Gluttony is perhaps the most tolerated sin in American Christianity. I say this, not as someone who is immune from the attractions of the buffet line, but as someone who needs all the help he can get. And I think if we’re honest with ourselves, most — if not all — of us have a dysfunctional relationship with food. We love it, and we hate it. We often find ourselves careening between stuffed stomachs and crash diets. Or perhaps we’ve given up altogether, watching with resignation as our waistlines expand into the distant horizon.
And then there’s that pesky issue of guilt. Restaurants use it like forbidden fruit to get us to save room for dessert. Fitness programs use it like a cat o’ nine tails to whip us into a lifestyle overhaul. Our own conscience, even, can rebuke us with how often we fall short of glorifying God with our stomachs. Guilt is powerful. Like the lawyers of Jesus’s day, it loads people with burdens hard to bear, and yet it will not lift a finger to help (Luke 11:46).
So as we consider the issue of gluttony, my aim is not to shame you into injecting more kale chips and chia seeds into your diet. My aim, to use the language of Hebrews, is to strengthen your hearts with grace (Hebrews 13:9). Gluttony, after all, is food worship. It’s table idolatry. It’s more about the direction of our loves than it is about the contents of our cupboards. How, then, do we discipline our appetites? One answer — and the one I want to explore here — is to quite literally turn the tables on gluttony by coming to the Lord’s Table with fresh resolve and fresh hope. In other words, I want to encourage you to see the Lord’s Table, not simply as a weekly or monthly or quarterly ritual, but instead as a training ground for self-control.
Gluttony is more about the direction of our loves than the contents of our cupboards.Tweet
Here are eight ways the Lord’s Table helps us in the fight against gluttony..........