Gluttony is Overeating, Right?
Well, yes. But the climb to Bible Ground reveals it is much more. Gluttony is the sickness of becoming insatiable after anything. It could be money or power. We can be selfish about the sanctity of our own time. We get cranky when people or activities put a crimp on our personal time. We begin to dodge responsibility to wallow in our “me-time” – this too is a form of gluttony. Overindulgence in alcohol and drugs – ‘If one beer is good – five or six must be better” Gluttony is the idea that more is always better.
Gluttony is a deceit we carry when we pursue our interests at the expense of Godly living. Gluttony is whatever is mastering you; and the great irony is that ultimately Gluttony is a terror, Because despite our pursuit of getting filled we always emerge empty. Gluttony is the terror in obsessing over something that cannot satisfy, that you can only have temporarily. It is being driven into behaviors without the context of God. There is a name in the Bible for living focused on other things beside God, and that word is Idolatry. At the end of the day, Gluttony is idol worship. Making a priority of things in your life other than God. So what are we to do with this? – the message at Restart is you and I need to self assess for evidences of Gluttony.
The Fruit of Gluttony
We will discover the following four (4) things are true of the Glutton:
- Not able to Think Clearly
- Indulgences give no satisfaction
- Thoughtless of Others
- Misconceptions of God
Not able to Think Clearly
The glutton’s mind grows dull to reason and rational thought. When we leave God out for our pet indulgences – we will not able to think clearly about even the smallest details of our circumstances. The mind grows weary of responsibility – and we (that’s right you and I) become dull and drowsy in other pursuits besides what has us by the tail.
- For the drunkard and the gluttåon shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags – Proverbs 23:21
We do not stop to sharpen the edge; to live and act with wisdom and dexterity – we think only of feeding our obsessions.
- If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. – Ecclesiastes 10:10
Indulgences give no satisfaction
You want to make money as your top priority? Well tomorrow you will want to make more. You want to make immoral living your top priority – well tomorrow you will want more and your behaviors will need to grow more outrageous to gain the same stimulation as your former ones.
- The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing – Ecclesiastes 1:8
Solomon cautions against thinking that more is better – over-indulgence does not satisfy; it sickens:
- Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it – Proverbs 26:15
Thoughtless of Others
All the actions and intentions of the glutton are turned inward – toward self. Gluttony breeds thoughtlessness toward others. Living with plenty and wanting more leaves nothing for someone else – even though you are bathed in excess; you will not give any away. The glutton closes his heart; he holds onto what he has because his primary motivation is to want more.
- Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy – Ezekiel 16:49
- But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? – 1 John 3:7
Misconceptions of God
The glutton holds upside down conceptions of God. You cannot spend time in pursuit of an idol and come away untarnished. The glutton begins to twist and warp their view of the Most High God to accommodate themself. How did Esau not think that God would be interested his transaction to trade his birth rights for a meal? That to him it was okay to feed himself against giving up his lineage and heritage. His (and the Glutton’s) sin is called godlessness.
- That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal – Hebrews 12:16
You see the glutton exchanges God for his or her own image of God – to accommodate his priorities, his wants. And he is so possessed by want that he trades God for the most base and defiled things – even crawling creatures!
- And exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures – Romans 1:23
The Way Out
The temptations and habits of Gluttony are by no means permanent and irreversible. However, we must be intentional and focused to sense and defeat it at every turn. The Bible reminds us that we are at war with the enemy and as such we must muster weapons to fight. In this instance we must defeat Gluttony by enriching our knowledge and understanding of the Virtue with stands opposite of Gluttony. I would suggest that Opposing Virtue is Discipline. Permit me then to offer four insights into the practice of Discipline which we must acquire to assure it becomes rooted and thriving.
- Must realize how serious this is
- Tied to Spiritual Growth
- Trait of the Holy Spirit
- An Instrument of the Father
Discipline is needed as Gluttony is a Serious Foe
- Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony – Proverbs 23:2
Are you reading this? Put a knife to your throat! Gluttony in all its malignant forms is serious; and your appropriation of discipline must reflect your understanding of that. The stakes are high.
- Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable – 1 Corinthians 9:25
We are not in this to lose. We are in this to compete and without self-control, without discipline, we are doomed to fall victim to Gluttony. We must put effort into disciplining ourselves to read our Bibles daily, to pray, to gather, to serve and to share.
Tied to Spiritual Growth
The practice of discipline is tied to our spiritual growth. To excel at spiritual discipline, we must be ready to listen to what Biblical teaching has to say and often that means listening to things we don’t want to hear. Not to listen and learn is a sign of self-hate – that you do not love yourself enough to practice discipline.
- He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding – Proverbs 15:32
We must recognize that we cannot be the teacher, the leader, the person God intends us to be without being “fully trained” – without acquiring the discipline to submit to the spiritual training of the Word.
- A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher – Luke 6:40
Discipline is a Trait of the Holy Spirit
To live life focused and determined to obtain traits and attributes of God is always productive. It is an essential characteristic; or trait of the Holy Spirit to guide, to discipline. He is going to take us into directions we have not thought of, and may not want to go.
- For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline – 2 Timothy 1:7
- But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth… – John 16:13
Discipline is an Instrument of the Father
The Most High God will access your spiritual discipline to correct and reprove you and I. He will discipline (and check this)- through our disciplined acceptance of His discipline. He will infuse His ways as we discipline our willpower to accept His authority – His right to change our paths from the idol worship of Gluttony. It takes discipline to say yes to that.
- My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights – Proverbs 3:11-12
Notice the intensity of the words the Lord uses to describe His Word:
- All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness – 2 Timothy 3:16
These are some pretty tough words: teaching, reproof, correction and training. All words that require discipline to benefit from. We must be disciplined to listen to the discipline of God, and to turn that learning into the discipline of obedience.
This is the power we have over Gluttony. When we live in the focus and intensity of discipline – it grows and turns to obedience. And then our Gluttonous attractions and distractions melt before the power of the Most High God.
Please mash the link below to begin a dialog with me. I am anxious to learn your insights and to grow from the wisdom God has grown in you.