Before you even begin reading this post, promise me you will read to the very end. That means the last thing you read will say “Read on. ~CB” It is lengthier than some, but don’t let that deter you. Promise? Okay. Good. You may proceed.
The recent onslaught of natural disasters is an obvious sign that we are nearer to the end times than ever before, but there is a sign that is even more prevalent that we often miss. It is right in front of us every day, sometimes as near to us as the person in the mirror.
2 Timothy 3:1-2 says this:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self…”
Sure, things such as pornography and materialism obviously come to mind when we think of self-love. These are the sins that people in the church are SO quick to point out. Pastors get fired up and preach against them in one way or another almost weekly.
However, one of the biggest forms of self-love still stands as the elephant in the room–never addressed, but always seen. Maybe by the title of this post you have caught onto what I am talking about.
One of the most prevalent forms of self-love in the American society today is gluttony. And, you know what, almost everyone is scared to talk about it.
But ladies and gentlemen, gluttony is a sin.
[In the Old Testament, gluttony, (Hebrew– zolel) often means “wasters of ones own body,” and in the New Testament (Greek– phagos) it means “given to eating.” The form of gluttony I am referring to in this post is gluttony for food, as in giving in to the temptation to overindulge in eating. People can be gluttonous for other things as well, but this is the specific instance to which I am referring.]
My grandfather told me today that the pastor who preached at their church on Sunday made the statement that he “went and rode his bike fifteen miles so that he could go and eat.”
Let me just tell you, I was appalled to hear this. What this man stood in front of the congregation and said was essentially, “I cleaned my temple and treated it with respect for a little while so that I could turn right around and trash it.” I understand this preacher was trying to be humorous, but I didn’t find what he said funny.
After all, don’t we know 1 Corinthians 6:19-20?
“Do you not know that your bodies are TEMPLES of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Pastors will preach on the dangers of and sin that drunkenness is until they are blue in the face, but in my almost twenty years of going to church I have YET to hear a sermon preached on what a grevious sin gluttony is.
Yet in the word of God, gluttony and drunkenness often operate on the same playing field! Don’t take my word for it. Take the Word’s word for it…
The end of Deuteronomy 21 describes a rebellious son and it is said of him:
“This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”
Proverbs 23:21 says that:
“…drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
Proverbs 23:2 goes so far as to say:
“…put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
These verses makes it clear that glutony and drunkenness are equally offensive!
In Titus 1:12, false teachers are described as:
“..always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
Just to be clear, God DOES NOT have a heavenly calorie counter with a profile under each of our names. However, He does expect us to be faithful stewards of our physical bodies and abstain from habitual over-eating.
So to tie back into my title… What do pornography and a third piece of cake have in common? They are both rooted in self-love and the inability to deny fleshly desires. One is discussed and remedies are sought after for it, and one is swept under the rug and constantly excused for often invalid reasons.
But you know what else friends, both are COMPLETELY forgiveable and redeemable. Christ offered His life as a sacrifice for ALL sin and exhorts us to honor Him with our bodies when He takes up residence in them.
So the next time you find yourself tempted towards gluttony, just remember Paul’s encouragement in 1 Corinthians 10:13. When speaking of temptation, he says:
“…with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape…”
Provision has been made for the defeat of temptation towards every sin…INCLUDING GLUTTONY.
If this post seems offensive, don’t shoot the messenger. There are certain truths in the Word of God that are harder to bear than others, but that does not make them any less true or relevant. I encourage you to take the Word of the Lord at face value, and allow it to mold and shape your life into one that mirrors our Savior.
May we strive to keep a temple that is pleasing to the One who dwells in it.
And as always…