In the first part of this series, we looked at the different types of gluttony and how they are described in the Bible. Today, we will examine how these types of gluttony affect our relationship with God, how they affect our relationships with others, and how they affect our bodies.

In the previous article, we covered the biblical definition of gluttony, which summed it up as the sin of excess. However, gluttony covers a whole host of sins. In this article, we’ll look at the sin of gluttony from a secular perspective.

In part one, we looked at what some of the world’s cultural traditions say about indulgence and what this has to do with our eating today. In this second part, we look at how gluttony – even if it seems like an outdated idea – still makes sense for people who want to be slim and healthy.

The spiritual care of gluttony

Recall that the early thinkers were not concerned with getting six-pack abs and a slim chin. They were concerned about people’s attitudes towards everyday pleasures. So it is a matter of gluttony (behavior), and not of stoutness (body size). You won’t find any spiritual texts condemning excess body fat.

It is said that gluttony can be overcome only if one has a full soul and appreciates the passions that come from the simple activities of life. Someone who is consumed by the pleasures of gluttony may turn away from spiritual activities and weaken their moral defenses (think alcohol).

The great sins, like B. Gluttony, can lead to the sins of the followers. The medieval Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas argued that eating too much leads to

  • Exaggerated joy
  • Unspoken joy
  • Roughness
  • Not cleaned
  • Chat
  • Stupidity of the mind

As I double the portion of dessert, my thoughts become a bit irrational.

Gluttony and society

Today, gluttony has more to do with living in a society that consumes too much and wastes resources.

Over time and the evolution of our culture, gluttony has changed from a sin to a badge of honor. Overconsumption meant we were better off (at least in monetary terms). We have become a society that revels in over-consumption and condemns those who gain weight.

Our judgments about food/drink are often shaped by our desires, and our desires are often shaped by social and cultural forces. Food consumption may be the moral equivalent of drug addiction, but food is legal and often socially acceptable.

We eat what lacks nutrients, we chew what should not be swallowed, we drink what physically stimulates us to get through a stressful day. We eat foods that are not digested properly and swallow pills that block our bowels – just so we can consume more without being responsible.

We want to get as much as we can out of our food, but the calorie count is there for a reason. Without it, we have unlimited opportunities for consumption, limited only by our desires.

Not only do we avoid taking responsibility for our actions, but we also disrupt the body’s natural signals of appetite, hunger and satiety. We don’t let our physiology work the way nature intended.

Get out of jail free?

In our often futile attempts to reconcile physical pleasure/satisfaction with the moral guilt of overconsumption, we have developed many quick fixes.

Chewing Gum

It’s one thing to use gum to keep your mouth fresh, but the constant need for oral stimulation and sweetness is a physical addiction. Oh – and gum has no nutritional value.

Diet drinks

They contain no nutrients (and many industrial chemicals), are expensive for the environment and our bank accounts, and do not benefit our health. Still, this drink is chosen by millions because it is a way to consume it without the caloric consequences.

Enova and Olestra; Alli

Enova and Olestra are fat substitutes that we cannot fully digest. Alli is a drug that prevents the proper absorption of dietary fat, so we can (theoretically) afford to eat a Whopper without consequence. Don’t wear white pants.

Gluttony and fasting

Lent reveals what drives us.
– Richard Foster

While we do not advocate strict restraint in NPs, we do advocate honest, even difficult, self-reflection.

If you feel like food/drink is controlling your life to some degree, giving something up – whether it’s candy, alcohol, caffeine, meat, fast food, etc. – can be an excellent exercise in self-reflection. – can be an excellent exercise in self-reflection. Are you wondering what your triggers, underlying issues and demons are? Then try giving up your coping mechanism for a while.

Self-knowledge through fasting teaches us to be satisfied and satiated by simple foods. Fasting can help us control our gluttonous thoughts and turn our appetite into something constructive. If we are always full of food or drink, we can become overconfident in our abilities and forget about spiritual growth. It is believed that fasting increases spiritual hunger.

Fasting for spiritual purposes focuses on spiritual satiety, strengthening discipline, and learning (and respecting) the body’s true hunger signals. Instead, diets focus on appearance, which can be self-centered, or on following an externally imposed pattern that has nothing to do with mental health.

Short fasts also teach us that hunger is not an emergency situation that demands immediate action at any moment. Ideally, we should learn to distinguish between real, natural, physical signals of hunger and Oh, there’s pie in the cafeteria! or Gee, I’d love a pizza the size of a party.

In PN, we strive to respect our true hunger while controlling our fleeting whims and indulgences.

Ordinance against restrictions

People who know how to regulate their diet enjoy their meals more. Someone who has just fasted during the fasting period or Ramadan is more likely to like strawberries than someone who fasts every day.

On the other hand, people who strictly limit their food intake often go too far. Strict diets usually lead to overnutrition.

For example, some spiritual leaders claim that it is better to eat moderately every day than to fast rigorously. Like excessive craving, excessive fasting can become selfish and weaken spiritual aspirations.

The objectives of the Food Consumption Regulation are therefore to

  • Recognize and respect our natural physiological signals of hunger and satiety.
  • Respect the food you eat, enjoy it with wisdom and gratitude.
  • Eating responsibly, being aware of the consequences of our food choices.
  • The excessive focus on food and eating must give way to a wider world of other intellectual, social and spiritual activities.


We all have wishes and desires. This is what makes us human.

Those who overcome gluttony – the excessive and disproportionate indulgence of their desires – put their natural appetite to work for their relationships with others and for the betterment of the world. Appetite is related, and those who can be full can be spiritually empty.

None of us want to defile our bodies, but we also don’t want to make them too holy. It is important that you meet your needs and enjoy life. If you cannot determine when pleasure outweighs need, refer to the classification of gluttony described in Part 1.

Sometimes we rely on the gratification of food to compensate for the lack of rest, relaxation and happiness in a hectic life. These are learned coping strategies.

If you have cravings for food and eating habits, you may need to avoid certain foods or drinks. Food manufacturers have deliberately created products that are harder to resist. And you may need it:

  • to learn new coping strategies, such as. B. Meditation;
  • change of eating patterns and times; and/or
  • to deal with the real problem.

Giving in to the desire for food only leads to temporary gratification. No matter how good the dessert is,we’ll still be hungry….. and dessert cannot fill an emotional, intellectual or spiritual void.

Replacing hunger with the divine compound of Double Stuf Oreos is like giving a glass of sand to someone dying of thirst ….. [When you don’t use food to switch off, to leave your body, you actually feel more alive.
– Genius Roth


Click here to see the sources of information referenced in this article.

Cook J. 7. Zondervan. 2008

Deyoung RK. Brilliant vices. Brazos Press. 2009.

Exploring the Religious Landscape in the United States

Ockholm D. A recipe for gluttony. Christianity Today 4. September 2000;62-66.

Shipley O. The theory of sin. Macmillan & Co. 1875.

Diamond A. If gluttony is a sin, then perhaps we are all sinners. The standard of nursing practice. 2009;24:28.

Prose F. Gluttony. Oxford University Press. 2003.

Phillips R. You shouldn’t eat too much. BeliefNet.

Kirkham T. Endocannabinoids and the neurochemistry of gluttony. J of Neuroendocrinology 2008;20:1099-1100.

Ockholm D. Gluttony: Thoughts on food. Wheaton College. Correspondence by e-mail.

Davis C & Carter JC. Compulsive overeating as an addictive disorder. An overview of theory and evidence. Appetite 2009;53:1-8.

Centres for Disease Control. Statistics on overweight and obesity.

Centres for Disease Control. Death Statistics.

All about alcoholic beverages

All about food waste

All about natural sweeteners

Bringle ML. God of thinness. 1992. Abingdon Press.

personally – for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what point does eating become gluttony?

Eating becomes gluttony when the person is eating to the point of being unable to stop.

Does gluttony only apply to food?

No, gluttony can apply to anything that is consumed in excess.

How do I know if I committed gluttony?

If you are eating more than what your body needs, then you have committed gluttony.

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