Bulimic Spirituality

Bulimia nervosa, commonly known as bulimia, is an eating disorder and psychological condition in which the subject engages in recurrent binge eating followed by feelings of guilt, depression, and self-condemnation and intentional purging to compensate for the excessive eating, usually to prevent weight gain (see anorexia nervosa). Purging can take the form of vomiting, fasting, inappropriate use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics or other medication, or excessive physical exercise. The cycle damages bodily organs. Bulimia is common especially among young women of normal or nearly normal weight (Wikipedia).

I am reading a book What the Best College Teachers Do coincidentally, about what great college teachers do to motivate their students in their courses. It is fascinating. Early in the book I ran across the term “bulimic education” a kind of cram (binge) for a test because its important to remember and give back (purge) on a test all those facts the instructors wants the student to remember, thinking that with this common exercise, one has learned something.

When I saw that term, I thought about the thousands of followers of Jesus who have “bulimic spirituality.” They binge on certain spiritual activities and then purge all over anyone who will listen to their new found spirituality. I used to call this part of the flock “constipated Christians” always taking in and rarely giving out until the preverbal cork pops and then they vomit on whoever is the closest. But, I think it is time for a “phrase upgrade” from “constipated Christians” although I still like the ring of that, to “bulimic spirituality.”

In what “spirituality” are you bulimic? If it works like the physical / psychological, we probably don’t ever recognize the condition in our lives, much less know what specific spiritually we binge and purge with.

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