Day 16: The “G” word
Thought for the Day: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul thirsts for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1–2)
Have you ever heard a sermon about your eating habits? I doubt it. Excessive drinking, yes. Excessive eating, never. At least I hadn’t until a historic church-going day when the preacher man pulled out the big “G” word: gluttony.
I rolled my eyes, as you have just done, and thought, “How dare you say to me that eating is a sinful desire?” But his point was brilliant and I took it to heart.
How can we stand and wag our fingers in the direction of alcohol only to walk into the church-wide, covered-dish buffet and stuff ourselves sick with fried, covered-and-smothered, grossly caloric delights that buckle our paper plates and cause our stomachs to cry for antacids?
I want you to hear me. I’m not saying that eating is a sinful desire. What I am saying is, if you have a script like this (“I’m fat, I’m ugly, and I’m not capable of getting it together”) playing in your mind, then something is waging war against your soul.
First Peter 2:11 reminds us, “Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul.”
In other words, if something is waging war against your soul, it is a sinful desire. Now please hear me again. Eating in and of itself is not a sinful desire. God made us to consume food, but food was never supposed to consume us. And if food starts consuming us to the point where we cannot feel empowered, then that is a problem.
I imagine at this point you are wondering if we really need to go there with this gluttony thing. It’s not exactly the most girlfriend-friendly topic that makes you want to say, “Preach on, sister. I’m loving this encouragement!”
When we rely on over-stuffing ourselves with food, drinking until we get drunk, or conducting an adulterous relationship, we are revealing a desperate attempt to silence the cries of a hungry soul.
Our souls have the same ravenous intensity as a vacuum cleaner; that’s how God created us — with a longing to be filled. It is a longing God instilled to draw us into deep intimacy with Him. The psalmist expresses this longing as an intense thirst:
As the deer pants for steams of water, so my soul thirsts for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Indeed, our souls are thirsty and ravenous vacuums. If we fail to fill our souls with spiritual nourishment, we will forever be triggered to numb our longings with other temporary physical pleasures that will never satisfy.