7 Steps to Freedom from Overeating, Emotional Eating, Food Addiction, and Other Destructive Habits
Step 1: Freely admit that I lack the strength, willpower, and perseverance to overcome my destructive habits.
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18
“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Step 2: Recognize that it is through Christ’s strength and power that I can overcome my destructive habits. Turn my choices, my will, and my life over to God. Pray that He would empty me of negative thoughts and emotions and fill me with the power, love, and self-control of the Holy Spirit. In times of weakness, rely on His power to make wise choices that glorify and honor God.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
Step 3: Examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. Repent of my sins and humbly ask God to help remove my shortcomings so I can grow and mature to become more like Christ.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 29:33-34
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Step 4: Evaluate the quality of the relationships in my life. Ask God to help me forgive those who have hurt me, extend forgiveness to those I have hurt, and repair the broken relationships in my life.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18
Step 5: Dedicate time for God daily through prayer, Bible reading, and meditation. Understand that every day not surrendered to the Spirit will be surrendered to the flesh by default. Ask God to help me surrender to the Spirit and resist temptations of the flesh.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:16-18
Step 6: Open my mind to fully believing in and trusting in God, my heart to fully receiving Him into my life, and my eyes to be able to see Him working all around me. Pray for wisdom, understanding, and daily guidance from the Holy Spirit.
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:9-12
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:4-5
Step 7: Make a commitment to repeating these steps as often as necessary to free myself from destructive habits and experience true freedom that comes from living a Christ-like life.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
“I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
“A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree. Proverbs 11:28 MSG