In my last post, I talked about gluttony as a sin and our human tendency to have areas in our life in which we are in "excessive indulgence" of something. I focused mainly on food, as this is an area I know I struggle with in my life.
It is important that we develop self-control over our eating habits, not only because it is better for our body, but because it glorifies God and the beautiful body he has given us. But this discussion applies to any area of our life in which we are in habitual want of something.
Again, this is not about shaming people who are overweight or claiming that being overweight is a sin. This is focusing on a heart condition. Are we allowing something in our life to rule over us when Christ should be our number one desire? If you haven't read my first post yet, go back and read before continuing on with this post!
In Part II of this post, I want to focus on strategies and tips to help us take back control over these areas of our life, specifically when it comes to food and our tendency to overindulge.
1.) SEEK SPIRITUAL FOOD
While I was researching for this post, I came upon an interesting article. It talked about the large amount of food analogies in the Bible referring to Christ himself. Some examples:
“I am the bread of life. Come to me and you will not hunger.” – John 6:35
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” – Psalm 34:8
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” – 1 Peter 2:2
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Interesting huh…I think the implication here is that we should be craving God and a relationship with him. We should let God be our Spiritual Food and he will fill us up. If we seek Christ and find satisfaction with “spiritual food”, then we will have more power over our fleshly nature to overindulge.
Seek Christ and His help. He can help us overcome our gluttonous desires.
2.) DON'T BE BORING
When we overindulge in something, I think it is often because we are bored. Have you ever done any of the following? You are bored, so you:
Go to the snacking cupboard.
Spend way too much time scrolling through social media.
Try to find someone on Tinder to help “fill” your time.
Go shopping and buy things you don’t need.
Anyone else guilty of some of those?
When I was a kid and used to complain about being bored, my parents would say to me, "You're not bored, you're boring." So don't be boring. :)
It is important we learn how to fill our time with healthy, fulfilling activities. If you are bored, use that time to grow in your faith, be active, read a stimulating book, take time for self-care, pursue healthy friendships and relationships, etc.
When it comes to snacking, before you eat, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry, or am I just eating because I am bored.” Try drinking a big glass of water before you eat, and if you are still hungry in 5–10 minutes, then have a snack.
3.) REMOVE THE TEMPTATION
I am all about the 80/20 Rule. Eat well 80% of the time, eat whatever I want 20% of the time. So when I grocery shop, I will buy one box of mac-n-cheese. One. Because I know myself. And if I have 7 boxes of mac-n-cheese in my pantry, I will eat one every single day of the week.
You know yourself. You know the area of your life that you overindulge in. Make it hard for you to do so!
If you know you will find and eat whatever candy you have lying around your house, then don’t have candy in your house! Or put it somewhere really hard to get to, like on a high shelf. Same with alcohol. If you tend to drink too much, don’t have it in your home.
Find a way to make overdoing it harder for yourself. It helps if you tell someone you trust about it so they can help hold you accountable. The more people that know you are doing it, the better.
4.) SLOW DOWN
Sometimes, our food tastes so good that we basically inhale it. When we eat quickly, our stomach doesn’t have time to tell our brain it’s full.
Just eat slower. Take smaller bites. Really chew. It’s better for our digestion anyways! Take the time to enjoy your food.
5.) ACKNOWLEDGE IT’S A SIN
When I’m wandering around my home thinking about how badly I want to make and eat a whole bowl of edible cookie dough, it helps me to acknowledge that what I would be doing is actually sinful. Here is why: A little bit is okay, but if I can’t keep myself from eating and eating and eating it, then I am not honoring God.
It is hard to acknowledge our own lack of self-control, but when we do, it starts to give us more power over our urges. If we focus on the fact that God asks us to care for our amazing, incredible body, it makes it easier to say no. This applies to any area of our life we tend to do in excess.
6.) PRAY ABOUT IT
If you can't keep yourself from overindulging in an area of your life, ask God to help you! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so if you need help with will-power, then ask for His help.
(If you are new to prayer or want to learn more about it, you can download my free workbook on prayer here.)
So just remember these six tips:
Seek Spiritual Food
Don't Be Boring
Remove The Temptation
Acknowledge It's A Sin
Pray About It
I hope this post opens up the topic of Gluttony for discussion. If you are overweight, I don’t want you to feel shamed for that! Again, we are discussing a heart issue, not a weight issue.
But God does ask us to take care of our bodies, and if you know you struggle with overeating and overindulgence in your life, I pray that you find strength in Christ to overcome it and can put some of these practical tips to use.
I know my husband and I are having pizza for our Friday night dinner, so now I get a chance to practice MY self-control. ☺ Here we go!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this post and this topic! Where is an area of your life you struggle with gluttony? How are you planning on trying to take back your self-control in this area of your life? Comment below!