Therefore, references in God’s Word are rare and limited.
4. Our conviction is weak.
While we pastors have little trouble preaching on subjects with which we also struggle, we have great difficulty hammering out sermons on issues we do not feel strongly about. And that’s the problem: we should feel stronger than we do.
In his classic The Seven Deadly Sins, Henry Fairlie depicts a glutton as a hog at the trough. He eats, not because he loves the taste of food, but scarfs it down with hardly a thought, shoveling in great quantities of the stuff, all in an attempt to fill an inner abyss that defines his existence.
Killing himself softly and slowly, but just as deadly as with a pistol.
But for most of us, that is not us. Most of us food-sinners actually love the taste of the food, delight in the kitchen aromas, and revel in good fellowship around the table. So, concluding that the issue of gluttony is not applicable to us, we move on to other issues.
5. Our answers are fuzzy.
We pastors want to give specific remedies for the great problems of mankind. The remedy for sin is the cross, the remedy for pride is humility, for envy, love.
But what is the remedy for overeating—salvation? Being filled with the Spirit? Love? Prayer? A diet plan? Shopping at Whole Foods?
Avoiding certain friends?
The people in the pews want more from us than a simple “Don’t overeat.”
And, since the problems facing members of our congregation are numerous, it’s easy to abandon thoughts of such sermons and move along to more manageable topics such as materialism, stewardship, or prayer.
Now, having said all of this, here are 3 reasons why pastors SHOULD preach sermons on gluttony:
Obesity is the scourge of our times, the Black Plague of the 21st century. Look at an old video clip of city life in the 1940s. How slim people were! Then stand in the mall and look at your neighbors.
Obesity is everywhere. Airplanes are re-designing seats to accommodate larger patrons. Hospitals are adding wings to handle the multiple diseases stemming from our gluttonous lifestyle.
“Whether therefore you eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1Cor. 10:31). Even though we can find additional texts that deal with the issue to one degree or other, this alone should suffice.
Will my eating please my Lord and bring glory to Him?
A friend said to me, “My son and I have been working out in the gym. And we made a little discovery. Because we are disciplining ourselves physically, we find that we want to eat healthier also.”
Discipline in one area overflows into related areas. The opposite is also true: let my friend drop the exercise program and the guilt that flows in to fill the void would soon have him devouring the unhealthiest of foods.
And, after all this, “the fruit of the Spirit is… self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and the Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Visit him at joemckeever.com/mt. Used with permission.