This past week I posted pictures of my weight loss journey upon Facebook. In the post I also made a comment about repentance. I repented of my sin of gluttony and praised God knowing that I can be freed from my past sins. While I expected people to respond in a variety of different ways, the brief discussion on gluttony that followed sparked my interest. One person thanked me for pointing out what he called “the invisible sin.” Another admonished my example as he too had faced criticism for trying to ask for help with his gluttony… someone laughed at him. Brethren, when we start laughing at sin, we have a real problem.
In our country the #1 health crisis is obesity. We have a First Lady who has declared war on obesity. She has tried to combat this growing problem by trying to fix school lunch menus; believing that providing healthy options will encourage children to not overeat. McDonalds has even gotten in on the game as they are trying to provide “heath” foods to dissuade people from not coming back. Fitness centers see a dramatic spike in membership every January from people who seek to loose the 5-10 lbs they gained this past year. We see numerous commercials on TV every day about some new weight loss fad; be it a new pill that attacks fat cells or a new fad diet that helps to melt the pounds away. Magazine racks are filled with articles trying to show us how we can have that Hollywood look. And yet, obesity is still a problem.
While I have no problems with people trying to be healthy, I am not convinced the issue is McDonalds or school lunch menus. The issue is not whether or not fad diets work or beriatric surgery is too expensive. The only thing all this stuff does is mask the real problem. In this country we love sin. We call ourselves a Christian nation but we love to engage in sinful practices. Sexual immorality is running amuck. Pornography is a multibillion dollar industry. Homosexuality is portrayed as the norm. Intoxication is deemed a “good time.” States are now legalizing the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. The American Dream itself is merely materialism with a pretty bow All this tells me is that our nation loves to indulge itself. And what it comes to cuisine that is what we do. We no longer eat to live, we live to eat.
When we go to Pizza Ranch or any other all you can eat buffet why do we feel the need to eat our weight in food? When Thanksgiving rolls around here in a couple of months do we intend on eating a sensible meal or do we load the plate up with all the goodies we would normally not eat, hoping the plate doesn’t give way as we set down at the table? This afternoon we will be getting together at a pot luck. While I am certain that the food will be tasty, it always is, it doesn’t mean that we need to eat so much that our bellies are ready to burst.
Paul warns in Phil. 3:19 that there are some who make their gods their bellies. I do not think he this was be taken only as literally as the belly symbolized one’s carnal appetites, but gluttony certainly would fit into this category. Not only do we not have to stuff ourselves every time we eat, Paul said that by giving into these carnal appetites we are actually sinning. For years I ignored this problem. I gave in to my lust for food. It took its toll on me physically, and it took its toll on me spiritually. Because I refused to exercise self control I made food my master and separated myself from my God.
Yes, my friend called it the invisible sin. But it is not invisible because we cannot see it. The physical ramifications of gluttony are found on the expanding waist lines of Americans. The problem is as plain as the belly in front of us. It is “invisible” because we choose to ignore it. We laugh at the idea of gluttony being something we have to actually ask for forgiveness. How is this any different than what the Athenians did when they scoffed at the idea that they would be held accountable because a day of resurrection was coming? How is this any different than Israel that refused to believe that God was no longer with them? My friends, I don’t know where you stand on this issue. I don’t know if you have the same issue with gluttony that I have had. But, I urge you not to ignore it. I urge you to stop turning a blind eye. I implore you to repent before it is too late. -WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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The Invisible Sin
Volume 5 Issue 40