What does the Bible say about gluttony

By: Douglas M. Williams Sr

In speaking of an incorrigible son, and the duty of parents, the Bible says, “And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel                        shall hear and fear” (Deuteronomy 21:20-21).

“Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way. Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty” (Proverbs 23:19-21).

“Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12). This word is defined as, “one who eats voraciously, or to excess.”

Much has been said in the media about the problem of obesity in our country among young and old alike, but we may not have seriously noticed what the Bible teaches on the subject.  It is significant that the above Bible verses mention gluttony in connection with drunkards. Instead of “lazy gluttons,” other translations say, “slow bellies” or “idle gluttons” at Titus 1:12.

Even though the Bible makes these plain statements, it also teaches the same thing in principle. For example, the Bible says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (I Corinthians 3:16-17).  And the Bible talks about sinful things and the works of the flesh that would include gluttony in feastings and revelries. Philippians 3:18-19 refers to “enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is their shame –who set their mind on earthly things.” We are not to do anything that would harm our bodies, so gluttony would be included with alcoholic drinking, misuse of drugs, tobacco, and other immoral things.

Gluttony is not a popular subject that is often mentioned, because we are blessed with an abundance of food and we like to eat, but it is a serious matter in regard to us taking care of our health. Many times the problem is not how much we eat, but what we eat.

God gives us instructions about this subject, and all we need to know about life and salvation from sin. Peter says, God “has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Weight loss, diet books and pills are big business in our world, but as we use these things wisely, let us not forget the teachings of God’s word about these things.


#bible-study, #gluttony