Lets face it. Christians love to condemn others for the things that they don’t do. The gossips condemn the gluttons, the drinkers condemn the smokers, and the ones that don’t do anything condemn everyone. The Bible does give us guidelines. As far as drinking alcohol wine was given in the old testament as a blessing. Paul said the leaders in the church should not drink much wine. But the legalists love to twist scripture and make it no wine.
Drunkenness is a sin. Proverbs shows us that. But drinking in moderation is not according to the Bible. The Bible says wine was given to make the heart merry. Smoking is not a good thing, but it is not named in the bible. Gluttony and gossip are. Which do you think God cares more about? We are to control our appetites. But you can’t just stop eating altogether either. Then we all love to sit in Moses seat and hand down the law for others. We raise doubtful things to “thus saith the Lord.” We love to pick at little sins and let the big ones go by. We strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.
I watched as a tall good looking man in a suit walked up to another not as well to do man in jeans, t-shirt smoking a cigarette, the man in the suit with the most disgusting look on his face had said in the most condescending tone he could muster ‘your going to Hell, the moment I was saved I…I stopped smoking that moment, and I became perfect!’ As the man in jeans walked away questioning if he was truly saved the man in the suit turned to his friend and said, ‘I’m glad I’m not like that man!’
Do you see how we place undue burdens on each other? And how confused not only we are but other Christians…AND the lost! How are the lost supposed to get it right when WE can’t?
Gluttony seems to be a sin that Christians like to ignore. We are often quick to label smoking and drinking as sins, but for some reason gluttony is accepted or at least tolerated. Many of the arguments used against smoking and drinking, such as health and addiction, apply equally to overeating. Many believers would not even consider having a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette but have no qualms about gorging themselves at the dinner table. This should not be!
Proverbs 23:20-21 warns us, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” Proverbs 28:7 declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
Physical appetites are an analogy of our ability to control ourselves. If we are unable to control our eating habits, we are probably also unable to control other habits, such as those of the mind (lust, covetousness, anger) and unable to keep our mouths from gossip or strife. We are not to let our appetites control us, but we are to have control over our appetites. (See Deuteronomy 21:20, Proverbs 23:2, 2 Peter 1:5-7, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, and 2 Corinthians 10:5.) 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).
God has blessed us by filling the earth with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and pleasurable. We should honor God’s creation by enjoying these foods and by eating them in appropriate quantities. God calls us to control our appetites, rather than allowing them to control us.