It can be hard for me to look at pictures taken even 2 summers ago. I was fat. I was unhealthy. As I sit here today, I am about 50 pounds lighter.
I’ve realized that in some other areas of my life, I’m still fat.
The Church hasn’t traditionally talked much about the sin of gluttony. I think that is because we’ve dismissed it as not as serious as other sins. Which I think is funny (not funny haha, funny interesting) because we really want God to treat our “big” sins the same as “little” ones for the sake of feeling forgiven, but we’ve disregarded some sins as not so much.
The more I’ve looked into this sin of gluttony, the more I realized that it isn’t just our eating habits that God is concerned about. God is concerned more about our human tendency to over indulge – in whatever our indulgence is. And I believe our over indulgence is an indicator of how much importance we’ve placed on this life. We spend our lifetimes trying to cram as many experiences as we can. We race from activity to activity, making sure our kids are “well-rounded” people.
Just maybe the goal is to be of singular Kingdom purpose, not so much well-rounded.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take advantage of experiences. Maybe it means we should leverage that experience for our singular Kingdom purpose, not our own indulgence.
Paul writes to the Philippians in chapter 3, verse 18 and 19 –
“For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes (emphasis added), that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite (emphasis added), they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.”
While I’ve worn the name of “Jesus Follower,” I’ve promoted my own agenda and lived under my own strength. I’ve focused on all the wrong things. Even in “doing ministry” I’ve focused on attendance and the success of a program more than life change that only comes from God. We can all be doing “good things” and be totally missing the point. Paul shed tears over this condition in the Church.
I realized what Paul knew to be true: the more desperate I am before God, the more content I am here and now, no matter the circumstances.
That’s what Paul was getting at in Philippians 4:11-13:
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
I can do EVERYTHING. No matter if my stomach is hurting with real life hunger pains or feeling full, because my gaze is on God in complete and utter desperation for HIM, I’m content here while I long for my true home with Him in Heaven.
The minute my gaze goes to the dinner plate or the car dealership or the new luxury home development or my kid’s experiences, I become a glutton. I can glance. I should walk through doors God has provided, but the minute I gaze at those things – my god is my appetite.
Gluttony. I’m guilty. You?