Gluttony

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Tinkerbell725

Senior Member
Jul 19, 2014
3,595
634
113
Philippines Age 39
#1
How do you tell someone that gluttony is a sin without offending them? Some people complain they are getting too fat but get offended if you tell them to stop overeating and start exercising.

I have a friend who struggles with an eating disorder. I suspect she has Bulimia because sometimes she pukes after eating too much. She complains she cannot control herself from eating too much. I don't know how to help her. I just said overeating is a sin. Although she did not say anything, I think she was offended or hurt. I just pray that she gets divine intervention to stop overeating.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
15,673
2,683
113
#2
Frankly I have never thought of being overweight is automatically translated as gluttony.

Many people who are overweight are sodue to poverty. They need to eat more of the poorly nutritious foods they can afford that are almost always high in calories.

I know of a woman who was under 5'22", pregnant and weighed over 200 lbs. She was poor, carrying me. I was born with rickets in spite of my Mom's eating, lots of beans corn meal and other legumes, not a balanced diet but a diet that keeps many poor alive.

Twnty years later my Mom was slim and quite lovely. She remained so until her demise a few years back because she was able to afford a good balanced diet.

She was never a glutton, and overweight people have many reasons other than gluttonly for being heavy; some are simply born with the gene.
 

Tinkerbell725

Senior Member
Jul 19, 2014
3,595
634
113
Philippines Age 39
#3
Frankly I have never thought of being overweight is automatically translated as gluttony.

Many people who are overweight are sodue to poverty. They need to eat more of the poorly nutritious foods they can afford that are almost always high in calories.

I know of a woman who was under 5'22", pregnant and weighed over 200 lbs. She was poor, carrying me. I was born with rickets in spite of my Mom's eating, lots of beans corn meal and other legumes, not a balanced diet but a diet that keeps many poor alive.

Twnty years later my Mom was slim and quite lovely. She remained so until her demise a few years back because she was able to afford a good balanced diet.

She was never a glutton, and overweight people have many reasons other than gluttonly for being heavy; some are simply born with the gene.
Yes it is not all due to gluttony but most overweight people really eat too much.

Japanese people eat only up to 80 percent fullness. They are highly disciplined people even in their eating habits. So most of them are not overweight. They are not even a predominantly Christian country.

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self control and this includes self control in our eating habits. Gluttony in one of the most tolerated sins.

Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,602
1,877
113
#4
How do you tell someone that gluttony is a sin without offending them? Some people complain they are getting too fat but get offended if you tell them to stop overeating and start exercising.

I have a friend who struggles with an eating disorder. I suspect she has Bulimia because sometimes she pukes after eating too much. She complains she cannot control herself from eating too much. I don't know how to help her. I just said overeating is a sin. Although she did not say anything, I think she was offended or hurt. I just pray that she gets divine intervention to stop overeating.
Yes it is not all due to gluttony but most overweight people really eat too much.

Japanese people eat only up to 80 percent fullness. They are highly disciplined people even in their eating habits. So most of them are not overweight. They are not even a predominantly Christian country.

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self control and this includes self control in our eating habits. Gluttony in one of the most tolerated sins.

Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
Hi Tink,

I'm sure that you are wanting to speak to your friend from a place of love, but if I could, I'd like to suggest asking God for the discernment of how to approach her.

First of all, the definition of "overweight" and "gluttony" can be very subjective. I wear an American size 6 jean. My friends who might be around a size 14 tell me I'm skinny. But my relatives, who are a size 0, tell me the same things that you are wanting to tell your friend - basically, that I'm sinning by not taking care of my body and ingesting all the wrong foods and way too much of them (as I write you this, I'm snacking on plain rice Chex - no milk, no nothing - because over the years, I've become so afraid of "fattening" foods, that this is one of the very few things I think I might be "allowed" to eat - except that it has carbohydrates, and I know some people would tell me I shouldn't be eating those, either.)

While I love those people dearly, they don't see me as being healthy or "the right size" (small enough) unless I were the same size as they are (and even then, I'm sure there would be another hoop to jump through.)

I agree that being excess weight can be unhealthy, but I do think God has made us in different shapes and sizes, and for a reason.

I can't tell you how damaging a few well-intended, "helpful" suggestions like this can be. My entire life, I have fought a demon that constantly tries to tell me to starve myself down to nothing and condemns me daily when I fail (by eating something.)

Secondly, I do understand that food is most likely the number one drug that people wrestle with, whether they realize it's become a drug to them or not, and there seems to be research now showing that for some people, food can work in a similar way as alcohol or drugs. I never got into any of those because I figured if I couldn't handle food, any whiff of those things would have me flying off the rails.

But I remember a light going off in my head when I attended a Bible class where a young man described what fighting off alcohol was like for him, and I could have taken his words and used them myself, except I would have substituted food for alcohol.

Finally, going back to asking God for discernment over what to say to her - for most people, just telling them that they are sinning and that they should stop isn't going to work, although sometimes it can (and if that's what God is wanting you to do, by all means, go for it.) But there could also be a myriad of biological things, such as insulin resistance, that go way beyond mere self-control.

There is usually a whole heap of emotional struggle behind eating disorders as well. Food is often a comfort and escape from things such as shame, bullying, low self-esteem, depression, and sometimes even used as a way of trying to control other addictions. I can't claim to be any kind of expert of course, but I've read/heard many accounts in which people use food as a way to cope with their sexuality.

For instance, some people who are sexually abused use food as a comfort, and the extra weight as protection ("I'll make myself so unattractive - no one will ever want to use me again,") while others eat as a way to keep them from trying to do all the other things they already feel condemned over, such as smoking, drinking, or porn.

What are some of the personal struggles you deal with yourself, and if you take a good, hard look in the mirror, what things are sustaining those behaviors? This might be helpful in thinking about how you want to word your concern to your friend. Most people do not respond well to, "Hey, you're a big fat sinner, and you just need to stop, because your weight is a total disgrace to the Lord."

I do agree with your point that gluttony is a very popular and well-tolerated sin - sometimes especially in the churches! After all, most churches are held together by events that involve food - refreshments after church, church potlucks, fundraisers (all you can eat pancake breakfasts!), and even contests where people bring enough food to feed an entire continent in order to see who makes the best cookies, chili, or pie.

I also understand that we as Christians must help one another strive to make healthier choices, but I would like to suggest that you express your concerns in a way that encourages her to talk to you about what mechanisms are actually holding those unhealthy patterns in place, and how you as a friend can lovingly help her overcome them.

I know you care about people and want only the best for your friend, Tinkerbell.

But I also have no doubts that many a well-meaning Christian has sent many people down a the long, lonely, hellish road of disordered eating all out of "Godly" concern that was not carried out in a kind or helpful way.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,602
1,877
113
#5
Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
This verse is very fitting for the feelings many people with eating disorders have, because you wind up feeling that because you are failing all the time and are therefore displeasing God every day, there is no reason left to live.

The knife has never made it my throat (yet), but when I was a teen/young adult, I had cut marks all over my arms and ankles, because I felt like such a failure at dealing with my own gluttony.

I will pray for your friend, Tink.

I don't know what's going on in her life, but I sure hope she will be given enough love, acceptance, and forgiveness for her to allow God to help her overcome it.
 

Tinkerbell725

Senior Member
Jul 19, 2014
3,595
634
113
Philippines Age 39
#6
This verse is very fitting for the feelings many people with eating disorders have, because you wind up feeling that because you are failing all the time and are therefore displeasing God every day, there is no reason left to live.

The knife has never made it my throat (yet), but when I was a teen/young adult, I had cut marks all over my arms and ankles, because I felt like such a failure at dealing with my own gluttony.

I will pray for your friend, Tink.

I don't know what's going on in her life, but I sure hope she will be given enough love, acceptance, and forgiveness for her to allow God to help her overcome it.
Thank you very much @seoulsearch for your words of wisdom and your prayers for my friend. Something is going on with her life. She always fights with her husband. She is rebellious. Her teenage daughter also cuts. I prayed for her a lot. Maybe God has made a way for the fights to stop because the husband needed to work away from home for a while.

I also believe that compassion and truth goes hand in hand. Maybe I'm just weaker on the compassion part, maybe because of my own upbringing. I believe that God is still growing me on that part. But as long as God knows my intentions, I hope my ways will work. It is still God who will finish the work on my friends heart. My friend is not a christian and I have been praying for her to get saved.

I will also pray for your struggle with your eating habits. I know you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. God bless.


For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.4.12.KJV
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,602
1,877
113
#7
Thank you very much @seoulsearch for your words of wisdom and your prayers for my friend. Something is going on with her life. She always fights with her husband. She is rebellious. Her teenage daughter also cuts. I prayed for her a lot. Maybe God has made a way for the fights to stop because the husband needed to work away from home for a while.

I also believe that compassion and truth goes hand in hand. Maybe I'm just weaker on the compassion part, maybe because of my own upbringing. I believe that God is still growing me on that part. But as long as God knows my intentions, I hope my ways will work. It is still God who will finish the work on my friends heart. My friend is not a christian and I have been praying for her to get saved.

I will also pray for your struggle with your eating habits. I know you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. God bless.


For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.4.12.KJV
Hi Tinkerbell!

Thank you very much for being willing to listen to my suggestions. I agree with you 100% that compassion must be offered along with truth, because a huge part of my own damage was dealt by Christians who were experts at doling out truth, but knew little to nothing about how to help others carry it out. I have also run into many people like this who want understanding for themselves and their own problems, but as for anyone else, all they have to offer is the law without love, and feel they will be blessed for doing because they are speaking the truth of God.

They don't seem to realize that there is a bit more to it, because this is exactly why Jesus called out the self-proclaimed religious experts of His day.

The passage you quoted (about the Word of God being sharper than any two-edged sword - Hebrews 4:12) is one of my favorites.

But I think it must also be balanced with a few others, such as:

1. "For the letter of the law kills, but the Spirit brings life." - 2 Cor. 3:6

2. "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the light of Christ." - Galations 6:2

3. (My personal favorite:) "Woe to you, experts in the law! For you load the people with heavy burdens hard to bear, but you yourselves will not lift a finger to help lighten their loads." - Luke 11:46

The church is filled with people who, if a man were standing on the ledge of a building waiting to jump, would show "the love of Christ" by shouting Bible passages at him about how much he was sinning and that murder (of self) would be breaking one of the most crucial 10 Commandments, meaning (if raised in my childhood church) that he would also immediately go to hell.

Now, I'm certainly not saying we should throw out any or all of God's commandments (because then we swing the other direction and become people who use grace to excuse sin, which is just as wrong), but I am always dumbfounded when I come across church members (from my own life - I am NOT at all saying you are like this, Tinkerbell - it's just an example), who seem to have no clue as to how to actually deal with living, breathing, feeling people, and always shout out memorized passages/laws by default.

Maybe that man is standing on that ledge because his mother died of cancer, his wife left him for another man and took their children, he just lost his job, and he really does feel as if there's nothing else to live for.

So the question then becomes, how can we as Christians, handle this with both truth, compassion, and real-live action that shows we are willing to help this man with his burdens? It's certainly not something only one person can do (but one person can most certainly be a start), and it's going to take a lot more work, time, and effort than just throwing cookie cutter Scriptures at the poor guy.

Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge," and most seem to interpret this as a need to study, break down, and memorize more Bible passages, which I personally believe is, of course, a very crucial part of the puzzle, but not the only piece.

The Bible also says, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding" - Proverbs 4:7.

I personally believe that while wisdom is the Word of God, understanding is how to apply it, and these can be two very different things to master.

For example, a doctor can be at the top of his field, but if his bedside manner is terrible and he can't communicate or work well with either his colleagues or his patients, all that knowledge just goes to waste.

I would suggest asking God if He even wants you to say something to her about her weight to begin with. One of the things I learned inadvertently during counseling was the importance of working to discern causes vs. symptoms. The problems your friend is having with eating might be a symptom of all the other issues she's having in her life. Maybe what she really needs first before addressing the weight issue is to seek help for herself and her family to start addressing what's causing the fights and cutting. If the root causes are dealt with on a deeper level, usually the symptoms won't go away or will just manifest in other, sometimes even more destructive behaviors.

And, don't feel like you have to do it all by yourself, Tinkerbell. God gifts us in different ways so that we can work together. :) I admire you for both recognizing that compassion is more of a struggle for you and then also working to show more of it - that's awesome!!!

I am going to pray that God will send others into this woman's life as well, to pray for her and offer her words of both truth and understanding, and that you all might be able to help make her burden a little lighter (and that God will send you people to help you with your own burdens as well.)

Thank you very much for allowing me to give my perspective, and for sharing yours.

God bless you for showing the person both truth and compassion, and please keep us posted!
 

Miri

The Thingy Member
Jul 22, 2012
9,058
2,010
113
UK age 51
#8
How do you tell someone that gluttony is a sin without offending them? Some people complain they are getting too fat but get offended if you tell them to stop overeating and start exercising.

I have a friend who struggles with an eating disorder. I suspect she has Bulimia because sometimes she pukes after eating too much. She complains she cannot control herself from eating too much. I don't know how to help her. I just said overeating is a sin. Although she did not say anything, I think she was offended or hurt. I just pray that she gets divine intervention to stop overeating.
Bulmania is a mental health issue. The best thing you can do is encourage her
to seek help, maybe for her to go to her doctor. Telling her she is a glutton and
greedy when she is compulsively eating, will make her worse and cause greater
distress. For example I know someone who was raped and afterward she wouldn’t
stop eating and put loads of weight on. In part it was she hated herself, in part it was to
make herself look unattractive so it would not happen again, in part she was punishing
herself for the shame she felt even though it wasn’t her fault.

People with Bulmania have deeper issues which need addressing. Sometimes its
linked to anorexia where the person realises they can still binge but starve
themselves.

Be the better friend and suggest she needs help and you would like to help.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Bulimia/
 
R

Rasputin_OZ

Guest
#9
Yes it is not all due to gluttony but most overweight people really eat too much.

Japanese people eat only up to 80 percent fullness. They are highly disciplined people even in their eating habits. So most of them are not overweight. They are not even a predominantly Christian country.

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self control and this includes self control in our eating habits. Gluttony in one of the most tolerated sins.

Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
read the verse on context
Proverbs 23:1-3 (KJV)
1 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.


it is saying don't eat lots when in front of the rulers , as his food is probably very fattening etc etc,, not healthy at all, so control your self.
 
R

Rasputin_OZ

Guest
#10
overweight and over eating not necessarily linked. it depends on what u eat.

You can eat lots and lots of lettuce and not get fat.

So as wise stewards of our body , eat wisely and if you enjoy eating, make sure you enjoy exercise too.

The biggest issue with gluttony is eating that which should be given to others.
 

Krumbeard

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2019
327
265
63
42
#11
Hi Tinkerbell!

Thank you very much for being willing to listen to my suggestions. I agree with you 100% that compassion must be offered along with truth, because a huge part of my own damage was dealt by Christians who were experts at doling out truth, but knew little to nothing about how to help others carry it out. I have also run into many people like this who want understanding for themselves and their own problems, but as for anyone else, all they have to offer is the law without love, and feel they will be blessed for doing because they are speaking the truth of God.

They don't seem to realize that there is a bit more to it, because this is exactly why Jesus called out the self-proclaimed religious experts of His day.

The passage you quoted (about the Word of God being sharper than any two-edged sword - Hebrews 4:12) is one of my favorites.

But I think it must also be balanced with a few others, such as:

1. "For the letter of the law kills, but the Spirit brings life." - 2 Cor. 3:6

2. "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the light of Christ." - Galations 6:2

3. (My personal favorite:) "Woe to you, experts in the law! For you load the people with heavy burdens hard to bear, but you yourselves will not lift a finger to help lighten their loads." - Luke 11:46

The church is filled with people who, if a man were standing on the ledge of a building waiting to jump, would show "the love of Christ" by shouting Bible passages at him about how much he was sinning and that murder (of self) would be breaking one of the most crucial 10 Commandments, meaning (if raised in my childhood church) that he would also immediately go to hell.

Now, I'm certainly not saying we should throw out any or all of God's commandments (because then we swing the other direction and become people who use grace to excuse sin, which is just as wrong), but I am always dumbfounded when I come across church members (from my own life - I am NOT at all saying you are like this, Tinkerbell - it's just an example), who seem to have no clue as to how to actually deal with living, breathing, feeling people, and always shout out memorized passages/laws by default.

Maybe that man is standing on that ledge because his mother died of cancer, his wife left him for another man and took their children, he just lost his job, and he really does feel as if there's nothing else to live for.

So the question then becomes, how can we as Christians, handle this with both truth, compassion, and real-live action that shows we are willing to help this man with his burdens? It's certainly not something only one person can do (but one person can most certainly be a start), and it's going to take a lot more work, time, and effort than just throwing cookie cutter Scriptures at the poor guy.

Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge," and most seem to interpret this as a need to study, break down, and memorize more Bible passages, which I personally believe is, of course, a very crucial part of the puzzle, but not the only piece.

The Bible also says, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding" - Proverbs 4:7.

I personally believe that while wisdom is the Word of God, understanding is how to apply it, and these can be two very different things to master.

For example, a doctor can be at the top of his field, but if his bedside manner is terrible and he can't communicate or work well with either his colleagues or his patients, all that knowledge just goes to waste.

I would suggest asking God if He even wants you to say something to her about her weight to begin with. One of the things I learned inadvertently during counseling was the importance of working to discern causes vs. symptoms. The problems your friend is having with eating might be a symptom of all the other issues she's having in her life. Maybe what she really needs first before addressing the weight issue is to seek help for herself and her family to start addressing what's causing the fights and cutting. If the root causes are dealt with on a deeper level, usually the symptoms won't go away or will just manifest in other, sometimes even more destructive behaviors.

And, don't feel like you have to do it all by yourself, Tinkerbell. God gifts us in different ways so that we can work together. :) I admire you for both recognizing that compassion is more of a struggle for you and then also working to show more of it - that's awesome!!!

I am going to pray that God will send others into this woman's life as well, to pray for her and offer her words of both truth and understanding, and that you all might be able to help make her burden a little lighter (and that God will send you people to help you with your own burdens as well.)

Thank you very much for allowing me to give my perspective, and for sharing yours.

God bless you for showing the person both truth and compassion, and please keep us posted!
Very interesting thread. A lot of good stuff here. Doesn't apply only to eating too much.

Seoul,
Your posts are very insightful. If you are not a counselor, maybe consider it.
 
Jun 16, 2019
3
2
1
#12
People who like to overeat, will justify their eating habits in many ways. Anything advised in the contrary only offends them. You can't win.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
9,020
1,570
113
#13
over-eating-over drinking-over drugging-over sexing-over technology- (all of these are LUSTS of the FLESH),
but they are usually manifested because of (emotional-pain) -
if one comes into The Body of Christ, then (over-coming) is possible,
'For we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us'...
even those in the world can 'manifest temperance' -
we have known many 'non-christians' who have stopped 'eating-drugging-drinking, etc.)
 

BillG

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2017
6,757
2,612
113
#14
over-eating-over drinking-over drugging-over sexing-over technology- (all of these are LUSTS of the FLESH),
but they are usually manifested because of (emotional-pain) -
if one comes into The Body of Christ, then (over-coming) is possible,
Amen.

It's the affect of the cause.
Deal and heal the cause then the affect will drop off.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
3,042
1,184
113
#15
Deal with the trauma first.
I dont know THE answer, but I do know that some people overeat because it fills up a hole inside. Sometimes its eating for comfort. But they arent seeking the true Comforter.

If your friend knows the Lord then pray for healing. Sometimes you cant help people who dont want to be helped. Unfortunately they will end up in hospital sooner or later because of their eating habits. Many dont want to deal with their underlying issues, but if they willing to confess or talk about it, be a listening ear and pray with them.
 
M

Mrsmom

Guest
#16
Yes it is not all due to gluttony but most overweight people really eat too much.

Japanese people eat only up to 80 percent fullness. They are highly disciplined people even in their eating habits. So most of them are not overweight. They are not even a predominantly Christian country.

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self control and this includes self control in our eating habits. Gluttony in one of the most tolerated sins.

Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”

I eat literally until I am 200% full. So does my husband and we are not active. We are both 20 pounds overweight.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
15,673
2,683
113
#17
I eat literally until I am 200% full. So does my husband and we are not active. We are both 20 pounds overweight.

It is a habit that can be broken with patience. I know people beel much healthier after just one day without a lot of carbs or sugar, but that first day of regimen can be very haard..it is worth it. i FOUND MYSELF JUST EATING MORE OUT OF HABIT SO i CHANGED MY WAYS ANS AFTER JUST TWO DAYS MY ENTIRE SYSTEM SEEMED TO CHANGE ALL FOR THE BETTER. i PRAY YOU ALL HAVE THE BLESSING TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS...……….
 
M

Mrsmom

Guest
#18
It is a habit that can be broken with patience. I know people beel much healthier after just one day without a lot of carbs or sugar, but that first day of regimen can be very haard..it is worth it. i FOUND MYSELF JUST EATING MORE OUT OF HABIT SO i CHANGED MY WAYS ANS AFTER JUST TWO DAYS MY ENTIRE SYSTEM SEEMED TO CHANGE ALL FOR THE BETTER. i PRAY YOU ALL HAVE THE BLESSING TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS...……….
I know , it rakes discipline. I have lost 50 of the 70 poubds i gained while pregnant. My husband also gained weight. We eat healthy but we are bot eating at a calorie deficit which is key. Unless you work out and burn calories that way. We just got a gym memership last night. My son is now 6 so hes not a little baby playing with other babies. Im going to make sure he has his full armor on when we take him to the kids club.
 

Tinkerbell725

Senior Member
Jul 19, 2014
3,595
634
113
Philippines Age 39
#19
1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 KJV

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
1,705
1,215
113
#20
Sometimes depression is the root cause. Overeating is used as an escapes mechanism. It is a downward spiral. Try to help them understand that they are loved. Give them hope and encouragement. Empower them. Meditating on the Word of God does this for me. Pray for them. God is the fixer of all problems big and small, fat and skinny:)