2005-07-15 - Gluttony
The Seven Deadly Sins Series, Part 1
God hates all sin, of course - because of his purity, and His love for us. But throughout history, we humans have put certain values on different sins. Evagrius, a Greek theologian, started it all with his list of the "Eight Deadly Sins--" gluttony, lust, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory and pride. Later, St. Gregory reduced the list to seven, by combining the somewhat synonymous vainglory and pride.
In Georgia, we have our own list of "Seven Deadlies" in the Criminal Justice System, and people convicted of these offenses earn more serious sentences: murder, rape, armed robbery (with a firearm), aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery and voluntary manslaughter.
Over the next couple months, we will examine the theologians' perception of the "seven deadly sins," particularly in relation to what the Bible says about them, as well as research and our own society. We'll also think about our responsibility as Christians in relation to these sins.
We'll start with gluttony. Both the Old Testament and New Testament deal with it. Two examples:
Proverbs 28:7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
Webster's defines gluttony as:
So it encompasses more than just food. We can be food gluttons, television gluttons, even relationship gluttons. Anything that leads you to think "I just can't get enough of this" and dominates your life, is gluttony.
Modern advertising promotes indulgence. And there is nothing wrong with enjoying delicious food, drink or anything material. But when we become addicted to something or someone, when we are obssessed, or when we neglect the needs of others - then we have made that thing or person our god, and that is idolatry. Our Savior taught us that life is not about material goods, but rather our priorities should be those of Heavenly values.
Also we who have been blessed with so much should have a sense of "noblesse oblige;" we are responsible for using some of our resources to help those who are not as materially blessed. Christ instructed us that those of us who are given much, are expected to do more with it.
We - and I'm included in that "we-" should lose sleep, knowing that there are millions of children dying of starvation, when we go to sleep with a full refrigerator and have to make the "difficult" choice of which restaurant to eat patronize.
Think about your appetites, and what you spend your money for. Ask yourself a question: Do these things / people bring you closer to God, or farther from Him? And ask God to guide you concerning whether you need to cut back on something, or to reroute your money or goods to help someone in need.