Sin: Gluttony Verdict? Guilty
Gluttony is an excessive and ongoing eating of food or drink.
As someone who has spent her entire adult life approximately 20 pounds overweight, I’ve begun to search for clues as to why that is. Why this obsession with food? Where did my eating habits go awry?
Possibly in childhood when I was told to clean my plate even if I was full. Children were starving in places like China, don’t you know.
If I had a bowl for cereal I was meant to fill the bowl, wasn’t I? It never occurred to me that I could eat a lesser amount. That if I wasn’t hungry I didn’t have to eat. Three meals a day. There were no options. But I wasn’t overweight as a child. Not even in early adulthood.
In my thirties the weight came on and never left. I wasn’t overly concerned. I’d try to lose sometimes, but I was healthy and I didn’t look “that bad.” I was average, and I was okay with that.
But lately I’ve begun to examine my eating habits. I’ve begun to study the customers in the coffee place where I work, making note of those who are severely overweight, especially. The ones who come in and basically order a cup of sugar with a hint of coffee and the kind of food that has virtually no nutritional value.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we are a nation of gluttons. Not only when it comes to food, but in so many areas of our lives. We have too much. Too many choices, too easily obtained. But I’m going to stick to food for the purpose of this blog.
Note: Approximately a third of Americans are obese; another third are overweight. That’s 2/3 of the country.
As part of my effort to live a healthier lifestyle and make better food choices, I began to follow fitness and eating experts on Instagram. I know what kinds of foods are good for me. But that doesn’t keep me from downing an entire bag of Cheetos in one day. Or consuming most of a giant Hershey’s bar in one sitting. And I began to ask myself why that is.
It’s because I’m a glutton. I want what I want when I want it, and I have the wherewithal to obtain it and consume it. I could exert some self-control, but I don’t. I haven’t.
We all want instant results to our efforts, especially when it comes to diet or exercise. If we don’t lose several pounds after a couple of days of effort we give up and go back to our old indulgent ways.
But what if we looked at the way we eat as gluttony? Do you want to be a glutton? I don’t. I don’t want to view myself that way. I have to look at food in a different way.
Food is meant to be fuel for the body. But we’ve elevated food to cult status, haven’t we? Our lives revolve around food. Chefs are celebrities. Social media is glutted with photos of food and recipes galore. Restaurants thrive on our need to break bread with friends and family. Or they did prior to 2020.
Cavemen didn’t have such easily available food sources. They spent a great part of their lives hunting for food they could eat to stay alive and maintain their energy. Without that energy how were they to protect their families and go out and hunt the next day?
I’m going to try to keep the cavemen in mind from now on. I’m going to try to curb my gluttony when it comes to food. I’m going to ask myself these questions before I eat:
Am I hungry? Truly hungry. Is my stomach growling? How long has it been since I last ate? What is my body telling me it needs right now? Protein? Vegetables? Fruit? Carbs? And I will try to provide what my body needs and only what it needs. When my body says, enough! I will try to listen to it. Note: It’s okay to be hungry. It’s okay if your stomach growls. You don’t have to eat immediately.
Am I eating out of habit or because I’m sad, lonely, bored, depressed? Am I trying to fill a hole left from some other aspect of my life? Because chances are, that hole I try to fill with chips or chocolate will still be there and I’ll feel unfulfilled because I overindulged in something my body didn’t need.
Does my gluttony keep me from fulfilling God’s plan for me? Because that’s the real sin. If I make myself so overweight and so unhealthy, that I’m unable to do the work He wants me to do, I’ve failed God. I’ve taken the gifts he’s given me and thrown them away.
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Psalm 78:17-19 “Yet they kept on with their rebellion, sinning against the God who is above all gods. They murmured and complained, demanding other food than God was giving them.”
Philippians 3:19-20 “Their future is eternal loss, for their god is their appetite: they are proud of what they should be ashamed of;
Proverbs 23:1-3 “When dining with a rich man, be on your guard and don’t stuff yourself, though it all tastes so good for he is trying to bribe you, and no good is going to come of his invitation.”
Proverbs 23:19-21 “O my son, be wise and stay in God’s paths; don’t carouse with drunkards and gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the house of God, and that the Spirit of God lives among you in his house? If anyone defiles and spoils God’s home, God will destroy him. For God’s home is holy and clean, and you are that home.”
Temperance cures gluttony by implanting
the desire to be healthy.