When Food Is An Idol, Part 5: Outward Focus

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 14:17, NLT

Outward Focus

Caroline is a Christian. She’s also suffers from emotional pain that she doesn’t know how to handle and isn’t willing to confront. Instead of working through her problems in a productive manner, she attempts to cover them up by eating…and eating…and eating.

Obsession with food creates a vicious cycle of temptation and indulgence, which leads to intense feelings of guilt, shame, and self-disgust. After several failed attempts to gain self-control in this area, a food addict feels hopeless and helpless to change. A person like Caroline often sinks into deep depression and isolates herself from family and friends em. Unfortunately, Caroline and those like her will continue in that lonely existence until they move from a selfish way of thinking to a life that’s passionate about serving God and others.

Your spiritual growth is stunted when you remain in bondage to the sin of overeating. Disobedience blocks the abundant life God has for you and holds back his richest blessings. But, oh, the glorious freedom you experience when you surrender and your vision is restored! God removes the guilt of your sin and places a fresh desire in your heart for him. The wonder of his unfailing love causes compassion to rise up within you, and you are motivated to serve others.

I’ve experienced this situation in my own life. When I feel sad or depressed, I usually stop talking (that’s when you KNOW something’s up) and withdraw. I also lose interest in activities that I normally enjoy, such as cooking and exercise. My emotions are at rock bottom, making me vulnerable to the enemy’s schemes, which causes me to make poor choices with eating. This behavior may go on for a few days until I listen to the Lord’s reprimand of, “Get over yourself, Kristen.” Finally, I do what I should have the moment I started feeling sorry for myself. I sit down, open my Bible, and let the light of God’s Word shine into my heart. The black cloud of despair is lifted. I say good-bye to my pity party, and vision is restored. The focus is no longer on myself but on God and the people he wants me to reach.

Peter Sinclair, a devout environmentalist, has a powerful quotation that more than likely wasn’t intended to have spiritual implications. However, it brilliantly describes this aspect of the healing process:

“Depression loses its power when fresh vision pierces the darkness.”

What a beautiful picture of what happens when the blinders Satan has put over your eyes are removed by the truth of God’s Word! Everything in your life has color again. You overflow with hope. You see each day as a gift instead of drudgery. You forget about your own problems and seek opportunities to bless others.

An ongoing struggle with food is merely Satan’s attempt to distract you from living out God’s purposes for your life. The enemy has discovered one of your weaknesses and has pounced on it.

Stop letting him steal your joy! Close your ears to his lies! You’ve been listening to his foolishness for far too long. Now is the time to stand firm in your faith and believe God’s promises. Remember, the Lord has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).” The Lord is waiting to lead you into the promised land.

God will give you victory in this area of your life. Do you believe it? I hope so because it’s true! The Lord promises to provide the strength you need for lasting change, but you have to trust him. Begin thanking God today for rescuing you from the chains of food addiction because he already has. Go forward in freedom, my friend, and live boldly for your God!

When Food Is An Idol, Part 4: Upward Focus
When Food Is An Idol, Part 3: Inward Focus
When Food Is An Idol, Part 2
When Food Is An Idol

A note from Kristen:
I pray that this series on food addiction/emotional eating has been a source of encouragement. When I began writing it this week, I had no idea what direction it would take. Each day I waited for God to give me words to share. If you have questions or want to share your story, please email me. Thank you for being open to listening to what God may want you to hear. Even if it was for only one person, it was worth it, especially if that person was YOU. 🙂

May the Lord bless you and pour out his favor on your life as you surrender to Him.


  1. This devotional really blessed my life! Thank you for allowing God to use you!

    • Praise the Lord! I always love to hear how God uses my writing to draw others closer to Him. May the Lord give you strength and victory as you trust in Him!

  2. Thank you so much for this devotional on idols. Food addition has been my idol for years. I have just recoverd from breast cancer and am cancer free. I ordered you new book today and excited about what the Lord will so to give me victory and draw closer to him. Thank you for putting the Daniel Fast on my website. God bless you as you serve the risen Savior.

  3. I just found this and I thank you for being obedient in writing it. I have struggled with weight a long time as I have used food to medicate my emotions. I know what to do to lose but lost faith I could keep it off because I sought food for comfort, I know I must abide under the shadow and trust him, I receive in Jesus name that the chain is broken, that Satan’s lies of needing sugar and food for my struggles no longer have control over me but the Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want.

    • Amen, Kim! The Lord is your strength, and He has given you victory over this struggle. It’s a daily walk of faith, depending upon His power to help you. You can do it! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).