Redeemed From the Pit: Biblical Repentance and Restoration From the Bondage of Eating Disorders by Marie Notcheva
Interior Publications, imprint of Calvary Press, 2011
Forward is written by Martha Peace
Marie is a certified Biblical Counselor under Jay Adams’ Biblical counseling program and is currently working on her NANC certification.
Marie’s Blog: http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/
Video testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPOHvay61Lc
“Disordered eating” is something that many woman today struggle with. Insecurity in appearance, food addiction, obsession with being thin, the tendency to overeat, struggles with maintaining weight; even as far as abusing your body to stay thin… these things and more are very often symptoms of a deeper issue; a deeper issue that begins in the mind, more specifically, in one’s thoughts and worship (or lack thereof) of God.
In her book, Redeemed From the Pit, Marie gives her personal testimony of her obsession with being thin and struggle with bulimia and then how she found victory and freedom in Christ. She counsels her readers of what the real issue is: sin; and what the only real solution is: realizing what Christ has done for you, repenting of your sin, and trusting and believing that you are in Christ and that He has given us what we need to have freedom and victory over the desires of the flesh!
While this book is written most specifically for women dealing with bulimia, Marie gives some great insight and counsel for women struggling with disordered eating of any kind (anorexia, overeating, struggles with weight, etc.). It is a strong Biblical guide to what our attitude should be towards our body, towards food, and points the reader towards the only One who can satisfy, comfort and perfect us: Jesus Christ. While she recognizes that outside causes can sometimes lead to eating disorders she clearly teaches that that is no excuse. We make our own choices and we’re responsible for them. She discusses root sins (like vanity, anger, bitterness or unforgiveness, jealousy, fear of man, pride, selfishness) that can lead to one’s disordered eating and that they need to be dealt with and repented of. She also discusses how this sin (like all sins) is rooted in idolatry – the worship of something besides God and teaches what true repentance is and how we should walk in repentance on a daily basis. There’s a chapter dedicated to seeking godly counsel (how to know who to go to, who to seek counsel from), and she discusses the role of the church in counseling and the sufficiency of Scripture to give us the answers. She talks about what the Gospel is and what it means practically for the Christian that we are “in Christ”. There’s a chapter on the importance of our thinking and what it means to put off sin (or wrong thinking), and put on righteousness (or right, Christ-centered thinking). There are two chapters on the importance of forgiveness (not holding on to bitterness), a chapter on the practical side of things (like health problems that can be the result of eating disorders), and another chapter on why it’s important to tell someone about the struggle you have.
To share a few quotes:
“I had to deliberately choose, over and over to lay my wrong thinking (preoccupation with food and weight) down on the altar and reprogram my mind with the truth of God’s Word.” (p. 52)
“ ’In Christ’ clearly refers to our justified position, and carries with it the implication of obedience and being conformed to the character of Christ – not seeking to find ‘meaning’ or personal fulfillment.” (p. 99)
“Take comfort in the fact that the same Lord Who was willing to heal the lepers of Judea is also ready, willing and more than able to cleanse you. In fact, as He works in your heart, you will conquer this sin because He has already conquered it.” (p. 153)
“Throughout His Word, God assures His Children that if they will change their thinking and attitudes toward sin, He will enable them to turn around and change their ways.” (p. 175)
“God wants us to change and to bear fruit for His glory (John 15:8). The Gospel, not ‘self-help’, is the key to change (Rom 6:11, Isa 55:1-2), and we, His redeemed children, are responsible to exert effort in our sanctification (Phil 2:12).” (p. 193)
“Effective counseling grows out of discipleship, the mentoring necessary for a new Christian to grow to maturity.” (p. 199-200)
“…the best-equipped, most doctrinally sound facility in the world will not be able to help someone who does not truly desire to forsake her sin.” (p. 204)
“Just as one sin very often leads to another, disciplined training in righteousness (learning to forgive, even though it goes against our wills) can likewise lead to changed behavior and ‘putting on’ of self-control in another (overcoming food addiction).” (p. 249-250)