‘For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’
Do you recognize that lie? That was the very first lie, Satan, the father of devils told man.
And man believed it.
Did he become a god? Did he become someone who could save himself?
Sadly, he fell, fell away from the glory with which God originally created man, but that was NOT the end.
In fact that was the beginning of the story of how God’s truth, Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life ALWAYS wins out.
Today I’m going to talk about those lies for the REAL TALK Mental Health Monday that Julia hosts. This link-up is precious. It’s hard, because it’s not all roses and butterflies, but you will find posts that open up, that expose the rawness of the struggle, the beauty of victory, and the ups and downs of mental illnesses and health struggles.
Thank you Julia. <3 Words can’t express how thankful I am for this opportunity.
ED tells you a lot of lies. Daily, Satan, especially doesn’t like God’s children. He fires lies at you mercilessly, and since I’m … talking from the personal experience of someone who struggled with an eating disorder, I wanted to specifically kind of ‘open up old wounds’ (not in a bad way) and recount EVERY single lie that the devil tries to make you believe in an ED, and the truth that has always pulled me out.
Lie #1 – You are NOT good enough. You need to be better. YOU need to save yourself. If you aren’t strong enough, no-one is, and you are a failure.
What is the truth? The truth is that Jesus Christ is good enough. He covered all my sin. He made me righteous, accepted in God’s sight. God loved me because He loved me.
Ephesians 1:3-7, ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenlyplaces in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
This is the truth. Other passages that I cling to when I am feeling just so hopeless about my eternal state of hope and salvation are 2 Corinthians 5 and 1 John (the whole book), because 1 John is a TREMENDOUSLY beautiful book that emphasizes that salvation was the LOVE of God towards us, not our love towards Him. It emphasizes that what saves us was His rich grace, and in fact, that is emphasized everywhere in the Scriptures. The Scriptures emphasize rich grace, undeserved FREE love, and the power of God in salvation, not my power. His power is what I cling to, not my own.
Lie #2 – Sugar is evil. It is bad to eat dessert if it’s any time during the day or more than once a day.
What is truth? God made EVERYTHING good. He said that, and I have to believe Him.
Genesis 1:31, ‘And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.’
Life is not about sugar or the amount that I eat. Paul himself warns the Colossians, the Romans, and the Corinthians to not make a big deal about food, because the essence of the kingdom of God goes far deeper than food. The essence of Jesus’ coming to earth was not just physical healing, but it was to SAVE SINNERS, to RECONCILE them to God, and FOOD is just an added and beautiful gift from Him.
Jesus said His mission in Luke 5:32, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’
Jesus beckoned the broken in Matthew 11:28-30, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Lie #3 – Would God really want to save someone like me from my misery, from my terrible idolatry of my body and food?
Paul himself answers that question in 1 Timothy 1. This was Paul’s own personal testimony of how God saved him, even though he considered himself the ‘chief of sinners.’
1 Timothy 1:12-15, ‘And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.’
Is God’s power limited? No, it’s not. Throughout the Bible, I’ve seen over and over again how God delivered the Israelites, saved people from the IMPOSSIBLE, divided the Red Sea, convicted the hardest of hearts like the thief on the cross, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God healed people from 25 miles away. (John 4:43-54) No one can stop the salvation of God. It is His power. (Romans 1:16)
Lie #4 – I just have to love God enough, and that will get me out of this ED.
Was it my love to Him that gave me hope? Rather, the story of salvation tells an exact opposite story.
Ephesians 2:4-6, ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:’
God is in the business of raising the dead to life. The whole 3 years of ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth was a glorious taste of it, and His quickening power has been seen SO many times throughout the centuries. He quickens the dead. If I was dead, I couldn’t do anything, but it was ALL Him, and that’s what makes me secure.
Psalm 147:5-6, ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.’
Romans 8 – NOTHING. NOTHING can separate you from His love.
‘In Christ Alone my Hope is Found.’ That’s my shelter in the midst of EVERY lie that the devil throws.
Lie #5 – I have to live up to other’s standards, even if it kills me.
What is truth? The truth is that I’m God’s child, adopted by His grace, and so who do I live to please? Who is my Daddy?
Matthew 6:24, ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’
Who saved my soul? A perfect body or the perfect workout didn’t save my soul. GOD did. He deserves all of my worship and praise and life, because He is God, and He is my Father, who loves me.
Psalm 126:3, ‘The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.’
Lie #6 – A certain ‘weight’ is weight restored for EVERYONE, whether or not you have your period.
What is the truth? God made everybody different, and even though our bodies are affected by sin, God heals and restores EACH body in a different way. It does NOT look the same for everyone, because God made us all different. God restores bodies in different ways, and don’t compare your journey to another’s.
Psalm 119:73-74, ‘Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.’
Lie #7 – You need to LOOK ‘good enough’ before you can be saved.
What is the truth? Did God save people because they were good enough?
Look at Deuteronomy 6:6-8, ‘For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.’
Did the Lord God choose them because of something in them? No. He loved them. He brought them out with a mighty hand, because He wanted to. I can’t explain His purposes, but His purposes and plans are perfect.
Lie #8 – You will get fat if you eat fat. You will be bloated if you eat carbs or dairy.
What is the truth? This one is a simple one. Tell yourself the truth. Did God make fat? Yes He did. Is God good? Yes God is good. Did God make cows and dairy? Yes He did, and it’s okay to eat it. <3
Lie #9 – It’s better to be stressed about eating healthy than eating ice cream and enjoying it.
What is the truth? Is it right to be anxious when God is in control, when God is the Lord of my life, the Creator of the World, when He sent Jesus as the Shepherd of my soul? Did anxiety ever build someone up? Did it ever help someone?
Proverbs 3:5-6, ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’
If I’m anxious about ice cream, what does the Lord say about my anxiety?
Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Lie #10 – You only have to talk yourself out of this ED. You can just convince yourself. You are strong enough, even when you feel weak.
What is the truth? What does Paul say about how God uses EVEN the weak people?
1 Corinthians 1:27-31, ‘But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.’
God uses weak things to show His power. If you are weak, you will see His power to save EVEN more.
Lie #11 – You’re not worth it. You’re not worth saving, and your life doesn’t have any purpose if you’re not an ‘amazing person’ by the world’s definition of ‘success.’
What is the truth? Okay. First of all, I have to RANT, in a really loving way.
DO NOT. DO NOT BELIEVE THIS LIE.
What makes you worth it? Your purpose was predestined before the beginning of the world. GOD defines you, not you. And GOD is Maker, Creator, Sustainer, and Father of those who have been brought to the feet of the cross by His grace. You were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. That makes your purpose one worth living. You weren’t a random speck, evolved from a pile of goo.
What does God say about man’s purpose?
Psalm 8:4-5, ‘What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.’
Was man originally created to struggle and be miserable? No. God is glorious, and He created man with that honor, but when man listened to the lies of the devil, he fell from that glory. And we can’t find that glory but for the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, it is possible. (John 16:33)
Lie #12 – You have to always be strong and never tell people that you are struggling because weakness is bad.
What is the truth? That is just pride talking. Pride is a destroyer. Really, I have learned that my pride always puts me in a situation where I can’t see grace. I can only see myself, and looking at yourself all the time is REALLY miserable. But looking at God and His redeeming power? Now, that is awesome.
That’s why God made me broken. He made me broken. He breaks me everyday in such a loving, kind, way because He only wants the best for His children. Being afflicted isn’t purposeless, because when I am weak, I often realize the care and compassion and mercy of my Father so much more.
James 4:7-10, ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
And who will fight for me?
Exodus 14:14, ‘The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.’
Lie #13 – Nobody will understand. Nobody will care.
What is the truth? As God’s child, what does God promise to His children?
Psalm 50:15, ‘And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’
Isaiah 58:6, ‘Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?’
John 8:36, ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’
1 Corinthians 10:13, ‘There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’
Psalm 61:3, ‘For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.’
Psalm 91:14-15, ‘Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.’
Read all of these. Meditate on them. Cling to them. He will deliver. He is my strong tower, no matter what struggle I have everyday.
Lie #14 – You are defined by what you do, not by your identity in Christ.
Can I just say? This is so not true. It isn’t true, but there are still days that I run around trying to ‘do, do, do’ as if salvation was not of grace. I try to act as if I have to pull myself up by my own bootstraps although I already know that Jesus saves, not for anything in me, but for His name’s sake.
Colossians 2:9-10, ‘For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.’
That verse doesn’t say anything about me bringing myself or saving myself. It’s all Christ, and when I start to think it depends on me, I have to go back, run back knowing that Christ is my only hope.
The last great and precious story and reminder that I wanted to share with you from John 4 just hit me in the face like a brick, (a good brick), and reminded me that Jesus Christ can do the seemingly impossible.
The whole story from John 4:43-54 is incredible, and I wanted to hone in on vs. 49-51, ‘The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.’
You think recovery is impossible? Well, I know that with God, with the power of Jesus to say, ‘Go thy way, thy son liveth,’ saving ANYBODY is not impossible.
So yes, the devil lies, but God is true, and the devil is a liar.
What are the lies ED tells you?
What are the truths you tell yourself about your identity, your body, your soul, mind, and spirit?
What are the verses you cling to, the promises you say to yourself when you are in doubt?