“Father, I eat too much. I don’t have the strength or will to resist cake, cookies, and pie (even though they make me feel physically ill after eating them). I need help. I can’t fit my clothes and I hate the way I look and feel but I keep overeating. Please forgive my gluttony. I am weak, Lord. I need Your strength and Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
I am a gluttonous eater. There, I’ve said it. This is the first time I’ve said this openly. I’ve only shared with a handful of people including my husband and the Lord. You may be wondering why I chose to share something so vulnerable and perhaps embarrassing with complete strangers. Well, I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit my sin because God is gracious and I don’t have to prove myself. Also, I’m not doing this just for my sake. I’m sharing my heart with strangers in hopes to help someone else with the same struggle who may or may not realize they’re struggling.
We live in a culture that rejects certain things as being sinful. Gluttony is an acceptable sin in our culture. We label gluttony as obesity and deem it a medical condition rather than a spiritual one. We look at behavior and the result of behavior but not the root of it all; which is the heart. Gluttony is a condition of the heart. Like all sin it is a result of not being satisfied with God.
Being confronted with sin that is accepted as not being sin can cause some intense reactions. People tend to get hard hearted and defensive. That reaction is understandable. When we think of gluttony, we tend to think in terms of the grotesque. (Think 1000++ person unable to get out of bed or wear clothes or take a shower, etc.) The word itself sounds disgusting (a personal opinion). It is offensive.
It is so offensive that the only person capable of revealing that truth is the Holy Spirit. It’s something that has to be revealed to the heart supernaturally. That’s exactly how God had to reveal it to me. I knew that I needed God’s power to deal with my weight but I didn’t think it would come by way of repentance.
I feel it wise at this point to add this disclaimer: I am not implying that being fat is a sin. Being overweight is not necessarily a result of gluttony. There are many reasons for being overweight or even underweight. What I am saying is that for me and for many others, there is an issue of unrecognized and/or justified sin. By God’s grace I was able to agree with the truth and repent. The truth was that I was dissatisfied with God. God was not, as shown by my actions, enough to satisfy me during times of need. Food was my comforter.
I learned this during a very trying time. I began to pray about things in my life that I struggled with and needed to give over to the Lord. My weight was one of them. It seemed so out of place and off topic when God answered that prayer. Erik and I were having a discussion about the way I dealt with suffering. Erik never said a word about my weight or anything related. Somewhere in that conversation, He (Holy Spirit), gently revealed to me that I was a glutton.
I can’t recall all of what was revealed but I knew that at the root of my being overweight was a problem with my heart. I had misplaced affections for God. Instead of worshiping the Creator I was worshiping the creation. After the initial shock, I began seeking resources and scripture to help me deal with my sin. I asked God for true desire and affection for Him and to help me lose weight and care for my body. I repented of gluttony and I am now actively making changes to improve my overall health.
I’m not writing this from a pedestal of great achievement. I’m still very far from my goal weight and I am constantly fighting to not overeat. I find that reminding myself that overeating is not just damaging to my body but also to my relationship with God keeps me from eating too much.
I want to leave you with something I read that was very beautiful and encouraging to me. It help me put my relationship with food into perspective. I hope that these words would encourage you the same way and that all that you read here would be fruitful. Stay healthy!
“Instead, we might learn to accept what we have as what it truly is: a gift. Food is manna from heaven; its sweet sustenance points us to the True Manna. Jesus is the True Bread, of course, but He feeds hungry people with actual bread before telling them so. Jesus is the Choicest Wine, and He offers only the best wine abundantly at Cana as a sign and a testimony—and for celebration. These earthly things—bread! wine!—are not gods in themselves. They point us to God. They should not be idols, but we should not make the alternate error of believing they do not matter at all.
To rightly understand the gift of food is to refuse to eat it mindlessly—to love it well, attentively, gratefully—is almost inevitably to give thanks to the One who gives it to us. To enjoy His gifts is to enjoy the Giver Himself, who is in the beauty of the world, not apart from it. This is what sustains us and readies us for the Supper of the Lamb, where He who was called “drunkard” and “glutton” will be our eternal host.” -Rachel Stone, Relevant Magazine