On Friday I ate a whole calzone. That’s not abnormal for me. I’ve been known to polish off whole calzones without much of a thought of bringing the other half home. And there’s nothing wrong with that. A calzone is a beautiful thing to be consumed.
But the problem with this dinner trip was that we had already ordered garlic bread before the meal came. So I wasn’t as hungry. I could have easily stopped eating. I was full. I was content. But I simply wanted more, so I ate. And then I felt bad the whole night. I was a glutton.
Gluttony is not mentioned much in the bible (certainly not enough for it to crack the Catholic top 7 list!). Jesus was accused of being a glutton and drunkard because he hung out with gluttons and drunkards. Gluttony is mentioned negatively in Proverbs 23 as leading to poverty. Other than these specific references, we don’t find the word too often.
But what about the concept? Is the concept of gluttony (unnecessary over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste or lack of self control) really all that biblical? Is it really a sin to be conscious of?
I once heard someone say, “You can be addicted to food, just like pornography.” I thought that was ludicrous. Sin is a hard enough battle; don’t invent new ones with which struggle. But the other day someone confessed to a large group of people, “Seven years ago, I would have joined you on that run. But now I’ve gained so much weight and that isn’t an option. I’ve worshiped the idol of food, and indulged in it.”
Fortunately my metabolism is probably faster than this guy’s (and I do work out with weights-though I’m not sure that will do anything about my mini-gut), but I could probably confess the same thing. Although I don’t not run because I’m physically unable; like Seinfeld once said simply and confidently, “I choose not to run.”
Looking back on my life, let me show you how I think this sin has manifested itself. I don’t have self control in eating things. If its there, I eat it. All of it. I don’t like to share food. Ever. I’m like a dog eating at his bowl. Do not disturb him, or me.
While gluttony is not mentioned that much, issues of self control certainly ought to concern us. God’s grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness, and enables us to live self controlled lives (Titus 2:11-12). So I think I’m going to rely on God’s grace to encourage, forgive, and challenge me while at the dinner table more often.
BTW, this post really has no real intentional connection to Thanksgiving. It was just on my heart, and stomach, I guess you could say. But its proximity to a Thanksgiving feast does seem apropos, if not at the very least unsettling!