Combating Shame in Eating Disorder Recovery

Oh, the deep embarrassment, the disgrace we sometimes feel over having an eating disorder. Perhaps you can relate to that feeling, but please know that you don’t deserve to feel shame over having an eating disorder. Whether it’s an eating disorder, an addiction, an addictive behavior or some kind of stronghold, we all struggle with something as we go through this life.

I remember finding it difficult to talk with God about my eating disorder. One day, though, when I actually did speak with Him about it, He responded to me, “You have nothing to be ashamed of.” To hear it directly from Him was probably the only way I would have ever believed it. Even so, it was difficult at the time to think He would really say that when it was so contrary to how I felt. But when God speaks, we know that what He says is true regardless of our feelings at the time.

When the shame comes, turn it around. Remind yourself that God loves you unconditionally. Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing can separate you from God’s love. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. If none of these things can separate you from God’s love, neither can shame. So embrace His love for you and give your shame to Him.

In Christian eating disorder recovery, let God help you let go of shame. He doesn’t want you to live buried in remorse. He loves you and wants you to be free of the burden of shame. While Psalm 145:13b-14 doesn’t specifically mention shame, it does convey the message that God wants to lift up His children. The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. Let the truth of His Word sink into your heart, and let Him help you let go of shame.