If there’s one sin you never hear preached against, its gluttony. Gluttony is a lack of self-control when it comes to appetite; particularly, when it comes to food. We’re fine when it comes to attacking the works of the flesh, condemning sexual immorality, we refrain from smoking and drinking. Our body is a temple. But turn down that second helping? Forget about it.
Now I am a skinny guy myself, though I am not as thin as I was before I remarried, but if I told you the Bible condemned drunkenness, you wouldn’t be offended. If I preached self-control, you’d acknowledge the Bible has a lot to say on that. But what if I told you the Bible says “to put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite” (Proverbs 23:2)? Or that the gluttonous will come to poverty (Proverbs 23:21)? Paul wrote that we are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16) and that, whatever we ate or drink, it should be to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), but for some reason we just won’t connect that to food.
And we really should. God’s people are a fat people, and I don’t mean that metaphorically. For most of us fellowship means eating together. Even when we’re engaged in another activity, there’s food on the table. I am not the only one to notice this. Recently the New York Times profiled a program initiated by Rick Warren. Called The Daniel Plan, it focuses on healthy eating and weight loss. It’s not easy to lose weight, but if God wants us to do something, he will give us the power to accomplish it:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
God loves you and wants you to live a long, healthy life. That’s not going to happen if you’re at risk of heart attack, or diabetes, or any of the many problems caused or exacerbated by excessive weight. But it doesn’t have to happen. Bring God into the picture.