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Discussion in 'Bible Answers' started by Chad, Apr 4, 2004.

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  1. #1 Chad, Apr 4, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2005
    What Does the Bible Say About...Gluttony?
    By Betty Miller

    Song of Solomon 2:15 says, "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes." Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think is little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.

    The "little fox" that I want to address in this article is one that can cause many problems in our lives if indulged in for a long period of time. It is an excess that can cause many maladies. It is over-eating or what the Bible calls gluttony. The over-use of the fork has been the death of many, especially in our country where there is such an abundance of all kinds of food. Also, we are all especially tempted to overeat during the holiday season since partaking of food is a big part of our celebrations. Because we all have to eat every day this little fox can slip in easily.

    Proverbs 23:19-21
    says "Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. 20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: 21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags".

    With so much emphasis on proper eating and physical exercise here in America, it has caused many to examine their lifestyles. A lot of people have now become out of balance by putting too much emphasis on the physical man while neglecting the spiritual man. The other extreme is to be so spiritually-minded that we neglect our bodies by overeating or lack of exercise. The Lord desires order in this area, as our physical condition, if it is not properly cared for, affects our spiritual condition. We cannot serve the Lord to the fullest if our bodies are run down and tired and not functioning as God designed them to function. The medical world is now recognizing that gluttony is one of the major causes of many of our modern day illnesses. Moderation should be our guide.

    Philippians 4:5, "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand".

    As Christians we are to realize the emphasis is to be put upon the spiritual man; however, just because we have an understanding of our spiritual position in Christ does not mean we can break His physical laws of health and not suffer the consequences. The spiritual man should always be given top priority as it needs to be in ascendancy. Its influence over the physical man is greater than the physical man's influence over it.We need proper balance between neglecting our bodies and giving them too much attention.

    "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" ( I Timothy 4:8 ).

    It is easy to recognize that one of the greatest sins in the United States is gluttony. Food has become the god of millions. Jesus has never been made "Lord of the Fork." The Word of God has much to say about man's eating habits. Many sicknesses that are plaguing mankind stem directly from unhealthy eating habits. How should Christians eat? Are all the so-called health foods the answer to our diet problem? The Word of God not only addresses what is healthy for us to eat, but also the spiritual problems we have in this life. Since the Lord created the human body, He certainly knows what is best for us to eat.

    So many have been eating according to the tradition of men instead of seeing what God's Word says about this subject. If we do not eat by the Word of God, our eating habits will be dictated by the patterns of what we have been exposed to in our lifetimes. I will not address the kinds of food we should eat here other than to say that natural foods that are "living foods" (fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, certain meats, and dairy products) are the best for us. The "dead foods" or "junk food" are those that are highly refined and processed and have little nourishment in them.

    Daniel and his companions proved the wisdom of eating properly when they refused to eat the King's meat and instead ask for pulse (vegetables and grains) and water to drink for ten days. After that period of time they appeared more healthy than the other servants of the King.

    Daniel 1:12-17, "Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. 17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams".

    If we are overweight it came about not suddenly, but rather "little by little". This "little fox" begins adding the pounds before we realize it. Each day we over indulge until we become fat. (I realize some people do have overweight problems that stem from hereditary problems however, these can be overcome too, with help from the Lord.) We can tackle this problem with the Lord's help and He will give us the power to trim down. As we seek the Lord and ask for His help in this area, He will not fail us. He will give us the strength to overcome gluttony or other bad eating habits.

    Here are some helps to overcoming weight problems which usually come about through lack of knowledge or lack of discipline or lust for food:

    (1). First, repent for yielding to the temptation of lust for food. (Phil 3:19, "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things".)

    (2). Then, submit to God and ask Him for the power to overcome gluttony through His Holy Spirit and resist the devil through prayer and obedience to God. (James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you".)

    (3.) Next, ask for God's plan for your weight loss. Allow Him to lead you as to what He wants you to do. He knows your body and He will direct you as to how you are to eat. Ask for a desire for healthy foods and ask Him to remove your cravings for unhealthy foods. (1 John 5:14-15, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him".)

    (4.) Daily, thank God for setting you free and do not allow the devil to discourage you by his condemning whispers to your mind. Sometimes the Lord does a quick work at other times it may be slower. Don't be discouraged even if at times it seems slow or you fail occasionally.. Remember, this came "little by little" and it is sometimes more healthy to lose it "little by little" (Losing as little as 2 lbs. a month amounts to 24 lbs. in a year). In the process you will be developing new habits and disciplines that will eventually become established eating patterns.

    (Romans 8:1-4, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit".)

    (5.) Add fasting periodically as the Lord leads. Even fasting one meal or one day a week will help in disciplining your body to be subject to your spirit man.

    (Matthew 6:17-18, "But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly".)

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's".

    Making Jesus "Lord of the Fork"
    By Betty Miller

    Proverbs 23:20-21: "Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: 21 For the drunkard and the
    glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."


    One of the greatest sins in the United States is gluttony. Food has become the god of millions. Jesus has never been made "Lord of the Fork." The Word of God has much to say about man's eating habits. Many sicknesses that are plaguing mankind stem directly from unhealthy eating habits. How should Christians eat? How much should we eat? Are all the so-called health foods the answer to our diet problem? Does the Bible address these questions? Yes, the Word of God has the answer to our questions as to what is healthy for us to eat and how we are to eat.

    Many people's problem with eating is the problem of overeating. This problem usually develops by eating that little extra helping of food. This "little fox" can grow from one of just "one more cookie" or "another bite of candy" until there is no restraint and then the lust of food rules one's life. In the above verse gluttony is listed along with drunkenness. Although, society doesn't look down on overeating that much. The Bible declares this is a serious sin and warns us to resist yielding to this kind of appetite. Someone has said that the drug of the yuppies is gourmet food and fine wines. It is respectable to entertain and have expensive food served to one's guests. Now God wants us to enjoy the good food He created for us and there is nothing wrong with cooking and serving guests in our homes. However, when all of our spare time revolves around cooking, entertaining and eating rich and expensive food, something is wrong, especially when God is left out of our lives.

    Proverbs 23:1-3: "When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: 2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. 3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat."

    With so much emphasis on proper eating and physical exercise here in America, it has caused many to examine their lifestyles. Many people have now become unbalanced by putting too much emphasis on the physical man while neglecting the spiritual man. The Lord desires this area also to be in balance as our physical condition, if it is not properly cared for, affects our spiritual condition.

    The spiritual man should always be given top priority as its influence over the physical man is greater than the physical man's influence over it. "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come'"( I Timothy 4:8 ). We need proper balance between neglecting our bodies and giving them too much attention.

    God is a good God and has promised us the blessing of enjoying the good food that He has created. Psalm 22:26: "The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever."

    It is only when we abuse our bodies through overeating or wrong eating that is wrong. Some people become very defensive over the issue that we should bring God to the table. They want to eat as they please, however as Christians we must bring the Lord into this area of our life as well as every other area. Remember the first sin in the Bible that led to all of mankind's downfall was when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate something they were told not to eat (Genesis 3). This certainly was a seemingly little thing that caused sin to enter into the world. The real problem was the disobedience to God. We should ask the Lord to help us in this area if we are struggling with this problem. Although I can't address the answer to our eating habits in this article I will list a few things that we should do that will help us lose weight and overcome gluttony. One note though, you do not have to be overweight to commit the sin of gluttony. If you lust after food it is a sin..


    A good guideline would be to eat "living foods." The natural, living foods are fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, meats and dairy products. The "dead foods" are those that are highly refined. They not only are expensive, but also in most instances do little to nourish. Many people are tired, run down and sick because a large part of their diets are made up of dead junk foods. We want to include at least an outline of some of God's approved foods to help people get started on the road to proper eating. Although this list is not complete, it does give the basic foods that the Bible lists as good to eat:

    Barley---Ruth 2:23
    Bread---Luke 22:19
    Butter---Isaiah 7:22
    Corn---Ruth 2:14; I Samuel 17:17
    Cheese---I Samuel 17:18
    Dates---Genesis 3:2
    Eggs---Job 6:6
    Figs---Numbers 13:23; I Samuel 25:18
    Fruits(All)---Genesis 1:29
    Herbs (Leafy Plants) and Vegetables---Genesis 1:29
    Honey---Deuteronomy 8:8
    Meats---(Beef, Fish,Lamb,Poultry,Venison) Deuteronomy 14; Leviticus 11
    Milk---Isaiah 7:21-22
    Nuts---Genesis 43:11
    Olives and Olive Oil---Leviticus 2:4; Deuteronomy 8:8
    Salt---Leviticus 2:13
    Wheat (Bread, Cereal, Pasta)---Psalm 81:16

    Ask the Lord to help you eat the proper amount of food. Eat only until full. He will help you. He loves you and cares about you. Philippians 4:5: "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand."

    Walking is an excellent form of exercise.

    Fasting helps cleanse the body of toxins that can lead to sickness.

    As we seek the Lord in regard to our diets, He will gladly lead us in the right path. We must not get out of balance in this area and let menus and cooking absorb an exorbitant amount of time since this would be just as bad as ignoring diet altogether and eating anything we want. Here is a good verse to claim as we set our heart to overcome gluttony and the tendency to allow the enemy to tempt us little by little to fall into the trap of overeating.

    Psalm 141:3-4: "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. 4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties"

    May the Lord bless you as you seek Him in this area and make Him the "Lord of the Fork" and overcome this little fox!
  2. So essentially there is no scripture that defines gluttony as a sin per se, rather it falls into the category of living a modest life according to the word of God? Because i had always understood Gluttony to be one of the seven dealy sins, i figured there was like a commandment that says dont be a glutton or something.

    God Bless,

  3. Hi Appius, why do you say that gluttony is not a sin? If it is 'lust' for food isn't it a sin?

    God bless,

  4. God is good.

    For the past two weeks, I've notice a big change in my diet. I eat when I'm not hungry and abundantly. It all started after, my week of pray and fast ( which I usually do ).

    My fast was all about re-dedicating my life and body to God, because I really wanted to get back into, Dance and Worship Ministry. I would of never thought to guard myself from food,... sex yes, drugs yes and alcohol of course. Not food.

    I'm slim by nature,so it's noticeable that I've put on a few pounds.

    I've already started exercising, the eating I have to pray about ( It's become a habit )
    I knew something was wrong,because I was dealing with alot of guilt, not physical but spiritual one. I wanted to bring it up for you guys to pray, but it seemed silly, so I didn't bother.

    So I must thank you Chad for this great post, for many of us over look the little things.
    I'm going to start my day with that verse quoted, and also say it as I exercise.

    Thanks again Chad:love:
  5. 1 Cor.6.

    19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body

    I often think and quote this verse as I believe that we need to feed our bodies correctly with the right type of food because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to look after our body as we will not get another.
    We have one heart and that needs to be cared for too.

    God bless :love: :rainbow: :rose:
  6. This has been such a huge problem in my life. I have used excess food to get me through the days ever since I was a teenager, and have not been able to change. I have asked God for help with this so many times, but I have not been truly ready to give up the food.
  7. Indeed and consider this verse:

    "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." I John 2:16

    The "lust of the flesh" it would seem to me includes anything that stands in any measure between us and God.
  8. This is where my guilt comes from. I believe it is a sin.

  9. But... the control is out of your hands. We are slaves to sin until we allow Jesus to take control and to keep control. This is an impossible thing for our flesh and blood mind and body. We must ask for help... and it is no mortal man we ask, for no mortal man can provide what is needed.

    "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." Mark 10:27

    "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt 6:33

    "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

    For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matt 7:7-8
  10. The problem is that I have never truly been ready to give up the food. I can never seem to get to that point.

  11. Something that I feel is often overlooked by many is the fact that gluttony does not merely mean a lust for food, gluttonous practices can pertain to a greedy collecting of any items of wealth to the point of extravagance.
  12. No it is not in you or me or any person alone to get to "that point". How much do we really trust God? How much do we really trust Jesus? Never enough if we still continue to repeat our sins, which we know are sins. You must ask and continue to ask for God to help you put Him always first in your life. How many times do we need to repeat such a prayer? If the prayer is really not amiss, then we must repeat it until it is answered. Keep giving God the glory and giving Him thanks for the answer to your prayer, which is your answer.

  13. You are right. For years and years I have asked God to help me with the overeating problem. It has always seemed like I was talking to the wall. However, just last week I realized how much anger I still had toward God for things starting in my childhood. I have not trusted him. And I have never really gotten to know Jesus. I have asked God to forgive my anger and resentment toward him, and to give me a change of heart. I will continue to pray for these things, and try to trust that he hears my prayers, and that he does care. (Hard for me).

    I don'[t think the overeating will change till these other things do.


  14. #14 Trisha, Sep 24, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
    Try the book Diet Alternative. I just got mine and it is a Christian way to get compulsive and addictive eating under control. Food gets into its proper place, which ISN'T first in our lives. In the Bible only two meals are ever mentioned, breakfast and supper. Children who are smaller need to eat more frequently but adults don't need three meals. If they are the proper weight and feel hungry between, they can have a little juice, or something else to drink. If they are overweight, they will likely not feel true hunger between meals. Any weakness is a feeling of withdrawal for them (there are very few with the catch all illness of "low" blood sugar, which I thought I experienced but now know that was bunk). This book if followed will have you getting your hunger/full response back. They are "broken" with overeaters. Its a great little book, loaded with scripture and it was recommended to me. I bought it from When a person fasts between breakfast and supper they give that meal and/or snacks they would have eaten when they ate whatever way they wanted, up to the Lord.
    Believe me, it is truly a sacrifice when someone is addicted to food and eats all the time to give that as sowing to the Spirit instead of sowing to the flesh. One thing I learned is that giving up food with the Lord involved is easier than trying it alone and also it is easier than dealing with self-condemnation about eating too often and too much after doing that. The book is about allowing God to help you and gaining control over your "idol" Losing weight is an off shoot of that control. This is a life style change, not for doing for a time and then going back eating the same once the weight drops off. If anyone would like a buddy to do this with I would be willing to be one.
  15. #15 amadeus2, Sep 24, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
    What you are looking at is a life style change as mentioned in the other person's recent reply to you. Sometimes when a person is young and not long into a particular habit or routine, he can change it easily without asking God for help. But, the farther along the road we get with that old way of doing things being a part of us, the more difficult it becomes for flesh alone to do it, if it is even possible.

    When we come to Jesus, we are NOT coming to Him because we are overweight (although that may be involved), but because we know that we are in sin, which we cannot set aside so that we can love Him as He wants to love Him. Getting on a new diet isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is not really what God wants from us. He wants us to give all of ourselves to Him. We need help to do that. When the process has really started it will sometimes bring with it some beneficial side-affects, such as feeling and looking better physically.

    Paul's words tell us what our impossible goal is:

    "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Rom 12:1-2

    To accomplish what Paul tells is our goal requires going back to the Matt 7:7-8 I quoted earlier.

    If we always put first things first, God will take care of the rest, which includes the physical, but do not expect more than what God promises.
  16. Well, this all started when I was in junior high. I am almost 52 now. I worry about the weight in regard to my health, but that is not the main reason I want to stop the behavior. Mostly I feel guilty about it, and feel it comes between God and I.

  17. Arabhorse, this is how I feel also. The more food we want and don't eat because we want to put God first, the less guilt we feel. I would strongly advise that book Diet Alternative.
  18. Trisha,

    Are you familiar with the Weigh Down Workshop? I have done that in the past. It did not help me to stop overeating, but it did cause me years of guilt. I really think I need to work on my general relationship to God before I can get anywhere with the overeating. I need to have a real desire to please him, which I have not had. It is really hard to be angry with someone and want to please them at the same time.

  19. Yes, that Weigh Down book did not help me either. I was skeptical about just buying another diet book. With this book, it is about fasting, giving up one thing to God at a time, one meal, one sweet cheat or anything you want to eat but don't need. As you know the other addictions can be out of our lives completely but unlike those ones, we still have to eat. It is the hardest addiction of all because of that. So this provides a way to break the cycle. I have to adjust the book to my health. I found I was not eating vegetables, just meat and starch when I ate just breakfast and supper, so midday I will eat vegetables, fruit, salad, juice or whatever to get more vegetable matter in. I never did call any of this food a meal because to me it is so tasteless and I don't like them that well. No danger of gorging on these whatsoever. So if you do get this book, even still you do what you CAN do, as everyone is different. I really liked learning that only breakfast and supper were eaten, then a few figs or olives along the way between those meals. When I give up the junk I like, like ice cream or chips, one at a time I give this up to the Lord and tell Him, this is for You, to maintain Your healthy temple.
    I did not know you were angry with God. I am not and so I have a strong desire to please him. Even still it is hard, hence a sacrifice to him. What is in the book is one ideal way to do it....but it is a way that works for the author and for others. Everyone is different. Have I flubbed up, yes, and will I, yes, but I will not give up. Im the temple of the Holy Spirit and must take care of that temple. It would be easier if I had a group to go to and others that would try it too, but if it is just God and I, I will keep trying anyway. To give up is to be chained to this addiction forever and I know that gluttony is a sin. Food is not my god. And like other addictions, it is no good and it shortens life and my life is not my own because I was bought at a high price.
    I was angry at someone, three people actually, and just as anger towards God hinders you yourself in pleasing him, so does anger or unforgiveness towards people (speaking of my self here), because this blocks my relationship with Him. I prayed and pleaded with God to set me free of this. I am not angry anymore, but every so often this anger or unforgiveness will rear its ugly head because the situation is ongoing and I pray about it again. I pray that you will lose this anger and love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and feel that desire to please Him that he deposits in us. You are right, it would be hard to please someone if you are angry with them. Maybe once your anger subsides you can use something of what I have written here.
    Even though we try and fail, the trying is the main thing, never giving up is what counts. Good days and bad days are a fact. God knows and he is a loving Father. I feel that gluttons have all good days eating, they feel no remorse. Once someone does feel guilt I prefer to call them addicts instead of gluttons because they hate what they do. Ours is the hardest of addictions since we can't just give up eating altogether. It is like someone telling an alcoholic, you can have one drink a day but no more, or a drug addict they can shoot up half as much as they have been doing.
    Forgive my rambling on. Maybe others are reading this also and will work on their compulsion to eat. My brother literally died from overeating and so I have seen first hand how it steals your life and makes misery while living.
  20. Interesting what you said about gluttons. That is true. They do not feel guilt over their behavior. I have felt so much guilt that it has been killing me slowly. I have never wanted food to be my god. This is not something I set out to do. It has been comfort for me. Yes. I should have been getting that from God, but I haven't been able to do that.


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