Summary: Discusses the sin of Gluttony
Seven Deadly Sins Part 4: Gluttony
When I was discharged from the Air Force, I weighed 202 lbs. During my time in the military, I considered myself a lean, mean fighting machine. Although I did no fighting for the whole time I was active duty, I was physically fit and ready. I jogged, played tennis, lifted weights, ate well and, in my mind, looked pretty good. When I was discharged, I got into an industry where I started traveling, eating out and exercising less. I would eat while in my hotel room because I was bored and there was nothing else to do while watching the TV. Also, some of the areas that I traveled to initially were not safe for me to be out after dark (really, this is not an excuse) so I stayed in my room and ate in front of the TV when I was not studying. Today, thanks to my job and bad habits, I weigh more than 200 lbs. and I gained all of this over the last 15 years. Now to some of you I may still look pretty good, but in reality I must accept the fact that I am not where I used to be. This is a very sensitive topic for some because it forces us to ask ourselves – “When is enough not too much?” So my examples today will be limited to someone that hopefully you will not recognize or myself. In my message on Greed I shared with you how I liked potatoes and sweets and how I could definitely be greedy when eating them. With that greed comes gluttony – for not only did I want more, I ate more than I needed.
On Monday afternoon the girls and I took Nikki out to dinner for her birthday. At the restaurant, we had appetizers, soup and salad before the main course. For my meal I ordered an all you can eat pasta with a side of meatballs. I thought this would be the best value for I was guaranteed to get full (nothing worse than leaving a restaurant hungry). After cutting back on how many meals I eat a day and exercising more over the last few weeks I could only eat one serving. I was full and comfortable, not stuffed. In the back of my mind I was thinking that I did not get my value because I should have at least had seconds. Never mind the fact that what I ordered was cheaper than anything else on the menu that I would have gotten instead. My point is that by definition of “all you can eat” means that you will eat more one serving. There are many people who can do a lot of damage at an all you can eat place. I remember the scene from the movie “Remember The Titans” where they had started winning and the restaurant said they ate free – until they ate too much. An all you can eat restaurant causes many people to enter into the sin of gluttony.
Gluttony is defined as “the habit or act of eating too much, an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.” The second part of this definition includes things other than food, as I will get to later in this message. The opposite of gluttony of temperance. Temperance accepts the natural limits of pleasures and preserves this natural balance. The chief error about gluttony is to think it only pertains to food. Some people cannot have enough toys, television, entertainment, sex or the company of other people. We call these things an “addiction” instead of gluttony. You may not have an issue with gluttony pertaining to food, but may have and issue with one of the others. As you listen to this message this morning, do not limit this sin to just food and have a false sense of security because you do not overeat. You must apply this foundational knowledge in any area of your life where you are practicing excess.
Solomon said in Proverbs 23:2 “Put a knife to your throat if you are a man of great appetite.” The advice that Solomon gives is very clear, do not over eat. Use wisdom in eating and practice temperance – know when to stop. Again, this applies to every area of our lives. During the time of David, as well as today, it was very dangerous for those on the battlefields to eat large meals. Solomon said pertaining to gluttons that “drowsiness will clothe one with rags.” What is the first thing you want to do after eating a heavy meal, especially one with a lot of carbohydrates? The answer is sleep. Why? Because the energy that the body would normally use to keep you focused is now being spent digesting this large amount of food that has been eaten. Also your blood sugars fluctuates when you eat – giving you energy initially when it rises and bring you down when they decrease. For a soldier on the battlefield, eating heavy meals at certain times of the day would bring on a sense of tiredness and thus could impact their ability to focus and fight.