The Worst Timed Blog Ever - Gluttony

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Let me prepare you. This is a blog in regards to gluttony. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You might want to wait it out and read this after. 

As someone who has 20 plus years of experience in fitness industry, I would say that 80% of those inside these health clubs rarely change aside from weight gain. You see, you can workout all day long but weight loss or getting into better shape is mainly a product of the food we put into our bodies. Yes, there is genetics and health issues that certainly play a part as well, but for the most part, nutrition is the key. I would also confess to always being genetically thin and 'falling into' the gym business as a career....plenty of advantages from the get go. Not sure if I have the 'voice' for this blog but here it goes.....

I've had two very interesting jobs. I spent 20 plus years managing health clubs helping others physically then the last 5 years as a Connections Pastor here at Fellowship Church, helping others spiritually. Interestingly enough, I have yet to 'conquer' either. They both take a lot of discipline and passion. Years ago, I'd often run into people at the supermarket and hear the reasons why there was Doritos and Pepsi in their carriage ("oh, it's for the kids."), now I hear why they haven't been to church in a while ("the kids, etc")   

Physical and spiritual health will change your life. They truly coincide. When you really grab hold of one, it can really affect the other. When I eat better and exercise I have more energy to read Scripture and spend more time with God (without falling asleep!) When I am spending more time with God I learn the value of health, my body being a temple and how being healthy gives me more years to do His work and more years to have with my family. 

Here's the problem: We live in a country where food is everywhere. It's advertised on TV far too often, all of us have a fast food place within minutes of our house, and it's even at our jobs (there always seems to be a birthday cake to celebrate!) Ever try to eat good at a work function? 

Scripture really does have a lot to say about eating, or overeating (gluttony). 

Proverbs 23:2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.                                      No other sin says to “put a knife to your throat”

Proverbs 23:20-21 NCV Don’t drink too much wine or eat too much food. Those who drink and eat too much become poor. They sleep too much and end up wearing rags.

Most people have heard the term gluttony before and are certainly aware of the dangers that come along with it health wise. When we overindulge in anything, it can be dangerous. I know people that work too much, exercise too much and serve too much! 

We live in a country that has made overeating way too accessible. Most meals at restaurants today can feed 2-3 people. We have supersize options and many of the drinks we order have more calories than some of the food! 

If your Thanksgiving Day is anything like ours, the cooking and prep take forever and the eating part takes about 10 minutes. We eat far more than what we're comfortable with eating, then we fall into a food coma and blame the tryptophan. 

I read a fascinating book recently where the author interviewed hundreds of older people in their 70's and up. They had so many thoughts on health. They often said that it's not dying we should worry about, it's chronic disease. One couple said if they did it all over again, they would watch what they ate and exercise because for the last 15 years the wife was taking care of her ailing husband dealing with diabetes and lung cancer from a life a overeating and smoking. Can you imagine being in a wheelchair on oxygen for 15 plus years because of a love for french fries and cigarettes? We often have to remember that when you're ailing, others ail with you. Someone has to take care of you. Spouse, parents or even children sometimes pay the price for a life of carefree intake. 

I've learned in my life that everything I take in affects me in some capacity. For me, sugar makes me tired, too many carbs makes me want to take a nap and salty foods make me want more salty foods. When I am not eating very well, I am not as productive. This goes for my walk with God. Try reading your Bible after a large breakfast! 

"We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. " 1 Corinthians 10:5  Sometimes food can be a proud obstacle. 

Our appetites are always threatening to take over our lives, and satisfying them becomes our obsession. 

Satan has hijacked God’s good gift of food to try to destroy us. In fact, I believe satan's plan was to keep this gluttony thing hush hush. The less people know the better. We certainly don't talk about it at any church! Gluttony feels like the 'accepted sin' in church.

My challenge though is to be aware, knowing the ease of overeating. Most of us are emotional eaters. We eat to celebrate and we eat when we're down. Clearly God gave us the gift of taste and the variety of foods to eat for a reason, so let's hold tight to the truth of Scripture and celebrate God’s goodness through His gift of food without abusing or overindulging. It's not easy!         

Clearly, we have all been fooled into seeking lasting comfort and fulfillment in temporal pleasures that will never satisfy. (Money, sex, food and drink) Like any of these, our appetites have been targeted by our enemy in an effort to thwart God’s good plan. Satan will use whatever tool he can to distract people from seeking satisfaction in God, and if money, sex, or power don’t hold any sway over you, then French Fries or chocolate milk shakes just might.  God promises us not just a taste of His goodness, but that we will find complete satisfaction in Him. 

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35 . 

When we are truly leaning on God, trusting Him and seeking Him daily, we won't have to find our fulfillment in temporal pleasures

Proverbs 25:28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Practice self-control. Call sin what it is. Repent.

I cannot finish this blog with that. It's the holidays. Enjoy them. As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 5:18:  "Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life." To an extent.....