Is gluttony really a sin?

As we draw closer to the New Year and we all start making our “New Year, new you” resolutions, I want to share what God has been working out in me.

Many of our resolutions will be to lose weight. That is usually coming after a huge holiday binge fest, right? Eat all we want now because we are going to deny ourselves later. That right there is a sign of the wrong motivation. Anytime we say that we are going to change the way we eat but we are going to start on Monday and binge out til then, we are setting ourselves up for failure because we have the wrong motivation.

Maybe our motivation is a vanity reason. We want to look better. Want to be able to wear our clothes better. Want to be a smaller size. Want people to notice the weight we have lost. This is like chasing the wind. We can certainly do things that make us “look better” but if we don’t like how we look now I can tell you from experience you won’t like what you look like when you lose weight either. There will still be more weight to lose, more muscle to tone, and then having to work so hard to keep a certain “look” that you find approving. These bodies will grow older and never look the same anyway. These bodies are temporary, and we are not to strive for what is temporary, right?

2 Corinthians 4:18
“while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Maybe our motivation is to be healthy. We want to have good health to carry us into our elder years. That seems like a good goal! And it isn’t all bad. We should want to take good care of our bodies because they are the temple of the Holy Spirit. But even our health is fleeting. This still isn’t enough to keep us on track.

So, what then? What is it that can keep us on track? First thing is knowing the truth about overeating.

Proverbs 23:19-21
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
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.

It is obvious that getting drunk is a sin. Well, seems obvious to most anyway and for obvious reasons. I dare say, not a single good decision was made while drunk. But did you know that gluttony ranked right up there with drunkards in the Bible? In church, we wouldn’t laugh at someone getting drunk at an event. No, we would intervene and try to help that person. But we laugh about over indulging in food, don’t we? This sin may be overlooked by most churches but it certainly isn’t overlooked by God.

The good news is, it wasn’t overlooked by Jesus either. He died for that sin. His blood washes it away. He sent the Spirit to abide in us to give us strength to repent that sin and have a heart change over it. That is some pretty strong motivation there, isn’t it?

I had a particularly rough day yesterday. It was really more than one thing but one particular thing was rather tough. I wanted to eat my feelings away and the enemy was saying to me “is it even really a sin anyway?” So, I went to God with that question and guess what book and chapter came to me in my email this morning? Proverbs 23. Those verses I posted earlier are what I read this morning and it is by no coincidence. That was God making it perfectly clear that yes, this is sin.

That is good news, too! Jesus has defeated sin, and since Jesus is a friend of ours and our Savior from sin then we can start walking today in victory over it.

Not on Monday. Not on January 1st. But we can choose today who we will serve; our fleshly desire for overindulgence and the idol of food or Jesus. As for me and my body, we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)

A beast of gluttony

As I sit here thinking about gluttony, I feel wore out. You all know that I have spoken on my gluttony with food more than once. It is such a thorn in my side! Our preacher has started a Wednesday night class that discusses how to apply biblical scripture to our lives. (Shannon Road Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, 6:00…for anyone interested. You dont even have to be a member of the church, just come on) He told us to write down any issues we would like discussed in the class. I wrote a long paragraph this morning about wanting to discuss gluttony and addiction. I wrote about my personal struggle and how I always feel like I am fighting a beast that wont give up. I wrote about how much I have brought God into the battle, yet, every day I wake up and the battle begins again.

I feel wore out and battle worn. Why is killing this sin so important to me? Is it for vanity reasons? Yes. Im not going to lie. I want to look fit and healthy. I want to look better in clothes I wear. That is another battle…I know. I also want to stay active. Sure, I can be overweight and active but this weight is holding me back from doing things I still really want to do! It holds me back even more the older I get. God has put a desire in me to be active and run around with kids and all that. I feel it slipping away the longer I hold on to this weight. But also…so much also…I dont want to keep putting food before a Father that loves me. For so long food has been my comfort. What was only meant to nourish my body I have been trying to use to nourish my soul. It cant do that. It wasnt meant to.

Anyway, after I wrote down my thoughts and questions the Spirit brought to mind “dont grow weary in doing good. For in due time you will reap a harvest.” This verse can apply to so many things but I have never applied it to food. Making healthy choices with food and being mindful of not overeating or eating when not hungry, and staying active are good. Those are good! Dont grow weary in doing those things! Then the Spirit brought to mind “of these things there is no law against.” All of these diets and rules have all of these laws. If I set my mind on doing good then eating a specific way or at a specific time or a specific calorie/carb amount doesnt have to be my law. Healthy choices, mindful eating, and staying active. Against these things there is no law.

Will there ever be a day that I wake up and this beast isnt the first thing on my mind? I dont know. I have no answer to that. But what I do know is God is walking me through it and I am not alone. I will not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Colossians 3:2
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Wax the car

I want to tell yall a little story about anger. It was once a pretty big issue of mine. Yelling at my kids. Yelling at my husband. Yelling at my mom. Yelling at myself. Yep, all the people that should mean the most to me felt my anger. I could give you excuses. Some would sound like really good reasons for my behavior. But then I would be a victim of my circumstance. A vicitm controlled by my surroundings is not something I want to be. As I walked closer with Christ I also realized that a victim is not what He wants me to be either. So, I went to work praying on it. At first I thought I needed to focus on not yelling at my family. Seems the logical course of action, right? Well, God often doesnt use logic when He is working on you. He goes more Mr. Myagi and tells you to go wax a car. In this instance, He told me to stop yelling at people in traffic. Why God? They cant hear me. Isnt this a good way to let my anger out and no one gets harmed? But someone was getting harmed. For one, my son heard me yelling at every little mistake another driver made. Now, as he is driving he is so concerned about doing something wrong that he finds no joy in driving. He hates it. Is that all because of me? Probably not, but it sure didnt instill confidence and grace in him, did it? It also harmed me. It allowed me to react at a moments notice in a negative way to something that angered me. It let that immediate rage reaction be ok. Clearly, my first step was to practice harnessing my rage to complete strangers on the road. From the safety of my car I could hear God’s correction, seek repentance, and do better. Over time I gained wisdom on how to take a breath…just take a beat and think “how do I want to choose to react?” Because it is a choice. There is always a choice. Now, I hope my family has noticed a change in me. Sometimes these things we dont think is hurting anyone are the exact things that are giving us permission to behave badly. Currently I am working on gluttony of food. God has shown me that self control on Monday through Saturday doesnt mean I get to reward myself on Sunday with a free for all binge. That behavior allows me to remain in bondage to the sin of gluttony. It harms me. What is sin on Monday through Saturday is still sin on the cheat day. What do you need to go “wax the car” on? God will reveal it when you take it to Him in prayer and trust His process over your logic.