As a young woman I believed that my “cross to bear” was to struggle with an “addiction” to food. I thought it would always be with me and that the battle would be lifelong.
Thank you, God, that I was wrong!
Several years ago, an editor with whom I met regarding improving the manuscript of The Weight of Grace read the first chapter and asked me, “So, how much do you struggle with your eating problem on a daily basis?” I answered, “I don’t struggle with that anymore. I now relate to food in the same way people who have never struggled with overweight or overeating do.” After he gave me a few suggestions about my manuscript’s style and mentioned his disappointment with weighing more than he did when he was in college, he asked, “But don’t you find this is an ongoing struggle you have to fight every day?”
I suppressed my exasperation and answered, “No, we are designed, especially as new creations in Christ, to relate to food in a natural and moderate way, so this is now a resolved issue for me, and I don’t spend time or energy struggling with it.” His expression said what he didn’t, “I don’t believe you.”
Our culture is inundated with an “addiction mentality” that insists we can never have freedom from compulsive behaviors. That’s just not biblical. Read Romans 6, 7 and 8! “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24-25, NIV). When we are spiritually born again through union with the death and resurrection of Christ, the “addiction” to sin becomes a choice instead of a compulsion, and we are empowered to become “slaves to righteousness,” instead of “slaves to sin.” (See Rom. 6:17-18.)
Knowing that self-destructive behaviors, such as compulsive overeating, are not natural to a new creation in Christ enables us to focus on renewing our minds (Rom. 12:2) in regard to food, concerns over external appearance, expressing and addressing emotions, fears about being small and vulnerable, and any other motivations to do in our “flesh” what is no longer necessary to do because of God’s provisions in Christ.