We continue with the fourth installment of our seven-part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss Gluttony.
Gluttony, the overindulgence of eating/drinking to excess, will physically and spiritually harm you if left unchecked and unaddressed. Overeating/drinking can result in physical illnesses such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and liver disease, just to name a few. Gluttony robs you of the life you were meant to live, because you become the slave to the object of your temporal desire. You become fixated on the food and/or the drink.
Gluttony causes you to use food and/or drink to look for that momentary “respite” from the reality of your life; to eradicate pain that originates from a painful reality; a reality that you care not to address at the present time. Yet, the respite is short-lived, and the pain runs deep. Until you come to grips with why you overeat/drink, the cycle will continue to repeat itself, and your body will ultimately deteriorate.
Gluttony is considered one of the seven deadly sins because gluttonous behavior places food and/or drink ahead of anything else, including and most importantly, God. We were created to love God with our whole hearts, minds and souls; to not have idols before Him. When we place more importance on eating and/or drinking, over God, we are guilty of gluttony.
How to Break the Chains of Gluttony
Anyone who has tried to diet to lose a few pounds knows how difficult the process can be, especially in the beginning. Therefore, I suggest meeting with your doctor first to obtain a proper course of action regarding weight loss. Your doctor will know the eating plan best suited for your body. You may also need counseling to address the root cause for overeating/drinking, as it is most likely emotionally based and deep-rooted. Again, your doctor can assist in this area to connect you with a counselor specializing in this field. Until you uproot and deal with the source of the pain, it will be difficult to move forward toward a healthier lifestyle.
How to Stick with a Diet
The physical cravings during the first one to two weeks make you feel like you won’t make it! Stick with the diet though, and by week five your new eating plan becomes a healthy habit. You’ll need huge doses of Temperance, Perseverance, Patience and Self-Control. These virtues do not come to you out of thin air! You need to engage in prayer, asking the Lord for these graces, because your will power alone will not suffice.
The greatest virtue needed: Humility!!! Acknowledging your weakness – an addiction to food and/or drink – requires humility. Knowing that you cannot break free of this vice alone is a huge first step. There is nothing wrong in acknowledging that you need the Lord’s assistance. In fact, there is everything right in acknowledging the need for His grace. He is here for you – ready to help; ready to heal. The question is: Are you ready to take the first step in eradicating gluttony from your life?