Just one more episode, Then I'll go to bed.
I'm going to have only one more drink...
I'm treating myself, I can have the whole thing.
It isn't just one more, it's gluttony.
Gluttony, another of the seven deadly sins, is traditionally excessive eating or drinking. It is lavish, unnecessary, and greedy consumption. Our understanding of gluttony has progressed since the original understanding, but examples of gluttony include:
Esau selling his birthright in return for the food prepared by his younger brother, Jacob.
This is gluttony on several levels. First, he took the food with too much eagerness. He put too much emphasis on simple, earthly food. Secondly, Esau was focused on immediate gratification rather than on his future birthright. Like Esau, we need to recognize that there is greater things to come than that big bowl of ice cream; we need to patiently wait for our heavenly birthright.
When the Israelites complained about the food God gave them as they wandered in the desert.
The Israelite people had enough to eat. But they complained nonetheless because they wanted richer, more lavish food. We need to be content with what we have. We will occasionally be blessed with really great food, and we should enjoy it! But we shouldn't live for Thanksgiving dinner. Pope Innocent XI wrote that the most delicious meats can be eaten without sin, if the motive is good and worthy. A celebration, a special meal, an conscious decision to consume with intent, they are fine. But when we eat overly rich food to the point of a nausea, we've gone too far.
These examples may seem a little less life-applicable today though. It's pretty easy to have rich or lavish foods. And Americans seem to tendency to eat meals rushed, not even bothering to consider what they are actually eating, let alone put too much focus on it. Our gluttony seems to be more social. We watch an entire season on Netflix in a weekend. We drink with the intention of "blacking out" and proudly eat an entire pizza, because we can. Gluttony, like pride, is a focus on self. This time though, self-indulgence. We can check our gluttonous actions by asking ourselves a few things:
1.) When I eat or drink, do I ignore the signals my body sends that I've had enough?
2.) How well-balanced are my days? Do I have time for God, my loved ones, and myself? Or do my days seem to consist only of my to-dos?
3.) How often do I reassure myself that I deserve this?
Take a moment or two and consider how gluttony may be present in your life. Do you know what is enough?
Want to make sure you know each time I post? I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can also follow me on Twitter!