Summary: Excess is our problem.
A familiar scene for us in scripture came early in Jesus’ ministry when a teacher of the law came to talk with Jesus by night. No one would see. And in that conversation Jesus said this to teacher, this man, you must be born again. There is to be a renewal, a change in each of us. I saw a bumper sticker the other day while headed toward Atlanta that was very telling of the person attitude. It said, “BORN OK, THE FIRST TIME.” Wow!
Today is our last Sunday to examine the 7 deadly sins. Today we talk about a sin I have been holding until the end because this sin of Gluttony is a bothersome one. Gluttony or self-indulgence (excess) is something every thinking Christian would presume ought to be easily done away with. Yet as we examine it today, most of us will see ourselves live here at times.
Gluttony is a very basic sin. Pride was something that tricks a man, after all as a profitable businessman it usually is the normal reaction of anyone who would have experienced prosperity.
Immorality we can even claim was my bravado as a young man or woman. Lust is even attractive. This past week the Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit addition was released. We subscribe at our house. Terri got the mail that day and later in the day said to me, “Do you know what came in the mail today from Sport’s Illustrated?” That leads into the next sin. Anger; well after all, there is a righteous anger Christians even need to have, but Gluttony well it’s almost embarrassing if I am trapped in it.
In Phil.3 Paul said, 17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. “18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.”
That verse hurts. I don’t know how else to put it, the Bible at times just cuts right into you. ‘Their god is their stomach and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.’
When I was a child I heard numerous times a Bible verse in I Cor. 6. “19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
The Church I grew up in quoted that for verse for everything from fleeing sexual immorality to a ban on smoking to not playing games with cards or dice.
Now before I proceed I want to qualify our terms this morning. Gluttony is more than an over active stomach although it can be that. But there are complex chemical factors in a bodies makeup that can contribute to weight gain. For some there is a struggle for many people with their weight that has nothing to do with consuming less food. There are medicines that cause weight gain and numerous other factors as well. Gluttony to us this morning is primarily about ‘self-indulgence’, excess. One source said recently that over 14 million people in America have problems with alcohol. There is probably someone here today that wrestles with Alcohol. I have a niece who has been in and out of rehab for her trouble that started as a young teenager with sniffing the aerosol fumes from spray paint. I don’t drink, but several years ago I had a bad cold and so I eventually got up to taken Night Quil. Wow, I sleep well and felt much better in the morning. I looked at the ingredients and it was 50% alcohol. Wow! Now I not addicted to alcohol, but it does help me relax before I preach.
We as a nation have different expectations today than years past. We have come a long way from President Herbert Hoover’s promise in the early 30’s of a “chicken in every pot”. Remember that from your high school history class. We are not a credit-card society that has virtually put an end to all delayed gratification. We have become a people who claim instant gratification as a civil right.
We are an impatient people.
The speed limit I found on a local Road is 20 miles an hour. The other day I pulled in behind an older women when I was in a hurry and she was obeying the law. (It seemed like it took 10 minutes to get from one end to the other of that short road.) Our impatience, our self indulgence hampers us at best in life and ultimately can destroy a life. ( find Illustration)