2012-11-15 / Opinions

A Gluttonous Nation


Rev. Jay T. Barsaleau Rev. Jay T. Barsaleau As the season changes and colder weather sets in, activity normally decreases, snack time increases, and bigtime family gatherings will occur that provides plenty of opportunity to overeat.

Here is a condensed version of some of Dr. Paul Tantges’ comments from his article “Biblical Thoughts On Gluttony” - it’s not unusual to hear pastors preach against blatant sin like immorality, lying, stealing, etc., but maybe those who preach God’s Word should also include God’s mind about the silent but obvious sin of our generation - gluttony.

Today, about 44 million American adults are obese. An additional 6 million are “superobese” - that is, they weigh 100 or more pounds than they should. Webster defines gluttony as “The habit or act of eating too much.”

Granted, not all obesity is the direct result of gluttony. In some cases there are medically organic reasons some people struggle with weight control more intensely than others. And yes, some people are big boned and have genetic traits that are passed down. But setting aside these realities, we still must conclude that many are guilty of this silent sin that is behind the mortality or health problems of millions of people.

So what does God say about gluttony?

“One of them, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons’.” (Titus 1:12)

“And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.” (Deuteronomy 21:20-21)

“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame - who set their mind on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19) “For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.” (Proverbs 23:21)

A few other verses for consideration might be: Numbers 11:31-34; Psalms 78:30,31; Isaiah 22:12-14; and Luke 12:19-21.

As you can see, God does speak about the sin of gluttony. It is associated with laziness and addictions. Gluttony can produce a mastery over your heart in place of God. It can lead to humiliation and poverty, is a mark of the absence of self-discipline, and is inconsistent for a believer’s new life in Christ. The Bible provides life principles for believers that will help defeat this silent but deadly enemy.

• ONE: (Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is (...) self-control.” Under the Spirit’s control, self-control becomes possible. The Apostle Paul reinforces this with (1 Corinthians 9:27) “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Paul showed his commitment to mastering his appetites.”

• TWO: (1 Timothy 4:4-5) “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. and (Luke 11:2- 3) “So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread.”

Give thanks to God before all meals, recognizing that He has met your needs - He has not provided for your sin.

• THREE: (1 Corinthians 10:31) “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” and (Romans 13:14) “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Adjust your eating habits to glorify God rather than satisfy your flesh.”

• FOUR: (Psalm 141:3-4) Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice wicked works With men who work iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.”

Pray for the Lord’s strength to resist the temptation to overeat.

• FIVE: (1 Timothy 4:8) “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Recognize that there is some benefit to regular exercise even though it is not as much as pursuing godliness. However, for some, exercise will aid in the pursuit of godliness in that it may help control gluttony.

• SIX: Each person is different. Practically learn what helps YOU and recognize that even our eating habits should be surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. After all, our bodies are for the Lord.

(1 Corinthians 6:13) “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

Grace be with you.

(A FREE correspondence course, “For Those Who Want to Know God,” is available through the First Baptist Church of Bad Axe, 120 N. Outer Drive (989-269-7519). You are welcome to attend any of our services: Sunday 10:00 AM Sunday School, 11 AM Worship, 6 PM Evening Bible Study; Wednesday 7 pm Adult Bible Study/Prayer Time, and, during the school year, One Way Clubs for children and activities/studies for teens.)

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