Prayer For Victory Over The Sin Of Gluttony
7 Reasons We Struggle with Gluttony
I am a glutton. I know I am because I weigh too much. My BMI is just inside of obese. I’ve tried Weight Watchers and Slimfast and support groups. I’ve counted calories. Three times in my life I have crashed dieted and lost over 50 pounds.
Unfortunately, within three months I gained it all back. I’m obese and losing the battle instead of losing the fat. Any biblical help would be greatly appreciated.
I have never taken an accidental bite of my food in my life. Unfortunately, I’ve taken too many bites. I, too, have too much fat.
Nevertheless, I feel somewhat qualified to answer your question–especially because I know that I can share with you what the Bible says about how to get victory over gluttony.
What is Gluttony?
Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more food than we require.
Gluttony is an acceptable sin in the church today. That’s not how God sees the sin of gluttony in our midst. I imagine that God might say to the church, “I really don’t all that fat slopping around the Kingdom.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 is addressed to the church: “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is addressed to individuals: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Why We Struggle With Gluttony
1. Food is everywhere.
C. S. Lewis sets the scene in “Mere Christianity”: The theater lights dim, the band begins to play softly and sensuously as a man enters from stage left carrying a silver tray which is covered by a white cloth.
He walks to the middle of the stage and begins dancing lewdly before setting the tray with the white cloth on a table. He whirls his hands over his head and then moves slowly and deliberately as he slides the cover off the silver tray.
In the middle of the tray is a pork chop.
“Would not you think that something has gone wrong in that culture about food?” He asked.
Of course, his seventy-year-old vision has come true in America today. From the Food Channel to “Chopped,” we are strangely twisted and control with our love for food.
2. Comfort food works so well.When we’re miserable it’s so easy to over eat carbohydrates— especially sugar. Within forty-five minutes those chemicals are transforming into serotonin which is the “feel good” neurotransmitter in the brain. When we are really stressed our brains may scream at us to eat carbohydrates. It’s hard to say “no” when our brains are screaming “yes”.
I testify that comfort food really does work. I can eat a half-gallon of ice cream in less than an hour when I need to.
3. Our genetic makeup can program us to over-eat.
Geneticists have discovered at least forty genes that help control and oversee our eating. It’s possible that overeating turns on some genes that make us hungry that would not have” turned on” if we had not started overeating.
Our ancestors pass along genes and chromosomal material that may influence our weight. Notice how Eskimos are so fat. They need insulation from the cold.
Some people have faulty hormonal problems ( thyroid issues) that take weight control completely their hands. It’s hard to say that overeating would be their fault. However we acknowledge that if no food is available anywhere, no matter what the chemistry, people will not get fat.
4. Poor nutritional habits developed during childhood can doom us to a lifetime of over-eating.
Personally, I was big for my age— not fat, just big. Unfortunately, I remember that in fourth grade I picked up the nickname, “Fats.” Sadly, I took it to heart. I remember eating triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to impress the guys in the class. What a shame.
Looking back, I see how my mother tried to control everything we ate, and when we ate it. I can’t blame my mother for my adult overeating, but I do think that in some ways I was set up during my childhood to overeat.
5. They are sinners.
Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. Gluttony is a sin of the flesh.
6. They are under a satanic attack.
In Ephesians Chapter 4, Paul mentions that it’s possible for us to commit a sin so often that we open the door for Satan to have a demonic “foothold” in our lives. Victory here would necessitate winning a spiritual battle.Remember that the Bible teaches that every area of our lives not under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit is open to control by demonic spirit.
7. They are addicted to food.
Food-a-holics must be beware of falling off the wagon just an alcoholic. A support group with weekly meetings is essential.
They need extra help and support to get well.
How to Win the Battle with Food
1. Treat gluttony as the sin that it is.
Confess that you are guilty of gluttony and that you know it is wrong.
Repent by “turning over a new leaf” and commit to a new life without gluttony.
Ask for and receive God’s forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Read Romans 6:1-12 and recognize that you are dead to sin and that you don’t have to sin if you don’t want to.
2. Be on guard against a satanic attack which may be the result of perpetually succumbing to gluttony (Ephesians 4).
If Romans 6 doesn’t bring victory and you feel that your gluttony has become a spiritual foothold satanic attack, use James 4:7 as your guideline for freedom: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
3. Go ahead and be afraid of fat.
Extra fat in our bodies is a quiet killer. At can cause cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Recognizing that it’s slowly destroying us can scare us into keeping our mouths shut more often.
4. The only foolproof way to lose weight is to stop eating so much.
We are bombarded with advertisements for quick weight-loss diets. Let’s be honest, they don’t work. Those who lose weight with a quick-loss diet will soon begin regaining what they lost. They have not changed their eating habits enough to maintain their goal weight over time.
Faithful adherence to “Weight Watchers” principles of wise eating over a long period of time has brought success to many.
Personally, I’ve tried everything ranging from counting calories to support groups to research projects to quick loss diets to Weight Watchers.Nothing worked for me until (1) I started treating my gluttony as sin and (2) I began recognizing that I could choose to eat smaller portions if I wanted to.
Remember. The only way to permanently lose weight is to treat gluttony as a sin and stop eating so much.
“The ability to say ‘no’ to anything in excess—self-control—is one of the fruits of the Spirit common to all believers” (Galatians 5:22).
I hope that I given you some long-term-helpful advice. Here are several more versus that you might enjoy applying in your life.
Proverbs 23:20-21: “Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”
1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Romans 12:1: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's “Ask Roger” column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at email@example.com.
Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide.
Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr.Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese.
His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.
Publication date: January 8, 2015
6 Remedies Against Gluttony (Overeating) from the ‘Sinner’s Guide’
There is a wonderful little book called “The Sinner’s Guide”. Do not read this book if you don’t want your sin brought into the light! This book is for souls who are seeking personal sanctity.
I stumbled upon these remedies against gluttony, from which I suffer sometimes and I thought I’d share some of the “remedies” from that book with you.
1) Remember That Gluttony Brought Death into the World
|“When you feel the promptings of this shameful disorder, subdue them by the following considerations: Call to mind that it was a sin of gluttony which brought death into the world, and that it is the first and most important passion to be conquered, for upon the subjugation of this vice depends your victory over all others. We cannot successfully battle with enemies abroad when the forces within us are in a state of rebellion. Thus we see that the devil first tempted Our Saviour to gluttony, wishing to make himself master of the avenue through which all other vices find an easy entrance.” The Sinner’s Guide.|
The devil tempted Eve through food. Aside from wanting to be more God, the fruit was beautiful. Satan used the oral orifice to tempt both her and Adam. In addition, the devil also sought to tempt our Lord through gluttony and visions of food during his long fast. This tells us that gluttony is a dangerous vice that the devil knows how to use to his benefit.
2) Consider Our Own Lord’s Fasts and Mortifications
|“Consider also Our Saviour’s extraordinary fast in the desert and the many other rigorous mortifications which He imposed upon His Sacred Body, not only to expiate our excesses, but to give us a salutary example.|
How, then, can you call yourself a follower of Christ, if, when He fasts, you abandon yourself to the gross pleasures of the table? He refuses no labor, no suffering, to redeem you, and you will do nothing for your own salvation!” The Sinner’s Guide.
A 40-day fast is no joke.
If our Lord was able to fast for 40 days, how is it that we can’t say no to an additional serving of cake or french fries? Maybe we should meditate on our Lord’s fast to put things into perspective.
3) Frequently Reflect Upon the Terrible Austerities and Wonderful Fasts Observed by the Fathers of the desert
|“St. Bernard tells us, there is no food so unpleasant that it may not be made palatable by mingling it with this bitter draught.|
; how they fled from the world to remote solitude, where, after the example of Christ, they crucified their flesh with all its irregular appetites, and, sustained by God’s grace, subsisted for many years on no other food but roots and herbs.
Behold how these men imitated their Divine Model; behold what they thought necessary to reach Heaven. How can you gain this same Heaven by the path of gross and sensual pleasures?” The Sinner’s Guide.
We live in a world where we are pretty comfortable compared to the earlier Christians. Some at that time could only afford bread to eat and ale to drink. Even then, some went even further to mortify their desires. If we remind ourselves of what they gave up, surely we can stop eating as soon as we’re full.
4) Think of the Poor Who Are In Need of Bread
|” Think of the innumerable poor who are in need of bread; and at the sight of God’s liberality to you, blush to make the gifts of His bounty instruments of gluttony.” The Sinner’s Guide.|
We can offer up our extra servings for those who have to forage for food in garbage cans or line up on long lines at pantries.
We should learn to be grateful for every bite, which will help to quell that desire to “swallow” our food, that is to gobble it up without reflection.
5) Think of Lazarus and the Rich Man
|“To excite in your heart a salutary fear of this vice, recall to mind what is related in the Gospel of Lazarus, of his poverty, of his hunger which craved the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table, and how he was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom; while the rich man, who fed upon delicacies and was clothed in purple and me linen, was buried in the depths of Hell.|
Gluttony is an inordinate love of eating and drinking. Our Saviour warns us against this vice, saying, “Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life.” (Lk. 21:34).” The Sinner’s Guide.
The definition of “surfeiting” is “to desire no more of something as a result of having consumed or done it to excess.” This is exactly what happens when we overeat. We become so full and sick of the food, we desire no more. We should stop eating as soon as we are satiated.
6) Remember That the Pleasures are Only for a Moment
|We may say of gluttony what we have said of impurity, that its pleasures are equally restricted and fleeting. Yet earth, sea, and air seem unable to gratify this passion, for many crimes are perpetrated, the poor are defrauded and oppressed, and little ones compelled to suffer hunger, to satisfy the sensuality of the great.|
It is deplorable to think that for the gratification of one sense man condemns himself body and soul to eternal suffering.
What incomprehensible folly to flatter with such delicate care a body which is destined to be the food of worms! For this miserable body you neglect your soul, which will appear before the tribunal of God as poor in virtues as its earthly companion is rich in sensual pleasures. Nor will the body escape the punishment to which the soul will be condemned.
Having been created for the soul, it will share its sufferings. Thus by neglecting the nobler part of your being to devote yourself to the inferior, you lose both and become your own executioner.
Moderation and gluttony, temperance and excess, will not reap the same fruit in the next world.
That you may not be deceived by the snares of this vice disguised as necessities, govern your appetite by reason, not by inclination. Remember that your soul can never rule the flesh, if it be not itself submissive to God. This submission will be the rule and foundation of its empire.
Let God command our reason; let reason direct the soul, and the soul will be able to govern the body. By observing this wise order decreed by the Creator, the whole man will be reformed.
But when the soul rebels against reason, and reason against God, the body will soon rebel against the soul.Therefore, the following wise saying has justly become celebrated: “If you find difficulty in the performance of a virtuous action, the trouble is soon past and the virtue remains; but if you take pleasure in committing a base action, its pleasure disappears, but its shame continues with you.”The Sinner’s Guide.
The pleasure that we derive in the moment we’re overeating does in fact last for a time. The moment we get full we start to regret overeating. So is it worth it?
These are some of the traditional remedies of gluttony. Have you tried any of them? If so, have any of them helped?