Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: GLUTTONY (overindulgence and overconsumption) (01/15/15)
- TITLE: Hidden for all to See
By Trudy Newell
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Food and fellowship, the two go together. Our church home certainly believes that. Whether it’s Women with a Mission, the Men’s breakfast, Wednesday night Awana, or a Bible study; there is plenty of food.
How to survive? That was the question. I’d have to change my pattern. No more nice desserts at church meals. The fun of enjoying an occasional treat was no longer an option. We had too many church dinners. It was hard to do. My husband is diabetic, and we don’t keep lots of carbs and desserts around. But now I march up to the salad table (if there is one) first!
Then there was the “World Hunger” program. Afterward we had delicious varieties of hearty soups to savor, cornbread and crackers. There was twice as much soup as the church could eat. I suppose that made up for the missing dessert table.
Rewind six years. Things were happening too fast, and being in the hospital was not on my agenda. Back in the States less than a week, still suffering jetlag, how did they expect me to recover from pneumonia this way? Why did my husband agree to admit me? I felt miserable and all I wanted was a nice quiet place to rest. Soon I had something else to consider. The door opened and my lunch was brought in. My eyes popped out as I looked at the tray: two large pieces of pork, enough mashed potatoes for three, a side of corn, a roll, sweet tea (welcome to Georgia), and dessert. I chuckled to myself, Is there a dietitian in the house? Don’t they have any concept of portion control? I munched on the roll. That was all I could handle after not eating for several days.
Back in the States now for six years, I still shake my head at the large portions they serve in restaurants. We recently went out to eat, and the portion of mashed potato they put on my plate was enough for at least two people. There was ‘Texas toast’ and a huge piece of meat. Having lived overseas, I don’t like to see things go to waste. But I figure better go to ‘waste’ than to my ‘waist’. I will admit that my husband didn’t leave as much on his plate as I did. But he is almost 6 ft. and I’m not 5 ft. I struggle enough with my weight without eating such large portions of food.
Invited for a meal at people’s homes is no different. Cindy served barbeque pork on a bun, corn bread (yummy), green beans and lots of desserts. Cindy is diabetic. Is it any wonder she struggles with her blood sugar level? Cindy told me that if there is a cake in the refrigerator, she has to be careful or she will eat the whole thing at one sitting. I love Cindy, and she is a lovely Christian lady.
Another friend, June, has been on an eating program for a while now. I am amazed at her disciple. She comes to church gatherings and sits around with a glass of unsweetened tea or water. June has pre-programed herself, and recently she confided that it doesn’t bother her anymore.
Food is a delicate issue. If I am addicted to drugs, I can go “cold turkey”(maybe?) and get off it. But food is necessary for our bodies, and something God gave us to enjoy. It pleases Him when we enjoy the good things He gives us. Yet, the temptation to over-indulge, especially in America, is never far away. I struggle and sometimes succumb. What a contrast to the attitude of our Lord Jesus after fasting for forty days, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Matt. 4:4)
My husband reminded me that Paul used strong language in Philippians when talking about gluttony, “Whose god is their belly.”
As Christians are we better known
* By our food than by our faith?
* By our pie than by our prayers?
* By our casseroles than by our character?
* By our desserts than by our discipline?
I wonder if it is time to call gluttony by its name? Is gluttony the secret, or not so secret, sin of the evangelical Christian community?
* Names have been changed to protect the guilty
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