What I learned about overeating and gluttony
Thursday, February 21, 2013
At first glance this title does not seem to mean much but let's look at the two words as I share my revelation about them.
As I was doing The Feasting at the Lord's Table bible study the word "overeating" kept coming back. The question "Have you repented of overeating?" was also asked a lot. I began to wonder why this question kept coming back as repentance goes along with sin.
Overeating does not at first appear to be a sin. However, while doing the bible study, the words "overeating" and "gluttony" are both used alternately. Yet, I do not react to the word "overeating" as I do to the word "gluttony".
I began to wonder why this could be and so I checked the dictionary to see their definitions. According to the Miriam Webster on line dictionary both "over eating" and gluttony mean the same thing "to eat to excess". So why such a different reaction to these two synonyms?
After a lot of soul searching and praying over this, I came to understand my reaction to the two different words.
Overeating is a socially accepted word. It is something we all do at some point and time. It is a slip up, a mistake, something we don't do often. Gluttony is not as accepted. It has a very different connotation. When I see the word gluttony, I see pig, stuffed pig, lazy, decadence etc.
Overeating is not a biblical word, it comes from the secular world. Yet gluttony is in the bible and it is listed as a sin. Once I made this connection, I understood the question of "Have you repented for your overeating"? Of course if I am guilty of "gluttony" then I must repent and confess this sin.
For myself this was quite a personal revelation. With this revelation came the knowledge that I needed to repent for this sin. The amazing thing for me, is that with this repentance came a lesser desire to "over eat" or to be a "glutton". I honestly believe this comes from the knowledge that by being a glutton, I am breaking my relationship with God. In order to rebuild this relationship, I must repent of my sin and ask forgiveness. I can't speak for everyone but I can say that ever since I look at it this way, I have cut down drastically in many areas of my eating. I do not go back for seconds, I do not stuff myself as I did in the past, I am truly grateful to God for all the good food that I can eat. I have come back to saying grace before my meals and not just for the food that is on my plate but for the entire process from the planting of the food, the tending of the animals, to actually being on my table. This simple change has helped me to lose weight this past week. Every morning I thank God for his help and ask Him to give me enough strength that I will not be a glutton.