Recently, I have been struggling with the concept of gluttony. It’s one of those things that I can’t even recall hearing a sermon on and isn’t really talked about all that much. I have always just thought of it as the excess clause. If you do anything in excess, it isn’t in your best interest. I haven’t even been able to find a lot of Bible verses on it, but anything that is listed as one of the seven deadly sins should probably be on my list of things to avoid.
Now in general, I wouldn’t consider myself prone to excess, but anyone who has had the misfortune of joining me for a meal would probably say otherwise. Let’s just say that I’m in the habit of eating family size meals for lunch, and every time I go to Olive Garden for the never-ending pasta bowl, the server inevitably finishes by telling me how they have never seen someone eat so many bowls of pasta at one time. When I went up to Michigan last Christmas to meet some of my fiancé’s relatives, word got out around town about how well I could eat even before I met some people. I honestly met some people like this. “This is my fiancé Eric.” “Oh, you’re the guy that can really eat.”
It’s easy to see someone who is overweight and think that maybe they need to eat a little less or even point the glutton finger, but the fact that I’m not overweight doesn’t necessarily mean I have a license to approach every meal like an eating contest.
Throughout my life, I have always used the excuse that I am a growing boy and need lots of food to grow big and strong. Then there was the fact that my life was like one big triathlon with all the sports I was playing. Certainly, I needed lots of nourishment to maintain that level of activity. Now, at 22, those reasons for eating so much just don’t hold up anymore and I’m forced to face this concept of gluttony with no excuses.
The one verse I could find that actually uses the term gluttony says to “put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” (Proverbs 23:2) While I don’t think I’m quite ready to resort to self-mutilation, maybe it is time for me share that pound of pasta with my roommates instead of insisting that I need to eat the entire thing. Hopefully by releasing my kung-fu grip on my food, food will release some of the hold that it has inevitably held on me.
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