The Real Reason You Can't Stop Overeating

The woman at the well discovered the secret.
The woman at the well discovered the secret. (Pixabay/Smaragd)

The account of the woman at the well in John 4 is a beautiful story of how Jesus desires to meet our deepest needs. (Now, if you're a man, don't stop here because this story is about a woman. It applies to all of us!)

If we are not allowing Jesus to meet our deepest needs on an ongoing basis, then we are like the woman at the well.

Are you an emotional eater? Do you often drink alcohol to soothe a deep emotion? Maybe you spend endless hours watching television or surfing the internet. Maybe you exercise excessively. Do you have a habit of shopping for clothes even though you don't really need them? Are you in and out of illicit relationships? Maybe it's something else that you do to feel "satisfied" or to meet the deep need you have to be in a relationship with your Creator.

The woman at the well in John 4 symbolizes a person who attempts to meet a deep spiritual need in ways other than how God can meet them. She goes to a well to draw water, but at a deeper lever, she has a need for a touch from Jesus. So, the water represents our food, illicit sex, drinking, shopping, gaming and more. These and other behaviors we engage in can be our attempt to meet a need that is really a spiritual need deep inside. Until the woman meets Jesus and He makes her need clear to her, she may have been unaware of her spiritual need in a conscious sense.

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Maybe you feel emotional pain, or hopeless or a deep yearning that you can't put your finger on. But, you find yourself going to your "well" time and time again, only to be left unsatisfied or fulfilled.

Jesus desires to meet the deep need you have. Just as he ministered to the woman at the well, he desires to minister to you. You see, the spiritual water that he can provide is never-ending:

"Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst" (John 4:14a).

When we choose to continually go to our spiritual well—to Jesus—then His spring of water bubbles up in our life in a way that quenches our thirst. Only Jesus can meet the needs that you might be attempting to satisfy in ways that don't really work.

After the woman at the well was touched spiritually by Jesus, she left her water jar at the well and went into town to share the good news of the Christ. The jar represents those things and behaviors that Jesus wants us to leave behind because we have experienced him, not just once at salvation, but day in and day out.

So, I encourage you to allow the Spirit of God to help you search your heart and reveal to you if you've been attempting to meet a deep spiritual need apart from Jesus. If He shows you something, confess it to God; turn from it, with His help; and be filled with his love and grace and kindness—by his living, flowing, thirst-quenching water.

Then go share your story with others who need to hear it!

Dale Fletcher, executive director of Faith and Health Connection Ministry, is a speaker and wellness coach who lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. He conducts workshops and retreats on the link between the Christian faith and health. Connect with Dale at and on Facebook.

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