Spiritual Anorexia

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Recently a woman asked me, “do you think I’m a Christian?” She had recently become obsessed with this question. She is a regular church goer. She participates in a bible study and other groups. Anyone on the outside would quickly answer her question with “Well of course you are, aren’t you?” Yet standing alone in her bedroom, she does not see what they see. She does not see a Christian in the mirror. She sees a doubter. She sees a liar. She sees a confused poor fool just hanging on for dear life! She suffers what many suffer within Christendom—spiritual anorexia. Just as some healthy young ladies look into their mirrors and see an ugly obese woman, many Christians go through life equally deluded.

Oh, no doubt in the hard cold mirror of nature and God’s law, no one looks like the Jesus-loving, cross-carrying, cool, calm generous person we see on church websites and bulletin covers. And it is important to look into that mirror once in a while. Quite frankly I hope y’all have a pastor who shoves that hard mirror in your face quite often. Repent!

But that mirror does not determine whether one is a Christian—only that you need a Christ, a Savior, a Cure. Thank God the whole world has been given one in Jesus! I told my friend to stop caring about whether or not she thought she was a Christian. Instead she should pay attention to what Jesus calls her through His church. He baptized her in His name. He tells her to take and eat, take and drink, this is my blood shed for the forgiveness of sins. He says, “Peace be to you!” His words are reality, they tell us who we really are and who we will be for eternity!

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When churches lead or leave people to find their identities in themselves, their feelings, their good works, and not Jesus' words, they cause this spiritual anorexia. They let people live with a desperately distorted vision of themselves. "Am I really a Christian? I don’t look like it!" And just as those who suffer from spiritual anorexia falsely act upon their illusion, many Christians often times desperately respond to their fear of not truly being a Christian with activities and work so they can look better in that mirror. But they never do look better; they never will. So despair sets in.

To you who suffer this disorder, including myself from time to time, Jesus calls us out, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!”