I get this question SO often and I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of ways you can recognize this sin in your life.
I always think we should begin with prayer because we cannot rely on our deceitful heart to reveal sin in our lives. This is the role of the Lord alone. If you know you’re guilty of having a food-idol in any way, confess that it is true, and repent of it: turn away from the sin.
I have a group on Facebook for women journeying through this and we’d love to have you.
Now, this list, is being compiled of my experiences and those of women who I have spoken with. I am sure there are other ways to determine if there is a food-idol in your life. Not every one of these list items means you absolutely have a food-idol but it’s something to reflect and pray on. Disclaimer: I am not a health professional in any way. Any advice written and given needs to take that into account.
So, what is a food-idol?
A FOOD-IDOL is when we go to food, turn to food, eat food, (or the opposite – will explain this) instead of going to the Lord for comfort, satisfaction, validation, to feel, to not feel. Any way we use food inappropriately. A woman who abuses food can binge eat, purge, NOT eat, be obsessed with her food, obsessed with not eating food, etc.
Food has been given to us so graciously by the Lord to nourish and fuel our bodies and yes, it tastes good because the Lord wants us to enjoy it.
However, this is abused in gluttony and in ways to keep oneself being as skinny as possible.
- Do you think about food more than most other things in your life?
- After you’ve eaten a meal, do you already have it in your mind what you’ll be eating for the next meal and maybe the one after that?
- Does the idea of eating give you a sense of euphoria?
- Does the idea of eating cause you panic or stress?
- When sad, do you consume food?
- Do you feel like you can’t enjoy yourself without having food involved?
- Do you worry about what the food you’re eating is going to do to your size in an obsessive way?
- Do you consume more calories and meals in a day than what you believe the average person does?
- Does food make you feel better?
- Would it make you angry if you can’t have the kind of food you’re craving and wanting?
- Do you spend money you don’t have on food?
- Do you purge your food in order to maintain or achieve a specific size?
- Do you eat when bored?
- Are you overweight, not due to health reasons, but because of your food intake?
- Does more healthy foods cause you anxiety because you’d rather eat what tastes good and not focus on what’s good for you?
- Have any relationships been ruined or tarnished because of something to do with food?
- Has anyone concerned brought up your food intake or lack thereof to you?
- Have you had a spike of weight gain or weight loss in a short amount of time?
A food-idol is usually that we use food to cope and to feel OR we use it as a way to feed into our obsession with our bodies. There’s so much to “FOOD IDOLIZING” to be able to define it super clearly but I pray the Lord will reveal to you where you need His help.
I knew I had a food-idol, that it was like a god in my life, when I realized how often I would go to food for feeling happy, sad, mad, bored, entertainment, stress, etc.
I thought about food CONSTANTLY. I weighed in close to 300 lbs. and I knew it was because I was dealing with the sin of gluttony. The more I reflected, prayed, and even talked to my husband about it – the clearer it became how much of a sin this was in my life.
I repented and started making other decisions. I started focusing on growing in the fruit of the spirit – with self control and discipline with my eating and health.
I started taking 1 Corinthians 10:31 seriously. Very seriously.
“Whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of the Lord.”
I started losing weight and I’m still journeying. I have a long way to go in order to get to a healthy weight for my height and frame. This journey is not going to be PERFECT but not quitting is what’s important sisters.
I no longer deal with gluttony, though I DAILY have to rely on the Lord to help me not go back to my old ways.
What was interesting was that the Lord started peeling back layers to this sin in my life. VANITY started being something I was feeling more and more convicted over.
And here is the TRUTH ladies, it is the LORD ALONE who can truly give us Joy, Satisfaction, Comfort, and Peace. HIM ALONE.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
He is a jealous God and even food (something amoral) will not replace Him in your life.
For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
If you would like to talk to other women about this, please feel free to join our Food-Idol group. It is for Christian women to keep one another accountable and grow together as we journey.