We see young people and older people talk about fat grams in food all the time.
We also see it on billboards, magazines, and other media which boast thin waif-like women all around. They feel worth based on their outward looks and performance which leads them to inflict punishment on themselves.
Many people’s search for beauty and worth is limited to the food they eat and the body type they have. The gospel teaches us that our worth isn’t based on our outward appearance, but on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Our worth is based on the perfect performance of Christ on the cross on our behalf. You don’t have to be thin and fit to be loved. You are beautiful, loved, and accepted in Christ.
1. Pray for them
If you have a friend who has an eating disorder and doesn’t know Christ, then pray for them and encourage them. You have to pray for God to rescue them from lies they’ve believed that have contributed to an eating disorder. 1 Thessalonians 5:11– “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
2. Proclaim the Gospel to them
Spend time telling them what the Bible says about their worth. No pep talk will help them enough in their struggle. Even if you constantly tell her they are beautiful; it wouldn’t be enough. Because you need to tell them the gospel of Christ. Confront them with the fact that they are a sinner who is in need of a Savior. Above all, comfort them with the truth that Jesus is perfect for her and has taken God’s wrath in her place. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).
3. Invite them to church
Invite your friend to church if they want to be free her from their addiction. Take your friend to church with you and invest in her life. Invite them to hear the truth and talk about it with them.
4. Be a good Listener
As you converse with your friend, listen carefully to what they say and then counter them with the truth of God’s Word. Listen to their story of the pain they have endured with a compassionate heart. Encourage them to process that pain in a healthy way.
5. Share good eating habits and exercise with them
If they have no idea what it is to eat and exercise normally, then you be the one to teach them again what it is. You will need to be patient but don’t give up on them. Gospel-centered friendships are formed in God’s love, and you have to be patient and kind with your friend. Point them back to Christ and take every opportunity to share the love of Christ with them.
You are the point of contact of Christ in your friend’s life and you have to be the hands and feet through which Jesus will move in their lives.