extended family members and friends of how ‘thin’ and ‘skinny’ and therefore, good looking I was becoming. Of course my damaged self esteem and abused ego just gobbled up their praise and motivated me to lose even more weight at any cost. I purged through vomiting, laxatives, and even secretly giving myself enemas to see the weight come off. I justified starvation by fasting sometimes four to five days in a row to punish myself for overeating, just so I could feel accepted by God and others. It wasn’t until The Lord prompted an intervention through a caring Christian relative that I began to rely on Christ for inner strength to break the cycle of self torture I had been putting myself through for years. Grace alone can transform our marred self imagesinto the true image of God’s dear Son, the only perfect being in the whole universe. Growing in that tender Grace, that heart earning has helped me see myself through the Loving Eyes of Jesus, whose Love alone purges me from my many sins, whenever I put food or drink in place Him, who ONLY can soothe my soul and comforting all inner longings.