Most of us have been there—the restaurant where you can eat all
you want for one low price. The normal mentality at such a place is "the more you eat
the cheaper it is." Since you paid one price regardless of how much you eat, the more
you eat the more you get for your money.
You start with a bowl or two of your favorite soup and a salad. Next
you have some roast beef, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a freshly baked roll
loaded with honey butter. You pass by the broccoli and green beans because you do not want
to fill yourself on such mundane food. After finishing the first plate, you head back for
some carved ham, rotisserie chicken, fried eggplant, fried clam strips and shrimp, and
another roll. After all this you have another bowl of clam chowder and some fresh fruit.
Then comes the dessert. Soft ice cream covered with chocolate sauce,
sprinkles, crushed cookies, and a big scoop of whipped cream. After all is finished, you
feel like someone put an air hose in your stomach and blew it up. You can hardly move,
your stomach hurts, and you feel the need to let out the belt a notch or two.
Sadly, many of us who are Christians are numbered among those who eat
for the sake of eating. While many in the world eat to live, we live to eat. The Hebrew
word for glutton is translated "riotous eaters" in Proverbs 23:21. It gives the
sense of one who is totally out of control and running wild. In other places it is
translated "vile." It is used in Deuteronomy 21:20, where the rebellious son is
described, among other things, as a "glutton," In other passages gluttony is
often connected with the drunkard. One who is out of control, both in his eating and
The fruit of the Spirit is "temperance," or "self
control." We would never advocate a lack of self control when it comes to satisfying
other lusts, yet when it comes to food, we have no problems—in fact, we encourage it!
Yet, we would never imagine the indwelling Holy Spirit leading us to stuff ourselves
I am writing this article the morning after doing exactly what this
article condemns. That is why I could so accurately describe the food and the feelings
after the meal. (I did not eat all that was described.) While driving home I came to the
conclusion that, for me, this is sin. You will need to come to your own conviction.
While many around the world starve for food, many Christians in
the western world stuff it in without control!
And the fruit of the Spirit is:…temperance: against such there
is no law. (Gal. 5:23)