The Sin of Gluttony

gluttonyGluttony is defined as overeating or indulging yourself in the area of food, not just to survive, but to the point that it’s actually bad for your body. Since the Middle Ages, it has been considered one of the seven deadly sins. (The others are anger, sloth, greed, pride, lust, and envy.)

Having grown up as a missionary kid in a land of poverty, I am shocked when I see Americans demanding all of their food to taste wonderful, or they won’t eat it. They criticize their wives for making normal food because they have grown accustomed to eating at restaurants all the time before they got married. Restaurants have food prepared by professional chefs. Even fast food places have perfected the taste of their foods. But Americans consider this the norm. They will not eat anything that is not up to the standard of chefs. The taste buds of Americans demand satisfaction, and they grumble that they deserve more expensive food, as if God hadn’t already provided their needs.

Or they are too lazy to make their own food, as if frying an egg and putting it on toast won’t fill their stomach and take less than five minutes to prepare.

A lust for food is just as much of a sin as a lust for any other object, and we are told in Scripture not to live to excess. Often we know of needy people in our church who are hard-working, but their children don’t have enough to eat. Meanwhile we stuff down a few more potato chips into our bodies that are becoming blobs.

Yes, when we don’t take care of our bodies, we become sluggish and cannot do as much for the kingdom of God because we feel foggy and blah. If we honestly have excessive food in our homes, we can give it to people right here in our country whose stomachs are hurting because they are hungry.

I’m not saying that it’s sin to feast once in a while, like at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Jesus feasted, and God the Father commanded the Israelites to observe sacred feasts. During wedding celebrations, you were expected to feast. What I’m talking about is the habitual overeating that we do in this country, or worse, the habitual over snacking. We cram more and more worthless calories down our throats until we feel sick.

Lots of people are experiencing depression because the chemicals in their bodies need nutrients. We need vegetables and fruits mostly, with some protein. I can’t tell you how much better I feel in the afternoon when I grab some raw broccoli, rinse it off, and stuff it in my mouth instead of junk food. Suddenly my brain fog clears, and I’m more highly productive. I wonder how many people are on Prozac, when all they needed was to eat a salad.

Let’s stop wallowing in food that is bad for us. Let’s stop being greedy when it comes to food. People in other countries stop eating when they’re full. They don’t keep eating and eating and eating after they are full. It wouldn’t even make sense to them.

I remember once my husband and I decided to share a salad at a restaurant, and then we shared a meal. For the first time eating out, our stomachs felt good instead of feeling so tight that they would rupture our pants. I mean, really? Do we have to feel so stuffed that we are hurting before we stop eating?

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7 Responses to “The Sin of Gluttony”

  1. Perfect timing , I was struggling with a cloudy mind today – celery helped!

  2. Jen says:

    Well said!

  3. I am right there with you having spent 23 years in Africa. God does not want us to make food our god. But then fitness can also become a god. We have to be careful in all we do to keep God on the throne even as we seek to take care of His temple of our bodies. I love your idea of splitting a meal and a salad when you go out to a restaurant with your husband.

    • Susan says:

      I agree with you that fitness can become a god, too. I see this all the time with people working out at the gym every day and counting every calorie for years.

  4. Julie says:

    It’s true that food affects how we feel and we wonder why people feel sick and problems are on the rise!
    Eating the right portion sizes is missing from the U.S.

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