Summary: This is the sixth message in series on the seven deadly sins.

Virus – Hidden Infections of the Spiritual Life


Funny: A hiker was charged w/ eating an endangered species while tracking the woods of California. After hearing the man had eaten a condor, the judge quickly passed a harsh sentence of 10 years behind bars. The man pleaded w/ the judge to hear his side of the story b/c he felt circumstances justified his actions. The judge was interested to hear how anyone could rationalize killing a protected bird so he allowed the man to speak. The hiker explained how he had been lost in the wilderness for (3) days and nights w/out any food or water. He then spotted the bird sitting on a rock. W/ the little strength he had left, he threw a rock and killed the bird. After eating the condor he walked another (3) days w/out food or water before being rescued. He said, "Your honor, had I not eaten that bird, I wouldn’t be here today." The judge was moved by the story and suspended the hiker’s sentence. As they left the courtroom the judge asked the man what a condor tastes like. The man thought for a moment and said, "It’s kind of a cross b/w a bald eagle and a spotted owl." (Exec. Speechwriter, V. 8.4)

Intro: I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving? Mine could’ve been better, Ga. Tech lost to Georgia and b/c I knew I was going to talk about gluttony this AM, it forced me stop and think twice before going back for 2nd. I must confess there were a few times when I was having to choose b/w the pecan and pumpkin pie that I strongly considered doing additional research on the actual effects of gluttony.

Insert: As we begin this AM, I want to start w/ a clip from the Andy Griffith Show. Andy and Barney have found themselves in a pickle. Aunt Bee has worked to make them some homemade pickles that don’t taste good. Barney calls them kerosene cucumbers. To get around not eating them, Andy and Barn switched Bee’s pickles for some store bought pickles. And this is where the fun begins, b/c once Aunt Bee tastes the pickles she thinks she has made, she decides to enter them in the pickle contest at the county fair. Knowing they couldn’t let Aunt Bee enter the store bought pickles, Andy and Barney put operation pickle into action. Show Clip: Andy and the Pickles

Insert: Gluttons, gluttons, gluttons! I few weeks ago I joked about sharing this message on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to insure that the altars would be full at the end of the service, but the truth is, gluttony is no laughing matter. Yet of the seven deadly viruses, it is the one taken least serious. 60% of all professing Christians are overweight and out of shape b/c they are mastered by their appetites. They can’t say know to the buffet at the church potluck.

Note: Overeating is clearly a problem in our society. Did you know that 40% of all people say their greatest fear is becoming fat and overweight? It’s not that hard to imagine when you consider that the avg. person will spend some 20,000 hours feeding their face from the ages 20 to 50.

Trans: But the Bible says it is better to cut your throat than to be a glutton?

Verse: When you sit down to dine w/ a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. Pr. 23:1-3

Trans: That is a very harsh statement on the issue of gluttony. It is better to kill yourself quickly than to stuff yourself to slow death.

Note: When we think of gluttony we think of overeating, but there’s more to gluttony than just overeating and over-drinking. Gluttony is an appetite out of control.

Word: given to gluttony literally means, “to be mastered by your appetites.”

Note: Gluttony is everywhere. It’s an international sport – the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Where gorging on food is celebrated.

Insert: Chili – Richard LeFeavor ate 1 ½ gallons of chili in 10 min.

Donuts – 49 glazed in 8 min. by Eric Booker a retired cop.

Eggs – 38 hardboiled eggs in 10 min. (Booker)

Oysters – 168 in 10 min.

Cow brains – Takaroo Kabotsi – 57 in 15 min. (Tak. is 5’7” and 130 lbs.)

Hot Dogs – He set the record at 50 ½ dogs w/ buns in 15 min. (see quote)

Note: I want to be clear about something – gluttony isn’t a matter of your waistline. Remember Takaroo – 5’7”, 130lbs. We have a human tendency to equate overweight w/ gluttony. But our size and weight may have nothing to do w/ it. For some it’s a matter of genetics. But to confuse genetics w/ gluttony would be superficial. For others it’s a matter of injury or health. Gluttony is a lack of control towards our appetites. From a biblical perspective, gluttony has to do w/ over-indulgence. Yet for most, it’s a matter of over-indulging and being lethargic. If this is the category you fit into, then I hope you’ll be motivated to do something about it.

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West Garner

commented on Sep 1, 2009

The best sermon I have read on gluttony.

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