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Gluttony

Gluttony

There are many things in this world that are supposed to give benefits to humanity, but also become distractions, hindrances, or idols that replace God in our hearts.  From romance to money, to even the bare necessities, anything can become an obsession of having possession; from too much consumption of foods to the accumulation of wealth at the expense of the less fortunate.

Food is the primary maintenance of our body and we cannot just give it up as our body will suffer. A moderate approach to eating can give our body enough energy and to function properly, and if monitored correctly can be a delight to the whole well-being. However, if eating becomes a priority among other things, it can become a habit and a big part of a person’s life that leads to addiction. We cannot live without eating, but we cannot also live longer with excessive eating. When food controls our mind, It is time to refocus.

The Bible condemned gluttony as a sin, which leads the soul to die. All souls that sin dies, and the desires of the body to over-consume, can lead to the body to die with the soul.  If excessive eating is called gluttony which is a sin, what about compulsive eating which is a disease?  Can we also call it gluttony?  Hoarding the food may be closer to be called gluttony, which is denying the needy of food, buying more than you can consume, and eating more than the belly can take, and eventually throw it out. It is a waste of food, which is a wicked behavior and it is a sin.

Are all overweight a sinner?  Is the love of food a sin?  How can we justify that the people that love to eat are sinners?  Love of money is the root of all evil!  Is the love of food a root cause for people to be evil?  Money can buy many things including food.  Can the food buy many things or we are the ones that buys food and do not subdue it?  Gluttony is not an easy subject to define as there are varieties of defense.  If we base it totally on the Bible to get to the bottom of it, many Christians would say it leads to idolizing the food which is an overboard statement.

Food goes to the stomach and the stomach is for food which functions as a processor, storage, and distributor of vitamins and minerals it gets from the food; therefore it is a storehouse of our body that does the inventory.  Our stomach complains when empty and also complains when we overeat, so, to judge the body by how people see it is a false statement and it is a sin. To be gluttonous is how God sees it, not the human eyes. God sees us in and out so we cannot lie how and what our thoughts testify about our eating behavior. Is it a disease or should we continue eating even our stomach says, “I am full” and then ending up throwing them all out. 

Christians have to be aware not to be judgmental.  Our body is for the Lord, because either we are obese or not, God will not deny anyone to serve and love Him. So, what does it mean to you?  Sinners or saints, believers, and non-believers, if you come to Him you are most welcome.  How about those ministers that keep on asking for donations even they already have more than enough to survive a simple living for many years to come?

How about those living in luxury that depends on donations and using their sanctuary to receive tithes and offerings to support their lifestyle?  Is that not considered gluttony?  Taking the food from the mouth of the believers is stealing and when stealing is excessively enough to be called gluttony.  Instead of buying food, believers donate what they have in lieu of a promise of a better life.  Are Christian ministers or church leader’s license to sin?  I don’t think so!  Gluttony is not limited to food as it has a wider scope than we think.

Some Christians receive teachings that gluttony also leads to Idolatry or idol. Do you think so? Let us check!

Idolatry is the worship of an idol or cult image, being a physical image, such as a statue, or a person in place of God.  In Abrahamic religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, idolatry connotes the worship of something or someone other than God as if it were God— Wikipedia.

Many Christians are involved in various ideas of how idols will be considered a sin. God told Moses: “Do not worship any other gods besides me.” Exodus 20:3-5. Israelites worshipping a golden calf, Jacob’s father in law worship idols. By definition Idolatry cannot be considered gluttony, so we will put this aside.

If the excessive desire for food causes it to be withheld from the needy that is definitely a sin without a doubt.  Gluttony is a sin that needs a well-spirited understanding; it’s not about the heavyweights who have medical issues. Those that quit smoking can also redirect his smoking habit to eating due to withdrawal to cigarettes. To relieve excessive anxiety can also lead to unhealthy indulgences. It is not just eating to excess, but it can include behavioral problems, like drinking, lustful thoughts, and obsession to love, money, and any material things for pleasure.

Overconsumption not only for food but anything to the point that will lead to waste is gluttony.  Consumption of foods, drinks, and wealth items aim particularly as status symbols. Every time there is a natural emergency and it’s a fact that always happens many times.  This happened during the first wave of the COVID 19 when almost all the citizens rushed to the groceries to buy more than they can eat for a week or two and those that waited were left with empty shelves.

Is panic buying a sin of gluttony?  As with all things on earth, food can become an idol.  Where do we go from here?  We will be better off to stay that Idolatry is a representation of God as an object of worship, special adoration, and loved, or revered and the hindrance to the believer to accept this definition is because of fear and doubt that we have to ask the Holy Spirit and be free from any obstruction as we continue to walk with the Spirit of God.

Let us set our minds on the things above us refocus on the Blesser and Promiser and not to divert on the things that are on earth which are lusty desires. When we do so, we will be out of the command of the flesh and in with the guidance and protection of the Spirit of God that dwells in us.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D., Bishop Emeritus

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