- Worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975.
- 1/3 adults are obese. (not just overweight but obese)
- Obesity is the leading cause of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stoke, arthritis and cancer.
- In 2016: 1.9 billion adults overweight. 671 million obese.
- 340 million people under 19 overweight or obese.
Globally there are now more people obese than underweight. It is even common to find the undernourished and the obese co-existing in the same country and community.
– Facts from the World Health Organization and the Canadian Obesity Network.
The W.H.O also states that obesity is “LARGLY PREVENTABLE”.
Are we a Gluttonous Nation?
We are very quick to call out someone who abuses alcohol or other visible wrongs (sins), but whenever it comes to overeating (obese or not) we say nothing. We actually laugh and make jokes or games of who can eat the most. Often people are known for being “big eaters“. Our entertainment centers around an abundance of sugar processed foods that harms us. Most of us are addicted to sugar. You can find many people, anytime of day, sitting in front of a TV or anywhere “pigging out” on junk food and sweets. We can “down” a whole bag of chips or two before even noticing and wonder where it all went.. “Eyes are bigger than our belly”?
The standard American diet is a feast of junk food that is out of control.
I’d say our nation has adopted the slogan “couch potato” quite well. We are lazy and want whatever is quick and most convenient. We are living to eat not eating to live. For many, it would be hard to go a few days without going through the drive-threw… Food controls us. There is always the need to have just a bit more to satisfy us. It never will.
The dangers of eating overeating & food addiction.
This may be a harsh message but I believe we’ve beaten around the bush long enough. People are addicted to food and there is a lack of self-control. It is killing us and our families in more areas than just our bodies. Please do not take me wrong. Food is a good gift given to us to enjoy. It is for our good and we need it to survive (Ecc 3:24-25). However, we are abusing it by eating way to much and eating junk food that is harming our body. Possible signs of overeating…
- Abdominal pain or discomfort?
- Diarrhea or constipation?
We are what we eat. What goes into the body will eventually harm us or help us. The WHO states that overeating + eating too much of the wrong food is the leading cause of so many sicknesses and chronic conditions that are listed above. We know what is good for us and we know when we need to stop. No excuses.
Gluttony is a lack of SELF-CONTROL. It is a choice of self-love and self-gratification. We try to find comfort in food… It controls us. Bottom line – Gluttony is a lack of self-control leading to idolatry. We are making a practice of it and we are IGNORING the reality of it in our lives.
The seriousness of gluttony.
Even though overeating or lack of self-control has been a problem throughout history, I believe it is at its peak today. There are warnings given for our guidance and we need to listen. They are found in the Bible and are for OUR GOOD.
- Philippians 3:19. “Their god is there belly… they are focused on earthly things”.
- Ezekiel 16:49. “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy”.
- 1 Corinthians 10:7,11,12. “Don’t become idolaters as some of them were, as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play. Now these things happened to them as examples… warnings to us. So whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall”.
- Proverbs 23:1-2. “Consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite“.
- Proverbs 23:20-21. “Don’t associate with those who drink too much wine or with those who gorge themselves on meat. For the drunkard AND the glutton will become poor and grogginess will clothe them in rags”.
- Deuteronomy 21:20. “They shall say to the elders, “”This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”” Later he was killed for it…
The key in these verses and in our culture today is a lack of self-control and abuse with food (widespread in obesity).
Here we see in the context that food is good and for us to enjoy! However it is the lack of self-control and abuse that is condemned. These are fine examples of the seriousness of gluttony in the Bible. Gluttons and drunkards make a “god of their belly“, and therefore are controlled by it. Are we not often controlled by our stomach? Are we not any different?
- Go a few hours off schedule without eating and see how your attitude changes.
- Maybe you don’t overeat but do you get hateful, angry and short-tempered when food is taken away?
- Lack of self-control in other areas?
A lack of self-control and willful ignorance (our human nature) can be in all areas of life, and these verses do point to other things as well. My point is that temporary pleasure and satisfaction in uncontrolled food and drink are also included.
In history for the Jews these verses allude to them trusting in religious works… Dietary laws.. For the gentiles it might have been sensual desires and fleshly appetites… Lack of restraint… Again, the key here is lack of self-control.
We see in Matthew chapter 4. How Jesus goes without food for days and still remains under perfect self-control when tempted with food. His attitude does not change when He is hungry. He is more focused on the will of God more than the desires of the flesh. We see His self-control many times throughout His life and primarily when He is faced with the wrath of God and taking the sins of the world on the cross.
Whether it is food, drink, sex, religion, entertainment or any desire… If there is no restraint (self-control).. And when there is trust, dependence and greater desire for these things than the Holy God, our Creator, it is idolatry. In our case today it is idolatry through gluttony. We cannot continue in it. It is wrong and we must turn.
So eating too much and harming my body with food is idolatry… Why should that matter to me?
Because God is Holy. He is perfect, separate, high and lifted up above all else. He is our Creator and he demands our obedience for our good. We can only be happy and satisfied in him. Food will not bring us lasting satisfaction. If our “god” is our belly then food is more important to us than God. Therefore, it is idolatry and sin.
It matters because God is Holy. God is good. And we are not good. A Holy God cannot be in the presence of sinners.
- Romans 3:10-12. There is no one righteous, not even one. …There is no one who seeks God. All have turned away… There is no one who does what is good.
- Romans 3:23. For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- 1 Peter 1:14-16. …Do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.
We are all sinners and therefore we are separated from God and will be under Gods judgment and wrath for all eternity in hell.
- Isaiah 59:1-2. But your iniquities (sins) are separating you from your God…
But it’s not done there.
The good news is that our sin has been paid for! God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die and to die for the sins of us all. Our sin debt was paid in full. No religious work can save us from the wrath to come. John 14:6 says that Jesus is the only way…
- Romans 5:8,10. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. ...while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son…
We must then repent (turn) from our sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
- Acts 16:30-31 and 17:30-34. …what must I do to be saved? … God now commands everyone everywhere to Repent and Believe in the Lord Jesus.
How then are we to live and eat?
We have been given all we need to live a healthy life and everything we need to live lives characterized by “self-control“.
- Genesis 1:29-31. …Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This will be good for you… I have given every green plant for food.
- Daniel 1:18-16. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink… Test us for ten days… They were healthier and looked better.
- Romans 14:19-23. …It is okay to eat meat under our own convictions but not around anyone who may stumble and go against their own convictions.
- Proverbs 23:1-3. Consider carefully what is put before you.
- We can and must resist the temptation to overeat, especially if the food is bad for us, and instead enjoy the good things (ie: food) God has provided as He meant them to be enjoyed.
- Stop eating the majority of processed, refined and modified food! If you lose count of the amount of ingredients or you can’t read them… Then don’t eat it!
- The majority of the food we eat should be fresh, raw, whole food. (ie: veggies, fruits)
- Try to eat local or natural (organic) food as much as possible. Today we need to watch out for what is in our food and how it is produced.
- Eat to live not live to eat! So many of us fill our plate to overflowing with food! We don’t need to. Take small portions. For the majority of the time we do not need “2nd’s” either… Eat less. Eat to live.
We live in a time of constant feast. 90% of the “food” we eat is junk and 5-10% of it is good. This needs to be reversed. Our healthcare system is packed with people who are sick and living a very poor quality life. It is most often because of how we treat our bodies. What we put in our bodies will harm or help us. It’s a lifestyle not a diet. Thousands of lives and trillions of dollars every year could be saved if we get back to eating and living the way our bodies are created to.