The following is a repost of an article in preparation for several weeks of discussion about the topic of food addiction. Stay tuned for more about my journey into and out of food compulsion and about the freedom available to all of us through the One who knows our deepest secrets.
Most Christians would agree that God has established boundaries for His children in many areas: entertainment, sex, relationships, finances, etc. Yet how many would agree that the same is true regarding food? We American Christians seem to believe that that’s the one area in which He deserves no jurisdiction—that we have free rein to eat what we want, whenever we want, as often as we want it. For anyone to suggest that He has given us guidelines is to suggest that we are “under the law.”
We’ve become so reckless and desensitized that we’ve made a habit of engaging in gluttony together. It’s one thing to recognize a hearty meal with friends as a gift from God, but it’s another to disregard all boundaries and then brag about it: If I eat one more bite you’re gonna have to roll me out of here. Are we those of whom it is written, “Their god is their belly”?
Far be it from me to heap condemnation on anyone. I only tackle this issue because I know that until we take a very honest look at it, we won’t begin to free ourselves from the hold that food has on so many of us. I speak from experience. For years, food was my heroin. I was as helpless against it as a raging alcoholic is against an open bottle of whiskey. I was incapable of drawing my own boundaries regarding food. But then I discovered that God is a personal God, and He’ll draw our boundaries according to what we need.
We—that is, the church—would do well to stop ignoring the word “gluttony” and instead face this topic head-on, just as we’re learning to do in regard to other addictions. It’s easy to imagine the harm we would do if we pretended that drug addiction wasn’t really a problem! Let’s stop pretending that a “real” Christian would never rip open a bag of Chips Ahoy and be powerless to stop until every crumb was gone. Jesus has set us free; let’s get truthful so we can help one another out of the pit and into freedom.
“If you hear My voice and abide in My word, you are truly My disciples; you will know the truth, and that truth will give you freedom!” (John 8:31–32, Voice)