What is the sin of gluttony?


I was surprised to learn that gluttony is regarded as a sin. Can you explain better what is it and if it is true indeed that it is qualified as a sin in the Bible?

Before we look what the Bible says, let’s look at …

Definition from Dictionary

Dictionary defines GLUTTONY as excessive eating and drinking.

In the time of writing the New Testament, when the Roman aristocracy gathered in their frequent holidays, they used to gorge so far as that they introduced their fingers into their mouth to vomit and be able to eat again and they even had some pots prepared in advance for that.

Gluttony leads to poverty

In the book of Proverbs, wise King Solomon wrote:

Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe one with rags. (Proverbs 23:20–21)(NASB)

Gluttony badly affects human ability and desire to work and it is placed along with drunkenness, which has this effect, too.

Gluttony affects physical health

The same King Solomon writes in the book of Ecclesiastes:

The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep. (Ecclesiastes 5:12)(NASB)

We take the energy we need for the work that we do from the food we consume. Thus, the one who works, recovers energy from the food he consumes and enjoys the rest of his sleep, while the one with full stomach does not recover the much food he consumes and it makes him loose sleep and health.

Gluttony affect spiritual health

When He was talking with His disciples about His second coming, Lord Jesus said to them:

Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; (Luke 21:34)(NASB)

In the ancient world, but in fact, still today, when people say heart, they refer to human mental capacities. Lord Jesus says that dissipation affects human ability to think and thus he no longer guards over his spiritual state. With that in mind, God’s Word also tells us that …

Those who give themselves up to gluttony will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven

When listing the deeds of the flesh, the Apostle Paul writes this:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)(NASB)

People who live by the Holy Spirit will not indulge in carousing.

Do not confuse obesity with gluttony

It is true that a result of gluttony is obesity, but it is not always so. Many people are obese because of diseases resulting from metabolic disorders. Do not join those who rush to accuse these people instead of saying words of encouragement and consolation.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru