Gluttony. Is this sin?

” …for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
    and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” -Proverbs 23:21 (NIV)

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” -Phillipians 3:19 (NIV)

“When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.  Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.” -Proverbs 23:1-3 (NIV)


Gluttony can be defined as excessive eating and/or drinking, or habitual greed, usually related to food. Most people have been guilty of this at some point. Maybe you have another serving of Mom’s famous lasagna even though you’re stuffed…because its just SO GOOOOD! Perhaps an overindulgence of alcohol to the point of drunkenness. Some health-conscious folks may eat every crumb of a huge meal when dining out, since they don’t want to waste it… but don’t want to carry that “cheat meal” home to extend into a “cheat weekend” either.

If you have suffered from an eating disorder, like bulimia or body-dysmorphic disorder, maybe your gluttony is caused by extreme dietary or caloric restriction. This can lead one to “fall off the wagon” and eat a whole jar of peanut butter, an entire package of cookies, or…yes… an entire chocolate sheet cake from Trader Joe’s (so we’ve heard…it’s all natural, right?!)

Whatever the case, as Christians, or even as fit-minded folks, we need to recognize this as sin. This is just an attempt from the enemy to derail us from God’s best for our lives! The enemy doesn’t want us to honor God’s Temple. Just think of the devil with Eve in the Garden of Eden… there was more to it than just an apple. The food is a gateway. It allows the enemy a small foothold to show you that you “cannot resist” temptation. Think of what other temptations that could lead to… like pride or lust. So repent. Ask God for forgiveness. Ask Him for the strength, self-discipline, and self-control to say “NO” to the enemy’s temptation. We CAN resist with Christ! (Scriptures on overcoming temptation)

Next, take practical steps to help keep you out of an environment of temptation. Take note of emotions or circumstances that are prevalent when you get that craving for chocolate cake. Measure your portions until you learn the correct serving size. (This will keep you accountable.) Ask your spouse or a friend to be your accountability partner. Let them keep a lock to your family’s “sweets” cupboard, or ask them to pray with you and talk you out of temptation when it strikes. Try not to keep those foods in the house (if your family can support your quest to overcome).

Lastly, be a light. If your self-control is not where it needs to be yet, avoid dining with friends/family who are practicing gluttony. If you cannot escape these situations, pray for strength before you dine. Try to lead by example. Without condemning them, pray for the Holy Spirit to give them His eyes on their habits. Ask for the ability to eat healthy, realistic portions, without fear of judgement or criticism. Sometimes when we try to make changes, or become healthy, our friends and family will resist the change. This can be because they enjoyed overindulging with us before and they don’t like change. Or, they could actually feel guilty about their OWN eating, and your new healthy habits “turn on the light” in their own life. Whatever the cause, prepare yourself for their resistnace, and don’t take it personally. Just keep on the healthy road, and know that you are doing your best to care for God’s Temple. That’s your responsibility- not theirs. Keep up the great work!

Here’s to your health!







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