In the current cultures in the world, many people celebrate food and the love of eating because it brings people together. The common saying is that there is no genuine love like the love for food. However, as people get lost in the love of food, they might forget that overeating is not noble for believers, and the Bible discourages it. Believers therefore ask, Is Overeating A Sin?
According to the Bible, some scriptures imply that overeating is a sin. Proverbs 23:19-21 and Psalms 78:18 suggest that overeating is a sin. Other verses warn Christians about overindulging in the flesh, which means giving too much priority to the flesh. It translates to the idea that overeating is bad because it is a way of prioritizing the flesh.
This article writes about; what does the Bible say about overeating? Reasons why some Christians think that overeating is a sin. How to overcome overeating as a Christian, and What Bible verses talk about overeating? Read on to find out.
What does the Bible say about overeating?
Overeating is referred to as gluttony, and there is no specific verse in the Bible that says directly that gluttony is a sin. However, we can conclude from verses in the Bible that suggest that gluttony is indeed a sin.
Overeating can be defined as eating immoderately and loving food more than loving other equally important things. It creates disproportionate handling of issues in a Christian’s life. Moreover, gluttony results from too much desire for food leading to selfishness which can be listed among sins. In essence, gluttony stems from greed, and Jesus speaks against greed. In the book of Luke 12:15, it is written that “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” This verse guides Christians against disproportional priorities, which include loving food too much and being greedy. It, therefore, implies that the Bible suggests that overeating is a sin.
Any person who overeats is most likely unable to control themselves. For Christians, self-control is among the most essential qualities because it helps them stay out of sin. In the book of 2nd Peter 1:5-6 it is written, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and
to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness.”
The Bible encourages Christians to have self-control, faith, knowledge, goodness, and perseverance. Eating moderately, therefore, exemplifies more than self-control, including knowledge. If Jesus teaches self-control and you, as a believer, lack it and give in to gluttony, it can be equated to going against his teachings which is, in a way, a sin.
Also, the Bible says that most desires of the body lead humans into sin. Being gluttonous is equal to giving too much priority to the desires of the flesh, which is suggested to be a sin. In 1st Corinthians 9:27, it is written that “No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I will not be disqualified for the prize.”
This was when Paul was focused on ensuring he was not disqualified by controlling the desires of his body. It implies that taking care of physical needs and wants is essential for all believers to stay qualified. Therefore being a glutton disqualifies believers because it implies that the glutton is a slave to their body and not the way Paul teaches.
To further discourage gluttons, it is written in the book of 1st Corinthians 6:12 that “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.” Christians have a right to love food, but there is no benefit from the obsession with food which leads to overeating. Moreover, overeating can take control of someone and allow their soul, mind, and body to be mastered by food which is discouraged in the scripture. Also, in Galatians 5:13, believers are discouraged from giving too much priority to the flesh; overeating is another way of indulging the flesh.
Philippians 3:19 says, “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things” The verse implies that overeating is equal to idolatry because it is a way of making the stomach a person’s god. Overeating will eventually lead a person to their shame.
Reasons why some Christians think that overeating is a sin
Christians think that overeating is a sin because they consider it another form of idolatry. Christians define idolatry as the prioritization of anything before God. Overeating is equated to prioritizing food over God, which is why it is considered a sin because it is idolatry.
Obeying the body’s command to get more than enough food is, in a way, making food a person’s master and disobeying God. Christians look at what Paul said in Philippians and conclude that overeating is a sin. Philippians 3:19 says, “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”
Also, overeating can lead someone to more sin. It is only sins that can lead to more sins. In addition, overeating is associated with laziness, and God does not encourage his people to be lazy. A lack of self-discipline and self-control often causes overeating. Being a Christian requires discipline and self-control, which a glutton lacks and will most likely lead them to more sin, like laziness and poverty, and Proverbs 23:21 echoes this idea.
How to overcome overeating as a Christian
Christians can overcome overeating by inviting God to be around them while they eat. To achieve God’s presence during eating, shut away all distractions and pray before eating. Focus on the fact that the food before you has come from God, according to Psalms 145-15. Controlling overeating needs focusing on how to eat and to eat while praising God for the wonderful gift of taste and flavor.
Christians can also look at eating as a way of glorifying God. 1st Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” Christian have to keep it at their fingertips that God is always around them and watching them, then they can eat in a manner that pleases God.
Lastly, whenever cravings come around, Christians are encouraged to pray. Praying is, in a way, telling the desires that God comes first and he will reduce the cravings to nothing.
What Bible verses talk about overeating?
Proverbs 23:19-21 says, “Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: 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.
This verse implies that overeating is a sin that has consequences. The consequences of overeating are becoming poor and leading a shameful life. Also, Proverbs 28:7 says, “A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” This verse implies that overeating leads to sin because, in a way, it disgraces the father of believers.
Psalms 78:18 says, “They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved” You know you are drowning in sin when food is replacing God in your heart and mind. Having no control over the thoughts and cravings for food leads to overeating. In essence, the cravings take charge of a person’s lifestyle and lead them to sin. It also echoes Philippians 3:19, which implies that gluttons are idolaters because as they put God to taste, they turn their stomachs into gods.
Deuteronomy 21:20 says, “They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” We understand that overeating is associated with disobedience, stubbornness, and rebellion.
Proverbs 23:1-3 “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive” This verse implies that overeating can land someone into deceptive situations. Too much love for food can lead someone into the trap of enemies. Therefore overeating is a disgrace because it is accompanied by other evils like laziness and being a liar.
Proverbs 25:16 says, “If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit” It implies that overeating is unnecessary and even dangerous because you will end up removing all the food through vomit.
Luke 12:23 says, “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” This verse implies that believers should not let the love for food be their essence. Life is more than overeating, and there should be a balance in setting priorities.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.