Sins that are overlooked are usually sins that we don’t want to admit are sin. In fact, one author wrote that gluttony is America’s most tolerated sin. A sin that is rarely identified, preached against, or confessed is the sin of gluttony.
Gluttony is defined as the over-indulgence or lack of self-restraint in food, drink, or wealth. Gluttony is more than just consuming food and drink, but if a person constantly indulges all the time, and to the neglect of those who have little or nothing. Gluttony is a sin of selfishness.
Merriam-Webster defines gluttony as “habitual greed or excess in eating…greedy or excessive indulgence”.
The sin of gluttony is committed, when one’s life is driven by the appetite for food. While there is a need to eat and drink daily, and food is good for man (1 Tim 4:4-5), these appetites are not to drive our lives. In fact, 1 Corinthians 10:31 reveals the ultimate thing that should drive us and even affect our eating habits – that being the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Gluttony is one of the many ways that people handle stress, by eating, and eating, and eating! In fact, in 1 Corinthians 15:32, the Scripture indicates that eating can be what men run to that are hopeless. We know that gluttony is a work of the flesh because it violates the spiritual fruit of self-control. Physical appetites are often a test of our ability to control ourselves. If we are unable to control our eating habits, we are probably also unable to control other habits, such as those of the mind (lust, covetousness, anger) and unable to keep our mouths from gossip or strife. We are not to let our appetites control us, but we are to have control over our appetites.
In addition, it is associated with wastefulness and laziness, stubbornness and rebellion.
Proverbs 23:21 (KJV)
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
Deuteronomy 21:20 (KJV)
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
How can you fight the battle against gluttony and win? It is interesting that there are so many food and taste analogies in the Bible for finding satisfaction in God Himself.
Psalm 34:8 (KJV)
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
John 6:35 (KJV)
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
The clear direction we find in God’s Word is that if we work to cultivate an appetite for spiritual food from God’s Word, spiritual fellowship with the Lord, then the boredom of life will not lead us to always being consumed with physical hunger. Developing other appetites will help to replace the craving for food that dominates a glutton. May God help us not to overlook this sin in our lives.