“Gluttony” in its strictest sense is excessive eating or drinking. In the bible we see a number of warnings about this:
Proverbs 23:1-3 When you sit down to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Proverbs 28:7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father
Titus 1:12 “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”
Gluttony is a distortion of the normal bodily need for food and drink. Gluttony is an inordinate craving, a craving that is damaging to our health and to our relationships with one another and with God.
We can see this damaging impact of gluttony very clearly in those people whose desire for food or drink is distorted way beyond the normal. Alcoholism is a terrible affliction, that ruins lives. It costs huge amounts of money to feed; it leads to breakdown in family life; it destroys health; it leads to accidents… We also see the consequences of those with food addictions, which again lead to so much ill health and misery.
But the deadly sin of gluttony is concerned with more than just eating and drinking; it is about hedonism, which is the doctrine that pleasure is the highest form of good and that moral duty is fulfilled through the pursuit of pleasure.
This means that thin people can be gluttons! An example of this would be when a contestant on Masterchef says something like, “I’m passionate about food. I want my whole life to be about food.” What these sentiments can reveal are the creed of the glutton – that for that person food has become God. Even if they are not actually overweight they are worshipping their pleasure and finding their pleasure somewhere other than in the one true God who provides the pleasure, and that is idolatry.
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