The Acceptable Christian Sin of Gluttony #13



TEXT: Genesis 3:1-6

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

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St. Nilus of Sinai said, “Why do demons wish to excite in us gluttony, fornication, greed, anger, rancor and other passions? So that the mind, under their weight, should be unable to pray as it ought; for when the passions of our irrational part begin to act, they prevent the mind from acting rationally.”

According to the Stanford Health Coalition, “Obesity is the leading cause of type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes usually begins in adulthood but, is now actually occurring in children. Obesity can cause resistance to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. When obesity causes insulin resistance, the blood sugar becomes elevated. Even moderate obesity dramatically increases the risk of diabetes.”

This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.

Gluttony began where all sin began — in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were faced with their own temptation. While the story of the Fall is not an indictment against gluttony specifically, several aspects of the account provide insight into how the devil, human nature, and societal pressures work together to get people hooked on gluttony which we will explore.

First, we will look at the aspect of desire. We read that “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired.” The woman’s desire was stimulated by what she saw, what had been placed before her eyes. It was a lovely fruit that she looked upon — one that she believed would give her something that she wanted. Unfortunately, she gave in to the desire of her eyes and took the fruit and ate it. How many times have you seen some food item and bought it just because it was “pleasant to the eyes”? You saw it and you said, “I bet that will taste good.”

The Bible, however, commands us not to give in to “the lust of the flesh” and “the lust of the eyes.” The temptation of our Lord, the Second Adam, gives us an example of what to do when faced with this combination temptation. When the devil offered Jesus a way to make bread for himself, after forty days of fasting, he refused. He said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Jesus did not allow his human desires to dictate his behavior. And we can do the same through the power of the Holy Spirit. We can say “no” to food no matter how “pleasant” it looks to the eyes. And we can feed on the word of God

PRACTICAL STEP: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” by Mike Anderson, we continue learning why we should cease eating refined foods. He writes, “As opposed to the simple carbohydrates found in refined foods, complex carbohydrates are found in natural, whole foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. These are the good carbohydrates that keep your blood sugar level on an even keel, promote health and keep you feeling full longer because they contain their natural fiber and all the nutrients nature gave them.”