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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Overeating & Spiritual Boundaries

Weight: 223 lbs  Morning glucose reading: 114 

Although I have moments of really, really, really thinking that overeating is a spiritual issue, most of the time those moments are more of a "crying in my beer" kind of thing rather than a deep down belief.   I just haven't been able to give complete cognitive assent.

I know, really I do, that gluttony is a sin.  Okay.  I know that.  And yet, I excuse my own personal brand of overeating as NOT gluttony because I don't' eat great amounts of food.  Real food, that is. I mean, you wouldn't see me wolfing down 4 cheeseburgers.  I barely finish one.  I don't get double orders of anything.  I often give part of the food on my plate to my husband, because I can't finish and he always can.  

So, I decide that I am not a glutton.  I'm just nearly 100 pounds overweight.  Sigh.

My excess poundage comes from eating sweets.  Calorie dense sweets.  Not all day long, you   understand, but every night.   I  eat ice cream as  I relax and watch TV.   If  I'm reading, then I eat M&Ms. 1 pound bags of M&Ms.  You wouldn't think that I could be aware of how many calories I consume every night and still not think I'm a glutton, would you?  That is the charm of deception.  And that's for another post.

My point is, I've had trouble seeing overeating as a spiritual issue.  I mean it's a physical thing; it's just eating...

But FINALLY, just today, I got it.  And I got it without addressing the whole am I or am I not a glutton dilemma.  (Which is probably a good thing because I'm still not convinced about the glutton thing.)

Here's what happened:

I joined a weight loss Bible study group about 10 days ago.  The Bible study is on boundaries, and is
currently on spiritual boundaries...and I've been a bit annoyed with it because I thought the study would be more food/overeating focused.  There is nary a mention of anything diet related.  Hmph.  I mean it is a WEIGHT LOSS group.  Shouldn't this Bible study be telling me about...well, never mind.

Today, after reading another study portion on spiritual boundaries, I put my Kindle down and just leaned back to think.  ( I should think more often.)

I ran my mind over the study's  teachings and questions.  One question asked us to identify our own spiritual boundaries.  I was able to list quite a few, which would boil down to "I don't dabble."  For instance, I don't read horoscopes or go to palm reading parties.  Gd didn't say it was evil unless you were laughing while you were doing it.  I keep my distance.  There were other areas, but they could all be lumped into the attitude of  steering clear of even the watery edges of sin, in other words--not dabbling.

Fine.  Nothing about my spiritual boundaries had anything to do with food.  (Of course not.)

At that point, I decided I had enough of the WL Bible study that was not about weight loss, and read a segment from the latest Jonathan Cahn book.  The page was on avoiding evil...by avoiding temptation.   It kind of fit into my "don't dabble" theme.  As I read, the proverb about staying clear of an adulteress was quoted along with the added warning to not even go near her door.  The commentary on that was that the adulteress was much stronger temptation than an old door, so if you  stayed clear of her door, you'd be well out of danger of giving into her wiles.

Fine.  So, I began thinking again about avoiding temptation and spiritual boundaries and not dabbling at the edges.  I remembered my decision as a new wife to  not slow dance with men other than my husband.   For me, it was avoiding the "door" that could lead to flirtation, then adultery--not that I knew anything about the "door" warning at the time.

Because adultery was the issue at hand in the proverb,  my mind wandered to acquaintances who could qualify as sex addicts.  Their attitude is, "It's just sex...bodies doing what bodies are meant to do.  No big deal."  But it's not just a physical event; it is sin.  It crosses a God-given spiritual boundary.

Ohhhhh.   Wait....  What?  And the light bulb of a connection came on.

It's not just a physical thing, this overeating.   It crosses a God-given spiritual boundary.

Overeating, gluttonous or not, dies harm to my body--great harm.  I am told that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Beyond that, by weakening my body, I am weakening my ability to do what God has called me to do.   Despite my desire to get technical about the meaning of "gluttony" so that I can eat what I want without falling in the sin category, the implicit command is to eat no more than what is beneficial for me to eat.  (I mean, God even allows for "eating the sweet" during celebrations.  It's not like He's being mean about this and confining me to celery and water.)

When I overeat, or eat sweets on a daily basis, I cross a spiritual boundary.Whether I achieve gluttony of Biblical proportions  or not--I am definitely opening the door to it.  I am crossing a spiritual boundary that God has set for my good and His glory.

My take-way is simple, but  has changed the way I look at overeating.  It's not just a physical event; it's not just a shrug in the grand scheme of things--overeating is crossing a spiritual boundary into the watery edges of sin...and I  don't  dabble.  At least not any more.

And that's just the weigh it goes!



  1. I don't think you can ever go wrong inviting God into your journey. :)

    1. Chuckle. You know how that goes, Dawne. I invite God in at the beginning, asking Him to enable me to follow the food plan...beg more like it...then I refuse to accept that this whole overeating thing is spiritually significant. At all.

      Isn't God's patience with us amazing?

      Hope you're well over there. Wouldn't it be nice if we could meet up when you come home this summer?


  2. I see what you're saying. I've said much along the sames lines myself. I've also berated myself for not resisting temptation, not exercising self control, knowing gluttony a sin and it is killing me. Knowing children are dying of starvation.
    Then I remind myself that if I could do it, I would have a long time ago. To say I'm frustrated with this would be an understatement. I have lost weight this year, but I have also gained. The struggle is real, and I am...frustrated. Good post, though. Very good.