Gluttony Part I
I plan on making this year a year to break the stronghold of gluttony on my life. I hate that word with a passion, but unless I’m willing to face it, I’ll never see victory. So, in order to attempt purity in the area of food, I am going to tackle the gluttony issue over a series of posts…probably not more than one per week.
So why study gluttony? Well, the obvious reason is because I’m overweight and I want to lose weight this year. It’s not an official New Year’s Resolution or anything, but it’s definitely necessary. My health, my life, my career, my family, and my spiritual well-being depend on it. This isn’t just wanting to look better for the beach this summer. This is wanting a change of life.
If my problem was stealing, I would be well-served by learning how much emphasis God puts on theft and thieves in the Bible. Many of us (at least us men) know verses on sexual lust and temptation in order to combat our wondering eyes. Matthew 5:28 anyone? Anyway, as my current stronghold is gluttony, or the extensive power food has over my life, I have decided to go through some verses on the subject and see what the Bible has to say on the subject.
The actual word “gluttony” only appears once in the NIV. Other versions use different words to describe the act of gluttony, as you can see in the KJV below:
Proverbs 23:2 "And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite."
Here is the verse in NIV: And put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
On the surface, this verse seems to suggest that gluttony is akin to the unpardonable sin. However, context is king, so let’s look at the rest of the section, verses 1-3:
1 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
In this passage, gluttony is not described as an outright sin, but something that can and will lead to falling into a trap. This does not mean that gluttony isn’t a sin (we'll discover that definitively in another passage); it just means that this section discusses something a little deeper.
As with so many sins, one builds upon another. A man who initially only looks at pornography or other women moves on to affairs. Someone who starts with shoplifting ends up breaking and entering and assaulting. There are many examples, but the fact remains the same: Sin builds upon sin. In our passage here, the sin of gluttony, or the lust of the eyes toward food, leads to some unnamed pitfall. Unrighteous loyalties? I don’t know, but something is there. Food is powerful. It is comforting and yet deceptive, much like alcohol. This passage suggests that food, in the wrong context, is deceptive and powerful.
These verses also suggest the way out. Metaphorically speaking, taking a knife to one’s throat means to restrain one’s self. Let’s face it; not much eating will take place if my throat is cut from end to end. Matthew Henry said, “Restrain thyself, as it were with a sword hanging over thy head, from all excess.” Gluttony is an ugly word, especially for those who struggle with it. We would prefer to use the term heavy eater, overeater, or something else…indeed anything else, but it is what it is. Our fight is against a strong enemy. Satan has us in a trap and it can defeat just about any New Year’s Resolution.
Which brings me back to the beginning. My hopes this year aren’t to lose “x” number of pounds, but to save my life, both spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I can run a hundred miles a week, but if I continue to fall to gluttony, it will be wasted effort. So I learn. Will you join me on this journey to freedom from this sin?
Don’t feel bad about it. As with any sin, some amount of sadness over lack of control is important, else we’d never come to God for repentance. However, Satan would have you shamed into believing you cannot overcome this. Of course he’s right. But God can overcome this, so don’t let shame keep you from the throne!
I will put a comment down below which will be my prayer for the day against gluttony. Please feel free to add your own prayer as well or make any other comments. Until you are prepared to meet gluttony head on, you will continue to make, and fail, New Year’s Resolutions. This is about success. It’s about victory!