With Jesus’ grace, let’s dig into the truth of what God’s Word says about these tough topics with Bible Verses on gluttony & overeating.
Have you ever stuffed yourself so much at Thanksgiving Dinner that you were left feeling sick afterward?
Do you know what it’s like to eat 6, 7, 8 servings (or the whole bag) of Cheetos before you even realize you have?
Or maybe you’re more familiar with just eating a few bites more than you need to (again and again and again).
I’ve done all of those things and more.
Gluttony is one of those uncomfortable sins we like to push aside and minimize. We convince ourselves that there is no way that we could be a glutton, but…I sure used to be (you can read about my 100-pound weight loss journey here).
The definition of gluttony is:
habitual greed or excess in eating
A habitual excess in eating? Guilty.
That’s what led me to gain 100 pounds – regularly eating more food than my body needed.
“Glutton” is one of those words that makes me squirm in my seat because I’d never want to label anyone with that word.
But, the truth is, we live in a culture of gluttony. We encourage and celebrate overeating with ideas like:
- after a hard day, you deserve pizza/wine/ice cream.
- a pint of ice cream will help heal your broken heart.
- Thanksgiving dinner is all about eating as much as you can stuff down and ending the day in stretchy pants.
With messages like that being sent to us constantly in commercials, ads, books, movies, and even in our family and friend groups, it’s no wonder we are turning to food to fix problems only God was meant to fix.
That’s what sets my weight loss journey apart from so many others. I wasn’t just dealing with the habit problem of overeating.
I was dealing with a sin problem.
I was making food an idol in my life. When I was heartbroken, frustrated, or stressed, I looked to Little Debbie to make it better.
I was a good person overall, but somehow I’d told myself it was okay that I snuck food from my family (eating their share as well as mine) and eating in secret (lying to friends and family members by omission).
That’s not just a habit issue…that’s a character issue.
Which is why it’s so important to include God in your weight loss journey. The Truth of His Word deals gets to the core of the issue, the sin in our hearts.
That’s also what sets apart our Faithful Finish Lines 2.0 program. As far as I know, it’s the only program out there that deals with overeating as a sin and continually points you back to God’s grace as you change your habits.
Bible Verses About Gluttony
First, let’s dive into those Scriptures that specifically talk about gluttons and glutton by name.
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.”
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.
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.
A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”
Scripture makes it very clear that gluttony is not something to be celebrated. It’s described as a disgrace and is associated with people being lazy, drunkards, liars, and evil.
Bible Verses About Overeating
Now, let’s dive into more Scriptures that talk more generally about overeating and overindulging.
There are so many different angles to the topic of overeating. Of course, there is the actual act of eating too much food, but there is also:
- treating your body poorly
- giving into temptation/the desires of our flesh
- lacking self-control
- …and so much more.
They willfully put God to the test
by demanding the food they craved.
I’d like to say that I would never demand the food I craved from God, but when I’m honest with myself, I’ve let my food cravings dictate a lot of my decisions before – sneaking food, hiding food, eating more than my fair share, overeating, and more. I was willful and demanding.
If you find honey, eat just enough—
too much of it, and you will vomit
One of the frequent prayers I say before I eat is, “Lord, help me to eat just enough – enough to satisfy, but not even one bite too much.”
How easy is it to convince ourselves to eat just one more bite?
Maybe it’s because you were taught to clean your plate (I was too, but this is how I feel about the clean plate club).
Perhaps it’s because the food just tasted so good that you want it to last just a little bit longer.
Either way, the Bible warns us about overeating in such a practical way – eat too much and you will get sick.
And I especially love this verse because it uses honey as its example. You can eat treats, but with self-control to avoid overeating them!
It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Life is more than food. It seems like such an obvious statement, right? Of course life is more than food!
But how often do we make food the main attraction?
Thanksgiving is all about eating a huge meal. Halloween is all about the candy. Birthdays revolve around cake, a trip to the movies must have popcorn, and road trips must have a car full of snacks.
I do believe God gave us food to enjoy as well as to nourish our bodies, but life is more than food.
We can savor delicious meals without making food our main focus.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
People often ask me why I gained all the weight I did. Honestly, I don’t know the full answer.
But, looking back in hindsight, I can say with certainty that part of the reason I overate was that I had so little self-confidence. I was not at all secure in my identity in Christ and I sure didn’t think of my body being a temple of God. I didn’t feel worthy.
But I was. And you are too. It took a lot of practice taking my thoughts captive to convince myself that God’s Word about me were true, but it was more than worth the effort.
When you believe you are a cherished child of God and your body was a gift from the Lord, you are much more likely to treat your body with gentleness and care.
1 Corinthians 6:12
“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.
1 Corinthians 6:12
Paul wrote this verse in regards to sexual immorality, but the concept rings true in every area of my life – eating, finances, relationships, etc.
You are an adult. You can eat ice cream for breakfast if you want to.
But not everything is beneficial.
Food cravings are absolutely a way that we have been mastered by food. When you tell yourself you “need” chocolate, you are letting your cravings call the shots.
It’s okay to love food and look forward to eating delicious things, but be careful not to be mastered by it.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I am absolutely sure you could stand in front of the mirror and see a dozen things about your body that you wish you could change, but instead, I challenge yourself to think of ways you can honor God with your body.
I’ve tried to make exercise an act of worship and I’ve learned to hear God’s voice in the midst of my emotional eating, but there are endless ways you can honor Him with your body each and every day.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
This verse is more about the act of eating itself than overeating necessarily. It’s such an important reminder that all of those seemingly mundane tasks that we do every single day (like eating), can glorify God.
Our choices matter.
These are 5 suggestions for ways to glorify God in your eating.
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
I would never say that my god is my stomach, but my actions have said otherwise.
I’ve turned to food when I should have been leaning on God. I have eaten my feelings instead of praying about them. I have chosen to overeat when I knew I was full.
Our actions reveal bits of our heart and I did not like what I used to see in my behavior.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Admittedly, I did not start my weight loss journey with noble purposes. I wanted to be skinny and attractive and feel worthy of love.
But, along the way, God really transformed my heart and I slowly started to learn the value of offering my body to God as a living sacrifice.
Eventually, instead of just wishing I could be at my goal weight overnight, I started to see how God was growing and changing me along the way. I finally saw value in the journey and not just the result.
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
I used to spend all day thinking about all of the food I was going to secretly eat in my bedroom that night after my family had gone to bed.
Thoughts feel so harmless, but your thoughts matter. The more you let your mind dwell on sinful behavior, the more likely it will be to come to fruition.
Take your thoughts captive and choose Christ, again and again and again.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Even though when I started, my only goal was a number on the scale, over the years, I grew in every single fruit of the Spirit along the course of my 100-pound weight loss journey and those character traits have helped me to succeed and strengthen every area of my life, not just weight loss.
These are the heart issues that God can transform with time as you choose to glorify Him in your choices day in and day out.
2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:17
Self-discipline and self-control have become more foreign concepts. These days, our culture practically tells us its cruel to deny our desires.
It’s not cruel, it’s godly. And it’s love. See how those two things are paired in this verse – love and self-discipline?
True love often involves healthy boundaries and that’s especially true in eating.
God doesn’t tell us to eat “just enough” honey as a punishment. It’s a protection out of a deep love for us, wanting what’s best for us.
But, Do Not Despair, His Grace Is Enough
I know this is a heavy subject. You may have never thought of overeating as a sin before (I didn’t for most of the years I was overweight). You may be feeling guilt, shame, or conviction.
I don’t want to leave you there because that’s not where the Bible leaves us either!
Should we call sin a sin? Absolutely.
Feeling guilt and conviction is a gift from God to help guide us on the path we should be living.
We absolutely should feel the need to repent and get ourselves back on that rightful path.
But sin does not define your identity. Christ does.
He died as a sacrifice for all of your sins and His grace is enough.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.