This is by no means the only Biblical reference to the fate that gluttons shall meet. Indeed, Proverbs discusses gluttony at length, asserting that, “Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father (Proverbs 28:7),” while you should, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony (Proverbs 23:2).”
Now, I’m pretty glad that we don’t stone gluttons anymore, as I likely wouldn’t be writing this article if we did, but the severity of the punishment for committing the sin of gluttony does, however, drive home its importance in the teachings of Christianity; it is certainly not a sin which is to be taken lightly.
If we are to conform with the Bible’s teachings regarding resisting the temptation to succumb to gluttony, it is imperative that we also understand how it is defined. In this instance, Saint Gregory is most helpful, offering insights into the Bible’s definition of gluttony, enabling us to better avoid committing the sin.
Saint Gregory asserts that one is guilty of being gluttonous, offering a Biblical reference as evidence, if they: Eat before the time of meals (1 Samuel 14:29), seek delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the sense of taste, complaining against the provision of God (Numbers 11:4-5), seek sauces and seasonings for the enjoyment of the palate (1 Samuel 2:15-16 and 4:11), exceed the necessary amount of food (Ezekiel 16:49), and take food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious (Genesis 25:30, Hebrews 12:16-17).
3. Give your body to God
While I have discussed the importance of recognising that your body belongs to God, it is also imperative to be willing to give your body to the Lord.
This gift of our body is something that the Bible asserts that God wants us to willingly give, in addition to our spirit. Indeed, in Romans 12:1, it is spoken that, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Maintaining a healthy body is, therefore, something that God had directly asked of us, and we should certainly not seek to disappoint Him.
In addition to giving our body, unquestioningly, to God, the Bible also highlights that our body belongs to our family. 1 Corinthians 7:4 dictates that, “The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
This passage from Corinthians has a deep impact on the way that I choose to live my life. I realised, after reading the passage, that, by failing to follow a balanced diet and take regular exercise, I was depriving my family of their right to my body.
My unhealthy lifestyle was slowly killing me and ensuring that I would have less time to spend with my family. My wife was too kind and loving to point out that my lifestyle was shaving years off my life, and she shouldn’t have to. I finally realised that eating right, and exercising regularly, was an integral part of the commitment that I should be making to my family; to act in any other way is simply selfish.
Now that I have made some lifestyle changes, and am committed to living in a more healthy manner, not only has the length of time that I will get to spend with my family increased, but the quality of the time has improved too, as I have more vitality and energy on a day to day basis, helping to ensure that I make every second with them count.
Making the change
The way in which you choose to look after your body is a matter of personal choice. Failing to maintain a healthy body is certainly not going to determine whether you go to heaven or hell, as going to heaven is a grace that is received by accepting Jesus as your saviour, but it does play an integral part in ensuring that you are physically able to fulfil God’s mission with your life, as well as being able to instil important values within the minds of your family.
Maintaining a lean body may not be possible for every Christian, owing to poor genetics, a slow metabolism, or the negative side effects of certain, necessary medications. To think that this is the point is to miss the principle.