It seems that we, as Christians, tend to zero in on the sins of our culture pretty quickly. We like to criticize homosexuality, alcoholism, gambling, etc. Well, how come we ignore one of our culture’s “biggest” issues: gluttony? The Bible tells us it is wrong. Check out Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:20-21; and Titus 1:12 if you would like some examples of how the Bible speaks of this sin.
The worst thing about our gluttony is that we do not think of it as wrong. Some of us do not think about it at all. We over-consume on almost a daily basis. Sadly, we are even passing along our unhealthy and sinful ways to our children. Apparently, 1 in 5 four year old children are obese. 1 in 5!
What are your thoughts? Why do we seem to ignore this problem? I suspect it is because so many of us are guilty of it.
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We are so American in this. We just had some Chinese christians over at our church and they talked around the subject of glutony. They say that it’s beginning to hit their country and it’s unraveling the strength of their faith.
I wonder how much of our testimony and our abilities are destroyed by this sin.
I think we also tend to overlook the worldwide implications of this sin. A year ago, when the media was very focused on the food crisis that was especially hard-hitting in Asia, I read an editorial written by a journalist from India who urged Americans to go on a diet as a way of helping solve the food shortage. Even if our over-consumption isn’t directly one of the biggest causes of food shortages, there is a perception worldwide that this is the case. As Americans, and particularly as Christians, we should pay attention to this, because we are hurting more people with this sin than just ourselves and our children.
Ben and Kelsey:
Both of you make important an important point: what we do (specifically in regards to eating) has an impact on how others perceive Christianity. How we live influences how well we are able to share the message of the Christ. This reminds me of Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”
One may argue that America does not over-eat. I would disagree, but it really does not matter. If the perception is that we do, we must do all that we can to change the perception so that we can better share the message of Christianity. That was Paul’s reason for becoming “all things to all people.” Should we not do likewise?
Gluttony is a sin and should be eliminated. But even those who feel that gluttony is not a problem in the U.S. should be concerned about the perception that the rest of the world has about us as American Christians.
You know, I was thinking about this again yesterday. Many Americans think that fasting is a stupid practice. Outdates, useless. And they think that you can fast something besides food.
Now, I agree that denying yourself of something that isn’t food is a healthy practice. But denying yourself food is perfect b/c it’s something you need, according to the core of your senses. But you have to deny it for a given amount of time. The lessons learned and the pattern established of self-denial during fasting is extremely useful.
I haven’t fasted for a good long while (since Lent of last year or the one before — or maybe even the one before that). I think it may be getting close to time.
Fasting is something that very few people do. I have also noticed, as you mention, that when it is done today it seems to be something besides food or only one certain type of food (i.e. Starbucks). I agree with what you say about denying yourself food because it is a basic requirement for life. There is something more appropriate about that.
Our youth group is doing a 30 hour fast this summer (in June) to raise money and awareness for world hunger. I think this will be a good exercise for them.