A few weeks ago, I posted a new profile picture on Facebook. Shortly after posting, a dear friend who I consider a second mom wrote and told me that I looked anorexic in the picture. I understood her point: In the picture, my hair is pulled back, and I’m wearing shades. Perhaps my face does look a bit thin?
Though I’m well within my ‘ideal weight,’ I took her comment very seriously, as it hit close to home.
It was the summer before my last year of college. I was dating a guy that was very focused (more like obsessed) and also a huge exercise enthusiast. His physique was (and still is) model perfect.
Though I enjoy exercising and eating right, I became possibly as obsessed as he was. I quickly developed certain eating habits and exercise routines. I could stand to lose a few pounds and did, but I kept losing. I couldn’t figure out how to add calories back in to my diet without worrying that I’d gain back everything that I had worked so hard to lose.
Though I didn’t get as thin as some, I definitely got too thin and, yes, could be considered anorexic. It hit me when I went to donate blood and was denied because I didn’t meet the weight requirement.
Since that time, I’ve been very mindful to not go back to that place, and I’ve done well.
As I thought of that time in my life, I could see the dots connecting to how many of us will emulate that same behavior in our spirituality. We focus and get determined to reach a level that we’ve never reached. We obsess. We control. We become spiritually anorexic.
There is a saying that goes something like, “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.” I know many people despise that saying and believe that it’s impossible to be too heavenly minded. I get that and respect their opinion, I do. But, I believe what that saying speaks to is having balance and moderation. Sometimes, we really can get so deep into our spirituality that the world around us fades. We shut out friends and loved ones and sometimes get to the point of not being able to relate to anyone.
Perhaps few have gotten that obsessed, but one thing I have seen over and over again is Christians getting so deep into their faith that they look down their noses to those that aren’t as deep as they are. They start acting as though they are in an exclusive group that has the keys to the “magic kingdom.”
How can we spread the love of Christ if we are so focused within that we no longer relate to the outside world? I’m not talking just within our own self, but also within our church/congregation.
When, in our spiritual anorexia, we disassociate with who we label a ‘sinner’ (or an outsider) we truly cease being the Body of Christ. Remember the company Jesus kept. The only ones he disassociated with were those within (Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.) who had become spiritually anorexic.
I’m in no way saying to quit pursuing God, I’m just saying to be mindful.