Topic – Gluttony: Not a Christian Virtue
Memorise: “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” – Proverbs 23:2
Read: Proverbs 23:1-8 (KJV)
Gluttony is a trait that manifest itself through eating or drinking more than is needful. Indeed, this applies not only to food but to all material things. This habit is found in people who have given their belly or body free rein over their life, such that they are unable to hold back or restrain themselves whenever food or drink is set before them. For such people, the Holy Spirit says their god is their belly (Philippians 3:19).
Gluttony causes a person to develop a deadly appetite for things that can destroy him or her. Food can do and has indeed done great damage to the destinies of many people throughout history. The story of Esau who exchanged his birthright for a meal of red pottage is case in point (Genesis 25:29-34). No wonder Hebrews 12:16 says:
“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.”
From Esau’s story, we see that food can sometimes be used as bait covering the hook of a fisherman. An adage in my native language says, “The rodent is eating free banana and rejoicing; it does not know that sweet things kills”.
One man who understood the principles enunciate in today’s Bible reading was Daniel. On arrival in Babylon as a captive, he determined in his heart not to forget his background and heritage, so he did not allow himself get carried away by the king’s delicacies. He and three other Hebrew boys decided to discipline themselves in anticipation of a time when their stand in God would be tested and they would no longer have access to the king’s benefits.
Whatever a man gives to you, he can also take away from you: This is why the source of our daily bread should be God alone. Whenever someone offers you a “free lunch”, try and decipher the motive behind the offer before accepting it. When I was growing up in my father’s house, the attitude and disposition of a person offering us food determined whether we accepted it or not. Proverbs 23:6 says:
“Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:”
Indeed, it takes self-discipline not to be gluttonous, especially in the time of need. As a rule, in life, never allow your enemies know when you are ‘hungry’ because they can use your needs to get you down. It is out of place to assume that Jacob had studied his brother Esau and was only waiting for the perfect opportunity to lure him with food. This is one of the benefits of a life of fasting. The Holy Spirit says in Proverbs 25:16:
“Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.”
A word is enough for the wise.
Father, I submit my appetite to the restraint of Your Spirit in Jesus’ Name.