Awhile back, while having a strategic discussion about how to approach weight loss, Mike and I had a conversation that really stuck with me regarding gluttony. The bible talks about it and labels it a sin, just like overeating or sexual immorality. In fact, it was even listed as one of the sins that led to Sodom's destruction (Ezekiel 16:49, NLT states: Sodom's sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness...).
What specifically stuck with me was how so many Christians look down on overindulging in alcohol, but don't think twice about overindulging in food (us included!).Like most people, we really use food to celebrate (and I don't think there's anything wrong with that). So at what point does it become sinful?
What would we say or think if we saw a family member get falling-down drunk at Thanksgiving dinner? Would we rationalize that they had a good excuse, because it's a holiday or would we still look down on the behavior? So what if we overeat until we need to be rolled out the door? We think nothing of that; in fact, most of us can completely relate. So just like having a drink isn't a sin, enjoying good food, in my opinion, also is not. But overindulging is.
So, how do we flip the switch and change our way of thinking to be more godly when it comes to overeating? My best answer at this point is to ask you to let me know if you find a way, because I haven't yet found it! ;-)
For starters, I looked at the definition of gluttony. I guess I never really viewed overeating at the occasional meal as gluttony. I pictured some 400 lb dude surrounded by food; eating day and night. However, the dictionary definition of gluttony is simply as follows: "excessive eating and drinking". So how does the bible define it? I decided to look at the passage from Ezekiel in different translations to see if it shed any light:
NIV: Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned...
NASB: Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease...
ESV: Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease...
Clearly, there have been many times in my life that "overfed, abundant food and excess of food" have applied. Heck, there have been times in the past week!
Does that mean that I can't ever LIKE or ENJOY food? I don't think so. I just believe it's about moderation.
I must try to work on that, especially with my birthday coming up...
I'd like to ask that you find some other bible verses regarding overeating and gluttony and post them in the comments section. Here's one more from me:
Proverbs 23:20-21 (NIV):
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.