Evil

EVIL

 

DEFINITIONThe dictionary defines evil as being morally bad.  For believers, it is any act or thought that violates the Word of God.  Other words for evil used in the Bible include iniquity, transgression, and sin.

FACTS ABOUT EVIL:

Evil exists everywhere.  Since the fall of Satan from heaven and Adam and Eve’s original sin, evil has been manifested in the world.

Evil is sin.  The Bible calls evil “transgression, sin, and iniquity”. Evil is the opposite of all that is good and is any act or thought that is  contrary to God’s Word.

You will encounter evil people and circumstances.  Because you live in an evil world, you will confront evil people and evil circumstances.  You cannot control the circumstances or the people, but you can control your attitudes  and responses towards them and your involvement in evil.

DEALING WITH  EVIL:

Realize that everyone is tempted.  You are not the only one tempted to do wrong, but you must recognize where the temptation comes from and what to do about it (James 1:13-15).  Reject it the minute it enters your mind.

Repent of evil.  Acknowledge evil thoughts and actions as sin and repent of them.  God is faithful to forgive you of confessed sins, but He goes beyond that to cleanse you from all unrighteousness when you come to Him seeking forgiveness (1 John  1:8-9).

Eliminate sinful practices.  Reject every kind of evil–even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:3-17).  Dispose of evil literature, photographs, pornography, music, and anything that has to do with the occult.  Do not hang out where evil people congregate.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Learn to walk according to the guidance and dictates of the Holy Spirit who is resident within you.  When you feel like something is wrong, that is the Holy Spirit warning you to avoid it  (Ephesians 5:18).

Concentrate on pure things. Do not think about or give your attention to evil things.  The Apostle Paul said: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”  (Philippians 4:8).

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT EVIL:

The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding. (Job 28:28)

Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. (Psalm 37:27)

Deliver me, 0 my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. (Psalm 71:4)

Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies. (Psalm 141:4)

Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, from the traps set by evildoers. (Psalm 141:9)

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.  (Proverbs 3:7)

Through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil. (Proverbs 16:6)

In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them. (Proverbs 22:5)

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20)

This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it then, that the light within you is not darkness.”  (Luke 11:34-35)

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  (John 3:20)

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. (1 Corinthians 15:33)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.   Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them. (Ephesians 5:3-7)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. (2 Timothy 2:19)

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  (James 1:13-15)

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  Peter  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.  (2 Peter 3:17)

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. (1 John 3:7)

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11)

(See also “Sin” in this database.)

Envy and Jealousy

ENVY AND JEALOUSY

DEFINITION:  Envy is a synonym for jealousy and covetousness excited by the success of others.  It is resentment of the spiritual, financial, or material blessings of others.  It is lustful desire and longing for something that someone else has.  It is sometimes characterized by snide remarks against others in an effort to build up one’s own self.

FACTS ABOUT ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

Envy comes from the spirit of man.  “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”  (James 4:5)

Envy is a sign of being a carnal Christian. “…for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3, NKJV)

Those living in sin are filled with envy.  “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers…” (Romans 1:29, KJV)

Where there is envy, other problems arise. “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice”  (James 3:14,16).

You are not to envy sinners. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 23:17)

Envy is a characteristic of false teachers.  “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,  he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions  and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1 Timothy 6:-4).

DEALING WITH  ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

Acknowledge that you are envious and jealous.  Until you recognize these responses are operating in your life, you will not be able to deal with them.

Recognize the ramifications of envy and jealousy.  It results in confusion and other evil works (James 3:16) and it ultimately ends in tragedy (Galatians 5:19-21).

Repent.  Envy and jealousy are sins which require repentance.

Ask God for a new manifestation of His love.  When you truly love someone, you do not envy them, nor are you jealous of them:  “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

In the future:

-Walk in the Spirit: Romans 13:13.

-Manifest the Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23. 

-Focus on things of eternal value instead of things of the world: Colossians 3:1-4.

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.  (Proverbs 23:17)

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers… (Romans 1:29, KJV)

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. (Romans 13:13, NKJV)

…for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:3, NKJV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…(1 Corinthians 13:4)

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.   (Galatians 5:19-23)

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,  he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions  and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (1 Timothy 6:3-6)

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, and deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  (Titus 3:3, KJV)

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  (James 3:14,16)

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? (James 4:5)

(See also “Covetousness” and “Greed” in this database.)

Enemies

ENEMIES

 

DEFINITIONAn enemy is one towards whom you are antagonistic, hostile, and unforgiving.  It is someone that you also may be seeking to injure or threaten.  You may also try to  ruin the reputation of an enemy through slander, gossip, and lies.

FACTS ABOUT ENEMIES:

The Word of God teaches you not to become bitter, hostile, or vengeful toward another person.  You might not like what others do or say, but you must love them and extend forgiveness to them, just as God extended it to you.

Satan is the source of all contention.  The Bible explains that  “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”  (Ephesians 6:12).  Your struggle is against the evil forces that cause a person to react in such a way that you consider them an enemy.

The proper response to contention. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit,  qualities that are to be evident in the lives of believers, provide the answer to contention. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:22-23).

You are commanded to love and pray for your enemies“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:46-47).

 God can cause your enemies to be at peace with you.  “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him”  (Proverbs 16:7 ).

DEALING WITH YOUR ENEMIES:

Examine your heart.  If you have hatred, anger, unforgiveness, or bitterness towards someone, then you are not responding biblically to your enemies. Are the feelings and attitudes you have towards this person Christ-like?  What caused the break in the relationship?  Did you have a part in it?  What is the other person’s attitude towards you?

Pray for forgiveness.  Not only for your own attitude towards your enemy, but pray to forgive your enemy also.  As a mature believer, the obligation to forgive and initiate reconciliation rests with you.  You can do this because the Bible declares you can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

Go to your enemy and try to reconcile.  You cannot control their response, but you can ask forgiveness and seek to reconcile with them.  If they refuse, then you have the satisfaction of knowing you have acted scripturally. Follow the guidelines in Matthew 18:15-17.

Love and pray for your enemies.  Jesus commanded this in Matthew 5:43-48.

Pray for the Fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in your life towards your enemy:  Love, goodness, kindness, meekness, patience, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23).

Cast down vain imaginations.  Vain imaginations are unproductive thoughts and imaginations. When Satan tries to return and instill unforgiveness or bitterness towards the person once again, cast these thoughts down in the name of the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:5).

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT  ENEMIES:

He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me,  who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me. (Psalm 18:47-48)

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.(Proverbs 16:7)

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice,  or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.  (Proverbs 24:17-18)

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  (Matthew 5:23-24)

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  (Matthew 5:43-48)

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  (Matthew 6:14-15)

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.  (Matthew 7:12)

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  (Matthew 18:22-35)

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.   This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself.”    (Matthew 22:37-39)

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.   (Mark 11:25,26)

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.  “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.   And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.(Luke 6:27-36)

“So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.'”   (Luke 17:3-4)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14-21)

(See also “Forgiveness and Reconciliation” in this database.)

Emotions

EMOTIONS

 

DEFINITIONEmotions are defined as strong feelings about something or someone.

FACTS ABOUT EMOTIONS:

God created emotions.  God created you in His image and He is an emotional being, expressing emotions such as love, righteous anger, mercy, compassion, etc.   As a human being, created in God’s image, you also have emotions.

Emotions can be divided into two categories A negative emotion is any response that results in adverse  thoughts  or actions. A positive emotion is any response that results in positive thoughts or actions.  There is a broad range of emotions in each of these two categories and a person may also express combinations of these emotional responses.  It is your negative emotional responses which you want to eliminate.

DEALING WITH  EMOTIONS: 

Recognize that negative emotions are powerful.  Unbridled negative emotions can cause you to react in ways that can impact your life forever.  Many people who had never violated the law previously are serving lengthy prison sentences because of one violent act done in a fit of anger.

Understand that negative emotions do not represent the truth.  For example, you may feel fearful when there is nothing to fear.  You may worry when in reality, there is nothing about which to be concerned.  It is God’s Word that speaks the truth into your life, not your own negative emotions or your limited perception of the situations around you.

Do not try to excuse your negative emotions.  Deal with them, because they are powerful and, left unchecked, they will control your life!  You have the power to do so because the Word of God declares that “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NKJV).   The same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you and will enable you to control your emotions (Romans 8:11).

Take responsibility for your emotions.  What negative emotions do you experience and express when you are in difficult situations?  Acknowledging these responses will make you more aware of them when they try to surface in your life.  Do not blame your emotions on others, ie., “I’m like my Uncle Jack.  I got his temper!”  Take responsibility for your own negative responses.  You are only responsible for how you react to situations, not for how others respond.

Make a decision to change.  All change begins with a decision.  Your decision to become a believer was the first step toward a new life.  Now you must make a decision to allow God to rule in every area of your life, including your emotional responses.  You are the only one who can initiate changes in your emotions.  You do this by making a decision to be transformed by the Word instead of being conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2).

Realize that you cannot change your soulish nature on your own.   Self-effort will not rid you of habitual sin. Negative emotions cannot be broken through self-effort.  You must let God supernaturally change your mind, will, and emotions.  For years, your sinful soulish nature has controlled your body and your spirit.  Now you must learn to let your redeemed spirit  control your body and soul. Don’t give up.  It is a process of spiritual growth.

Pray about your negative emotions.  Make your negative emotions a matter of prayer.  God wants you set free from every emotion that has you in bondage.  As you pray about your emotions, God will give you wisdom and power to deal with them.

Realize that negative emotions call for an immediate response.  Whenever you recognize a negative emotion beginning to surface, it is a signal that something is wrong.  You need to stop what you are doing, stop what you are saying, or stop what you are thinking.  Do not allow the emotion to be strengthened by your actions, words, or thoughts.  In the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit, take control of negative emotions immediately (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Be willing to forgive.  If you follow the biblical directive to forgive others, many negative emotions will be eliminated.  You have been forgiven by God and people whom you have offended.  Extend this same grace to others

Wait before you respond. In difficult situations, think about the response you are about to express.  Is it an attitude that honors God, His Word, and your commitment to Christ?  How does this emotion reflect on you as a believer?  Is it an emotion by which you want to be known?  For example, being angry all the time will make you known as an angry person.

Take the way of escape.  Sometimes, you need to  remove yourself from a volatile situation or an aggravating person.  God’s Word has promised: “No temptation (trial) has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted (tried) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted (tried), he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV).  This is God’s guarantee that no circumstances, trial, temptation or attack of the enemy will come into your life that you are unable to bear.  In every circumstance you face,  God has made a way of escape that will bring you out victoriously.

Respond as you would like to be responded to.  Ask yourself how you would like for someone to treat you in a similar situation.  Apply what is called the “golden rule”  that is the thesis statement of  the Word of God:  “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”  (Matthew 7:12).

Eliminate volatile situations when you can do so. This will help, but you may not be able to escape certain people and problems. You can, however, make a decision to change your attitudes and your responses to these circumstances and refuse to respond negatively.

Avoid toxic people.  Toxic people are those who speak negative things into your life such as “you are stupid, you should be ashamed, you will never amount to anything, etc.”  Avoiding such people does not give you license to treat them rudely.  You can be friendly without being friends.   Do not make annoying, insensitive, rude, toxic people your close friends and confidants.   Toxic people ignite the sparks of negative emotions in your life.  The Bible says: “Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go,  Lest you learn his ways  And set a snare for your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25, NKJV).  Substitute any negative emotion for the words “angry” and “furious”, and the warning is the same because you learn the ways of those you hang out with.  Your own attitudes, actions, and emotions are affected by the company you keep.   Make friendships with people who are aggressively following the Lord and will speak the truth of God’s Word into your life.

Don’t give up.  If you regress into a negative emotional reaction, do not give up in your quest to eliminate such responses.  You never fail until you quit trying!  Remember that after your new spiritual birth, your soul–which is your mind, will, and emotions–must be supernaturally changed as you live out this new life.  This change is a process of spiritual maturity.

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT EMOTIONS:

Here are some general guidelines that are applicable to all negative emotions.  For specific emotions, identify the problem and then use a concordance to study all the Bible has to say about it.  For example, if you are struggling with anger,  commit to memory such verses as:  “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control”  (Proverbs 19:11).

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.  (Matthew 7:12)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.   (Romans 12:1-2).

No temptation (trial) has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted (tried) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted (tried), he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4, NKJV)

Eating Disorders

EATING DISORDERS

 

DEFINITION OF EATING DISORDERS:  An eating disorder is an abnormal eating habit associated with deranged thoughts and negative feelings.  Eating may be increased or decreased by binging or refusing to eat.

FACTS ABOUT EATING DISORDERS:

There are several types of eating disorders. Anorexia is when a person refuses to eat, expresses an intense fear of gaining weight, and becomes extremely underweight–sometimes to the point of starvation. An anorexic person sees themselves as “fat” no matter what their weight, and will often exercise excessively.   Bulimia is characterized by binging and purging–overeating and then forcing one’s self to vomit afterwards.  Binge-eating is overeating to the point of being physically uncomfortable–the biblical definition of this is gluttony.

Emotional issues are at the root of eating disorders.  People who feel their world is out of control believe that eating is one area where they are in control.  A sense of worthlessness, sadness, and depression may drive one to develop an eating disorder.  A bad self image–thinking one is fat and unattractive–also contributes to these types of problems. Stress, anxiety, rejection, guilt and shame are other emotions that trigger abnormal eating habits.

Eating disorders tend to develop during the teenage and young adult years, and they are more common in women.

There are no biblical restrictions on food for New Testament believers.  The restrictions of the Old Testament were made under the law and were part of God’s covenant with Israel.  Some believers still choose to abide by these, but this is not mandatory according to scriptures and their beliefs should not be imposed on others.  The New Testament clearly indicates that all things are pure (Romans 14:20-21) and believers are free to choose their diets (1 Corinthians 8:7-9).  Paul warns about legalistic regulations:  “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'”?  These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence”  (Colossians 2:20-23).

Eating disorders lead to physical problems.  Binging and purging through vomiting, diuretics, enemas, or laxatives can harm one’s digestive tract.  Being extremely overweight or underweight can affect internal organs, heart, blood pressure, and the functioning of the brain.

God does not want you to be in bondage to eating disorders or anything else. The Apostle Paul said:  “Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

DEALING WITH  EATING DISORDERS:

Admit your problem.  Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step in dealing with an eating disorder.

Determine the triggers that cause your problem.  Identifying the issues that contribute to your eating disorder will help you deal with the root cause of it.  Do you eat because you are lonely?  Depressed?  Because of stress?

Pray a prayer of deliverance.  Ask God to deliver you from the bondage of eating disorders.  Accept by faith, as you did your salvation, that it is done.  In prayer, deal with any issues that contribute to your eating disorder.  Ask God for deliverance from guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, etc.  Ask Him to show you better ways to deal with loneliness, depression, and  stress, etc. rather than eating.

Acknowledge that you have within you the power to change.  You have the ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit,  to put off old behaviors and put on new ones:  “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Surround yourself with supportive people. Recruit a few friends to provide prayer support.  Get involved in a church or Bible study where you can receive additional support from other believers.  If you know someone who has overcome an eating disorder, ask them to join your support team.

Learn to eat right.  Learn what foods to eat in what amounts in order to develop a healthy lifestyle.  A trained nutritionist can assist with this.  No more binging and purging.  No more dieting.  No more fasting for losing weight.  If you need to lose weight, develop a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and eat right.

Stick to a schedule.  Have set times for eating and snacking.  Set a schedule and stick to it.
This will prevent you from becoming so hungry that you overeat.

Meditate on Scriptures that will help you overcome your disorder.  The following is a list you can use for this purpose.

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT EATING DISORDERS:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  (Nehemiah 8:10)

Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.  They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.  Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.  (Psalm 107:17-20)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,  your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  (Psalm 139:14-16)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

All beautiful you are, my darling;  there is no flaw in you.  (Song of Solomon 4:7)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:25-26)

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.  (Mark 14:38)

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”  (Luke 12:22)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

You have the ability to put off old behaviors and put on new ones: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:11-13)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  (Philippians 4:13)

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.  (Colossians 2:20-23)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:3-4)