20 March 2010

Question of the Week:
How Much is Too Much?

by Anne Lang Bundy

"God in His goodness sent the grape
To cheer both great and small;
Little fools will drink too much
And great fools none at all."
~ Unknown

Is gluttony a less serious sin than others?
At what point does patriotism become an idol? From
Russell Holloway

How much of a good thing is bad?

The same could be asked of alcohol, sex, weapons—things not commonly called “good.” Yet the Bible speaks favorably of wine as God’s blessing, of physical intimacy between a man and his wife as cause for rejoicing, of the sword as God’s instrument. Problems arise when such things are used apart from God’s intent for them.

The righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God...
Go, eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.
~ Ecclesiastes 9:1,7 (NKJV)

When we are “wise and righteous”—when God is first in our lives, when we learn the Bible’s truths, when we operate in love of God, neighbor and self—food strengthens bodies used in God’s service, and even for feasting to celebrate His blessings. But gluttony destroys our bodies, and therefore violates the commandment “You shall not murder.”

Is that a “serious” enough sin?

In latter times some will depart from the faith ... speaking lies in hypocrisy ... forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For ... nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
~ 1 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJV)

There are reasons to abstain from sex (being unmarried, being called by God to a life of celibacy). There are reasons to abstain from alcohol (history of alcohol abuse, or to respect those who might have difficulty around alcohol). Even abstinence from food is good in times of fasting. In situations where love comes first, a Christian might refuse otherwise good things.

But when religious legalists disregard love and Christian liberty, commanding what God does not or forbidding what God does not, they depart from the faith and speak lies. When patriotism or pacifism or any other -ism becomes our guiding principle rather than God’s Word, it is an idol.

Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
~ Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV)

Love God. Love neighbor and self without indulging neighbor and self.

Avoid extremes of either legalism or license to sin.

And remember to give thanks before meals. It’s hard to thank God for junk food with a straight face.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
Image Source:


  1. this is a lot to digest....
    just kidding.

    good post.

  2. nAncY ~ Then I didn't provide too much of a good thing? ; )

  3. I'll have to read more later. Right now my plate is full. :-)

  4. Our culture force feeds us large portions of everything. The only way I've found to combat this is to lean on God's truths as written in the bible. Loved your post Anne. But then I always do.

  5. Russell ~ I can't give you an eye roll in this font but I'm thinking one.

    T ~ You make an astute observation! There's a difference between ordering a plate of food and facing a buffet bar with the name "All You Can Eat." Especially online, there's large portions being fed to us. Self-control is not put down in our culture with plugs like "if it feels good do it," "you deserve it," "no payments until 2020." If we cannot learn self-control through dependence on God, we will not find balance in anything—be it eating and drinking, sex and spending, truth and mercy.

  6. I would agree wholeheartedly! It is a matter of self-control. And it does specifically state in the bible that a lack of self-control is not fruit of the spirit, it is a sin. Our society does not promote righteous behaviors. In fact our children are considered "less than cool" to want to do what is right and pleasing to God. It is so disheartening!