I have a confession to make. There is a sin that has bested me for years. I have tried to overcome it by sheer will power and grit, but it always overtakes me and I am left ashamed.Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. John 5:16b (NIV)
I am a glutton.
I don't think I'm alone. While we always think of gluttony as eating too much food, I don't think that's all there is to it. Gluttony does manifest itself in food consumption with me sometimes, but it's just as easily some other vice taken to excess.
This is not about a sudden need to lose weight or get in shape or fit into my favorite jeans. At 5' 6" and 150 lbs, I could certainly stand to lose some weight, but I am also pretty average by American standards.
This is about my propensity to stuff my hurt, my boredom, or my disenchantment about life with food or facebook or computer games or television.
There is a void in me that Jesus longs to fill.
But that takes too long, so instead I grab the nearest whatever that will release some endorphins and palliate the ache. Because that reprieve is only temporary, I want more, until I begin stuffing to the point of gorging and wind up with dulled senses or a stomach ache.
This is a problem on many levels, obviously.
We tend to minimize the sin of gluttony. After all, most churches are filled with gluttons and it seems like a mild sin...one that only hurts oneself. At the end of most church potlucks, it is common to hear some groaning and comments like, "Man, I overdid it." What would fellowship look like if it didn't include some gluttony?
God takes it seriously, however.
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Proverbs 23:2 (NIV)Ouch! Do you remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? God destroyed those cities because of their wickedness, sparing only Lot and his family. What was their awful sin? Maybe not what you might think.
Sodom's sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. Ezekial 16:49 (NLT)Gluttony interferes with my ability and my willingness to minister to the poor and needy around me. If I am spending money on snacks from the drive-thru because I've had a hard day, there is little left to sponsor an orphan. If I am wasting time on computer games or facebook because I'm trying to fill a void, there is little left of me to give to the family with whom God has entrusted me...the needy outside my (bedroom) door.
This is one of those "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" kind of sins. The kind we are deceived into thinking we should be able to handle on our own - more of a character flaw than actual sin.
But it is a sin.
And needs to be dealt with as such. So, here I am, confessing to you. There is power in public confession and I want to be set free from this. I want to be free to meet the needs around me. I want to let Jesus fill the void instead of stuffing it with a cupcake.
Will you pray for me?