In this fifth installment of the danger of mislabeling the poison of sin. I take a step out on what might be considered thin ice in an attempt to track down 'the beast' of gluttony.

Before you label me as cruel and uncaring, remember that gluttony is synonymous with over-indulgence. And in this culture, over-indulgence 'feeds' more than just one's cravings for food. Gluttony is fueled by the poisonous effect of wanting more than we need to live. Billy Graham once said, "before the fall of Rome, the Romans were given to gluttony, immorality and drunkenness. The Romans dug their grave with their teeth, killed themselves with illicit indulgence and embalmed themselves with alcohol. Rome fell because she overstuffed her body and starved her soul." end. The same could be said of Americans today. Super-sizing has become the norm in our culture and we are poisoning ourselves in the process. Our minds believe that one should drive a BIG truck or a BIGGER car that requires larger garages to house them in. It doesn't matter to us that over ninety-five percent of the time there is only one person in our BIG SUV. America wastes more food on a daily basis than some see in their lifetime and even with all our wastefulness, our waist grows accordingly. We have easier access than ever before to more than we need so we purchase in volume and scarf it down with an insatiable hunger to return to the scene of the crime; the pantry. Over time, our clothes fit more snugly so we buy BIGGER ones instead of dealing with the source that is producing the sickness in our soul. To clarify, this is not just about excess fat. This is more about how a person lives than how they look to others. This is a reminder that excess on any level can and will shorten our life and leave you and me handicapped in fulfilling God's purpose in life. We must not look at others with judgment to somehow feel better about our own poisonous practices. Our priority must be to look within ourselves at how overindulging affects our ability to function in a way that is most productive and prolonged in matters of God's work on this earth. God's Word reminds us all, "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). (I might add what we purchase and prioritize in life.) The limit here is not on what you and I eat or drink, it's WHY we eat and drink. It's WHY what we have been given seems insufficient in our soul. At the end of the day or the end of life, the poison of gluttony disregards God's glory. When we cater to the desires of 'the flesh' instead of being directed by the Spirit, what should be enough isn't. Therefore, we continue indulging in an unnatural process at the expense of God's supernatural purpose. The poisonous influence of over-indulgence affects more than our soul. It increases the limitations of our bodies. We blame it on aging but mislabeling it only hastens the outcome. Many likely will not understand this but gluttony is a sin (Philippians 3:19). And we dare not mislabel it in an attempt to make ourselves feel better about its disastrous effect on our lives, if ignored. Rome did that and the Romans destroyed themselves in the process. Their greatest enemy was not those without but the enemy within. The beast that was permitted to run loose in their life until the beast devoured them. God has given us life on this earth and as we yield our will to His in salvation, our bodies become His temple, His dwelling (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). While our bodies are all uniquely different in their construction, we must not hinder the body's capability by ignoring the Spirit within that guides us in tracking down this beast and guards us from its destructive nature. Leave the correct label on gluttony and conquer it daily in the power of Jesus' name. And as you and I consume and use what God provides, remember to do so in moderation under the restraining presence of God's Spirit who indwells us. As we yield our 'appetites' for more, we'll enjoy the blessing of feeling better about life in general. Life is best lived in Christ, Pstr K Jeremiah 29:11