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Misidentified Hunger and the Cure for Emotional Eating

by Abby Kelly  
1/06/2015 / Health

Why do you eat?

Be honest now. Most of us don't eat merely when we're hungry. We eat because we are sad, angry, happy, lonely, boredthe list goes on. A recent article on, stated that 40% of people eat more when they are stressed. They confuse the two very real, very different needs for physical sustenance and emotional support; they seek a solution to emotional pain in food.

On the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus spoke to a crowd who had misidentified their hunger. The day before, Jesus had filled their hungry bellies with bread and fish. Then, he and his disciples crossed the sea. The amazed crowd followed Him like giddy groupies; they asked him for more signs and miracles, but Jesus saw right through them. He told them, "you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves."

The throng trailing after Jesus thought they wanted healings and resurrections, miracle meals and water from wine. But Jesus said, "No. You don't needs signs. You're hungry."

Hungry for what?

Jesus identified their true need: The Bread of Life. He was telling them that the real miracle, the real nourishment He brought, was not filling their bellies but their hearts. They did not understand that what compelled them to follow this man was not "magic" and marvels, but the supernatural, spirit-deep starvation of their souls. Their very souls were crying out for nourishment but mistakenly, they sought fulfillment in the wrong thing. Satisfaction was not to be found in miracles but in the Miracle Worker.

Isn't this exactly what many of us do? We seek the answer to pain or emotional turmoil in physical food instead of in the Bread of Life.

God's Word tells us that He will not share His glory with another. He will not pacify us with merely what we ask for when He knows, He is, what we need. Often we take the thing God provides, and cling to the lie that what comes from His hand will satisfy us.

We must come to understand that food, exercise a healthy bodyeverything earthly, are simply lovely shadows. They do not exist, they do us no good, outside of the One who is Himself our good.

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