Lord's Day Liturgy

How to Go Glutton-Free

Previously I took a crack at a predictable sin among dieters. In light of the abundance given to us by God, a certain sort of calorie counting and package reading panic belongs with, and nurtures, a discontent person. He is not thankful for the gifts or the bounty and he thinks too much about No and not enough about Yes.

I mentioned that I might chase that exhortation with one about gluttony. Restrictions in dieting and asceticism, whether of all food or of culturally taboo foods, is often the rejection of good. Gluttony must be the opposite, craving and consuming too much of the good.

Though we might focus the contrasts between dieting and gluttony, both share the most common ingredient of discontent. Abstaining tendencies tell God (usually in an ill-defined thought) that He’s wrong for giving too much, while overindulgent tendencies tell God He hasn’t given enough. In both cases a man is being selfish. In both cases he’s telling God that He is wrong.

A man might become a glutton because he’s lazy, like the Cretans who were “always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Being drunk on food is a way to get out of working for food. He’s discontent with God’s plan to work. A man might also become a glutton because he’s afraid. He’s unsure when or if he’ll see food again so he eats four helpings to give himself some padding. He’s discontent with God’s promise to provide.

The only way to go glutton-free is in Christ. It’s by eating and drinking in thanks. We see again how the insidious yeast of discontent makes skinny souls and how thankfulness raises fat ones.