I am a glutton. I know I am because I weigh too much. My BMI is just inside of obese. I’ve tried Weight Watchers and Slimfast and support groups. I’ve counted calories. Three times in my life I have crashed dieted and lost over 50 pounds.
Unfortunately, within three months I gained it all back. I’m obese and losing the battle instead of losing the fat.
Any biblical help would be greatly appreciated.
I have never taken an accidental bite of my food in my life. Unfortunately, I’ve taken too many bites. I, too, have too much fat.
Nevertheless, I feel somewhat qualified to answer your question–especially because I know that I can share with you what the Bible says about how to get victory over gluttony.
Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more food than we require.
Gluttony is an acceptable sin in the church today. That’s not how God sees the sin of gluttony in our midst. I imagine that God might say to the church, “I really don’t like all that fat slopping around the Kingdom.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 is addressed to the church: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is addressed to individuals: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Why Over-Eaters Eat Too Much
1. Food is everywhere.
C. S. Lewis sets the scene in “Mere Christianity”: The theater lights dim, the band begins to play softly and sensuously as a man enters from stage left carrying a silver tray which is covered by a white cloth. He walks to the middle of the stage and begins dancing lewdly before setting the tray with the white cloth on a table. He whirls his hands over his head and then moves slowly and deliberately as he slides the cover off the silver tray. In the middle of the tray is a pork chop.
“Would not you think that something has gone wrong in that culture about food?” He asked.
Of course, his seventy-year-old vision has come true in America today. From the Food Channel to “Chopped,” we are strangely twisted and out of control with our love for food.
2. Comfort food works so well.
When we’re miserable it’s so easy to over eat carbohydrates— especially sugar. Within forty-five minutes those chemicals are transforming into serotonin which is the “feel good” neurotransmitter in the brain. When we are really stressed our brains may scream at us to eat carbohydrates. It’s hard to say “no” when our brains are screaming “yes”.
I testify that comfort food really does work. I can eat a half-gallon of ice cream in less than an hour when I need to.
3. Our genetic makeup can program us to over-eat.
Geneticists have discovered at least forty genes that help control and oversee our eating. It’s possible that overeating turns on some genes that make us hungry that would not have” turned on” if we had not started overeating.
Our ancestors pass along genes and chromosomal material that may influence our weight. Notice how Eskimos are so fat. They need insulation from the cold.
Some people have faulty hormonal problems (like thyroid issues) that take weight control completely out of their hands. It’s hard to say that overeating would be their fault. However we acknowledge that if no food is available anywhere, no matter what the chemistry, people will not get fat.
4. Poor nutritional habits developed during childhood can doom us to a lifetime of over-eating.
Personally, I was big for my age— not fat, just big. Unfortunately, I remember that in fourth grade I picked up the nickname, “Fats.” Sadly, I took it to heart. I remember eating triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to impress the guys in the class. What a shame.
Looking back, I see how my mother tried to control everything we ate, and when we ate it. I can’t blame my mother for my adult overeating, but I do think that in some ways I was set up during my childhood to overeat.
5. They are sinners.
Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. Gluttony is a sin of the flesh.
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SOURCE: Crosswalk, Dr. Roger Barrier