This is a guest post by Michelle Myers, who writes about Faith, Family & Fitness and has an excellent story to share about God’s plan and work in her life. I hope that you’ll check out her book and blog, I’m incredibly inspired by and admire her work! “When life is so much more complicated than just uttering the dude word!”…

When “Dude, Just Eat Something” Doesn’t Work…

Con­fronting some­one with an eat­ing dis­or­der is never com­fort­able. Eat­ing dis­or­ders are as unique as the indi­vid­ual, so there’s no “one size fits all” approach to start­ing this crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion. How­ever, here are some gen­eral guide­lines of how to bib­li­cally approach some­one with a sin issue in their life, such as an eat­ing disorder.

Speak the truth in love. No mat­ter how dif­fi­cult it may be, don’t just look the other way. Eat­ing dis­or­ders have man­aged to cre­ate an image as a dis­ease rather than a sin addic­tion, but that’s just a lie. Yes, eat­ing dis­or­ders have phys­i­cal con­se­quences. Yes, eat­ing dis­or­ders are very much a men­tal bat­tle. But so is being addicted to cocaine. Speak truth into their life because you love them.

“Then we will no longer be imma­ture like chil­dren. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teach­ing. We will not be influ­enced when peo­ple try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, grow­ing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together per­fectly. As each part does its own spe­cial work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and grow­ing and full of love.“
– Eph­esians 4:14–16

After you address your con­cern, pray for them before you leave, and ask them to pray about your con­ver­sa­tion on their own. If you were angry with some­one and they prayed over you, how would it change your heart? You prob­a­bly would find that your heart was soft­ened just by their words. The power of prayer is incred­i­ble. Don’t just tell them you’ll be pray­ing for them. SHOW them by pray­ing for them right then so they can see how you are actively tak­ing their life to God.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anx­ious thoughts. Point out any­thing in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of ever­last­ing life.“
– Psalm 139:23–24

Remind them if they just sub­mit their whole life to God, He will change them. The power of addic­tion can seem so strong that there’s no way to over­come it. That is a LIE! What seems impos­si­ble for us isn’t even dif­fi­cult for God. It’s just a mat­ter of giv­ing Him control.

“For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose con­duct shows they are really ene­mies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruc­tion. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shame­ful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are cit­i­zens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly wait­ing for him to return as our Sav­ior. He will take our weak mor­tal bod­ies and change them into glo­ri­ous bod­ies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring every­thing under his con­trol.“
– Philip­pi­ans 3:18–21

“No human wis­dom or under­stand­ing or plan can stand against the Lord.” Prov. 21:30.

Ground them in His Words…not yours. As no-brainer logic as “Dude, just eat some­thing!” may sound, eat­ing dis­or­ders are much more com­pli­cated. No mat­ter how great you think your argu­ment is for why they should stop their destruc­tive behav­ior, your words aren’t sharper than a double-edged sword. God’s are. Give them as much Scrip­ture as you pos­si­bly can that applies to their issue, and allow the Holy Spirit to con­vict them.

“And so, dear broth­ers and sis­ters, I plead with you to give your bod­ies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a liv­ing and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find accept­able. This is truly the way to wor­ship him. Don’t copy the behav­ior and cus­toms of this world, but let God trans­form you into a new per­son by chang­ing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleas­ing and per­fect.“
– Romans 12:1–2

“You made all the del­i­cate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for mak­ing me so won­der­fully com­plex! 
Your work­man­ship is marvelous—how well I know it.“
– Psalm 139:13–14

Remind them that God has already for­given them & help them find the path to for­giv­ing them­selves. One of the biggest issues any repen­tant Chris­t­ian will deal with is guilt. They may not be will­ing to admit they have a prob­lem after your first con­ver­sa­tion, but it never hurts to remind them of the grace we have avail­able to us because of Jesus’ self­less death on the cross.

“So now there is no con­dem­na­tion for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death“
– Romans 8:1–2

You can read how God restored me to Him and to health in my book, The Look that Kills: An Anorexic’s Addic­tion to Control.