Saturday, June 16, 2012

Eat, Drink and Be Merry? moderation.

Have you ever given much consideration to the subject of Gluttony?

Well, other than the uncomfortable moments after a heavy holiday meal when you vow to never eat again...until a few hours later when the bloat goes down, and those memories of sugar plums dancing in your head get the best of ya, as you indulge AGAIN!

I've thought about it from time to time--always after I've eaten too much and feel horrible--physically and emotionally- the guilt that follows  after over-indulging is just as uncomfortable as the waist in my jeans after a  Thanksgiving feast!

I've laughed about it--joked about it-- justified it--tried to stop doing it-failed miserably and then just ignored the fact that sometimes, I am given to gluttony. On a bad day, it may be many times throughout my day.

"If a handful of peanut M&Ms taste good, then the whole bag would be wonderful!"
"If a small piece of cake after my meal is good, then a large piece would be AWESOME!!"

That mentality has not only caused my tiny natural size 4 figure to "blossom a bit " over the years,but it has also left me with a feeling of disappointment. I'm disappointed that a woman of my age, with a pretty strong will who is able to say NO to many things that I know would not benefit me, has been failing at overcoming the urge to splurge when it comes to food.

The following is a part of  a Bible study on Gluttony I recently held in m home. ANd before you say ths would be a deinite case of the blind leading the I told the girls in my group, blind people can't see the path-- I now can see. My eyes have been opened. What I choose to do with this vision before me, has yet to be determined. I've not mastered it--but I will overcome! And you all will get to be the witnesses of the MIGHTY power of God! Because "His strength is made perfect in my weakness." and I will be the first to admit, this an area of weakness for me.

The definition of a GLUTTON is "one who is given habitually to greedy and an insatiable appetite for eating and drinking."

It is sheer defiance of reasonable, balanced behavior. Gluttony is the EXCESS consumption of food/drink. Taking in much more than we need.

Synonyms for gluttony : To cram, stuff or guzzle.

(nice visual there)

Now, there are three things to remember here, before I go any further:

1. Gluttons can be skinny people.

2. All who are overweight are not necessarily gluttons.

3. According to the scritpure, GLUTTONY is sin.

*And for the sake of time and space of this study, we will be handling to gluttony/food portion of this topic.

Gluttony is not just "unpleasant", it is sinful behavior, that will lead us down a road to destruction.
Let's take a look at some of the scripture references on gluttony:

Proverbs 23:20-21:

"Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunken and glutton will come to poverty and slumber will clothe them with rags."


"Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things."

*That part about their god being their belly--makes me think of America...nd one red-haired woman in particular.

Proverbs 23:2

"And put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony."

* I should be a dead woman.

Psalm 78:18

"They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved."

There are more, but this is just for starters.

I think we can tell by just a few of these scriptures, it is much more serious than most of us believe. It is sinful.

We have taken something God has provided for us a means to sustain and strengthen our bodies, and made it something different entirely, by consuming it in massive amounts-- sometimes, many times throughout the day.

"The stomach was not made for food, but food was made for the stomach."

God, in His goodness, created food for us to not only to eat to sustain us, but He went a step further and made it tasty so we could also enjoy it--in moderation. (He's good that way)

But I notice that especially here in America, our huge portions have become acceptable and average, so often we are tricked into believing we are fine. Normally, we don't give the subject of gluttony a second thought until our own vanity steps up and screams NO MORE when we catch a glimpse of buldges, flab, or fat we're not accustomed to seeing in the mirror.

Or possibly, we feel the need to cut back when a doctor tells us we need to lose weight due to heart problems, high blood pressure or diabetes or other physical illnesses, which have been linked to overeating, and especially those linked to overeating the foods that aren't healthy for our bodies.

But gluttony is not wrong only when it shows, it's wrong before the effects are measurable, like every other sin we deal with.

Therein lies the problem. Like other sins, we feel we can get away with committing them for awhile before any ill effects are evident- which is precisely why our Creator, in His wisdom, gave us guidelines-- because He knows that eventually, without moderation and self-control, our paths will end up going down a slippery slope to the road to destruction.

We shouldn't wait to see the effects of our actions before we obey His words. His guidelines are always for our BENEFIT--not to take away pleasure--but to do just the opposite, actually. It is so while we are here in these earthly bodies, we may experience MORE pleasure.

In a 12-step program that we are all familiar with, they always say "the first step is to admit you have a problem." And I agree. However, much like alcoholics and/or drug addicts, we can't just STOP AT STEP ONE! Admitting we are gluttons, or alcoholics/addicts, etc., gets us no closer to freedom than the day we never uttered the phrase.

We must not only admit we have a problem, but begin TREATING IT!

We must treat this excessive behavior as we do other sins we struggle with.

1. Confess (call it what is is. Don't call it "over eating"-- call it gluttony, and admit you are guilty of it.)

2. Ask for forgiveness. Like any other sin we bring before the Lord, when we ask forgiveness, sincerely, He is "faithful and just to forgive our sins and heal us of all unrighteousness."

3. Ask for His Spirit to help you OVERCOME! A fruit of the Spirit is self- control. So, you think you don't have enough self-control to overcome? Not a problem. That's where bowing to HIS spirit comes in. DYING to our flesh and allow His spirit to rule and reign in our mortal bodies is the key.

4. Stop making provisions for your flesh. (Don't have snacks lying around the house. "Just in case. " Plan in advance how you can overcome. "I will eat when I'm hungry-till I'm full- not miserable. I will not snack unless I need strength between meals.)

5. When you feel the urge to splurge (on another piece of cake- or seconds of a great-tasting food, or eating when you're not hungry) PRAY! Read the scriptures! Declare the word of the Lord regarding this.

I love this thought my sister-in-law Judy shared at the bible study: Drop the word "try" from your vocabulary. It really is a wimpy word. "I'll TRY to do better." I'm gonna TRY to get this under control." --It's like we our giving ourself an out because we expect ourself to fail. (I think that is so true!)

Instead, declare HIS words of victory. " I WILL get a handle on this and I WILL demonstrate self-control because "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME!" ~Phillipians 4:13

(Part II soon to follow)


Nancy Speaks said...

I sat down after finishing an entire bag of chips(a 4 serving bag) and saw your post on fb. I am convicted and will be watching for part 2.

Sherri Murphy said...

Nancy- conviction is good--always with it comes hope--if He bothers to bring it to our attention, He will make a way for you to escape!

Debbie Crawford said...

I can always use this kind of encouragement, but the putting it into practice is difficult.

Susan Darnell said...

I enjoyed this and can relate. I like #3 for a lot of other areas also! Great job Murphy!

Anonymous said...

Sherri you sound exactly like me and food!! I agree with everything you said and I too am going to stop when I'm full not miserable. I'm like you I love good food. I put my bathing suit on today and DID NOT like what I saw. I'll be watching for the next one.
Mary Stevens

Nancy said...

I am a glutton - I can't just buy one scoop of icecream because two would definitely be better! Or mini bags of cookies, and I find myself more and more going back for seconds.
I eat to celebrate or push away stress or sadness.
Looking forward to Part 2