OceanSide church of Christ

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by: Dalton Gilreath

Gluttony is something that is often misunderstood. While many recognize the Bible clearly condemns it, we often ignore the reality that this sin can keep us from Heaven (Proverbs 23:21, Luke 7:34). Most also understand that gluttony is associated with over-eating, but do not realize that there is much more involved that must be understood. In fact, gluttony involves a problem with one’s attitude and manner of life. 

The sin of gluttony involves issues within the heart. The very term is associated with one having loose morals and a stubborn mind. This can also be seen in the context in which the Bible discusses gluttony. For example, Moses describes a gluttonous son as being “stubborn and rebellious” (Deuteronomy 21:20 KJV). A glutton is someone who lives life without restraint, obeying nothing and no one except himself. Interestingly, gluttony is associated with a drunkard in this text and nearly every other time it is referenced in the Bible. The attitude you might associate with a drunkard is the same attitude found in the glutton.

Furthermore, the term also denotes laziness. Paul refers to the glutton as a “slow belly” (Titus 1:12 KJV). Other versions of the Bible simply translate the term as glutton. The Greek terms Paul uses here signifies someone who is lazy. Instead of being busy in the work of the Lord, they sit around eating all day. This connection is further made through the pen of Solomon (Proverbs 23:21). He associates gluttony with drowsiness and explains that the outcome will be a life of poverty. Certainly, the bank account of a lazy consumer will be the opposite of the glutton’s belly.

Understanding gluttony reveals how insulting it must have been to Jesus when He was called a “glutton and a winebibber” (Matthew 11:19). Basically, they were calling him stubborn, rebellious, and lazy. Preachers sometimes joke about gluttony after a holiday or meal, but true gluttony is no joking matter. Stuffing oneself with a meal around the holidays does not constitute gluttony. However, constantly overeating due to a lazy and stubborn heart that pursues the desires of the flesh without restraint does. In the words of the apostle Paul, “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).