I have a confession to make.
I ate way too much food last night.
It started out innocently enough. I had a neighbour over for supper yesterday, so I made the point to actually cook a favorite meal. I prepped the roast in the slow cooker before the crack of dawn, waited expectantly for supper all throughout work, and fought to not sample anything before my neighbour and I sat down to eat.
And then I ate.
And ate way too much.
* * *
When thinking about it, I used to think gluttony was wrong simply because of its extravagence and wastefulness. We might spend so much money on a meal or activity that will last a short time and do nothing for us in the long term, when a more inexpensive option would have been enough. We have literally hundreds of articles of clothing in our closets that we hardly ever wear – and yet, we still by more. We upgrade our phones, not because it’s needful, but only because we want “the latest thing”.
Gluttony is also wrong because it places a ridicuously large focus of our desires at the expense of others’ needs. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the things God allows us, but when those things become so critical to us that we place them on the pedestal above providing aid for those less fortunate than ourselves, we have gone too far.
Last night, though, as I literally spent the next several hours trying to calm my over-loaded stomach, I realized another significant problem with this vice:
Gluttony diminishes our appreciation for God’s good gifts.
When I first started eating supper, it was amazing. Every bite in my mouth exploded as taste buds began working in over-drive. I was genuinely delighted in the meal and praised God for the blessing of this gift of good food.
However, as I began indulging on my second plate “just because” and ate more than my stomach could handle, I didn’t appreciate the food anymore. I stopped thanking God and lost the simply joy I once had for it.
This is one of the great problems with gluttony. God has provided us with so many blessings – we should be continually grateful. Instead, so often in our multitude of blessings, we no longer appreciate God’s gifts.
Gluttony is a sin that we all struggle with in our hearts. But the remedy isn’t simply to refrain from extravagance (though that may often be an implication). Combat gluttony primarily with contentment and a deeper appreciation for the blessings God grants you. Focus on His goodness and grace to you – the billions of blessings poured out on you – and thank Him often.
As we strive through Christ to have hearts and minds filled with thankfulness, we will continually recognize how God not only gives us more than we need, but overwhelms us with a gracious multitide of blessings. We learn that we do not need more things, but more thankfulness.
The more grateful to God that we are, the more satisfied in Him we become – and the less of a hold the sin of gluttony will have on our hearts.