“Would you like to upsize? It’s just 50 cents more.”
Those words echoed in my head as I stood at the fast food counter weighing the options. In the end I declined and proceeded with my original order of a cheeseburger with regular fries and a drink. But I will freely admit that isn’t always the case. On occasion I would “yes,” simply because the waiter or waitress prompted me.
I’ve observed that our culture subtly promotes this upsize mentality. From buy-one-get-one-free deals, to jumbo/deluxe/value deals, to free flow sides with the purchase of a main course, there’s no end to the incentives for upsizing our meals and appetites. Of course, when there’s a group of people sharing the order, meal deals are extremely helpful. But have we cultivated the habit of eating to excess just because we can? I know someone who has to eat until he feels satisfied, especially if he wasn’t content with the main course for some reason. Until then he will not stop gorging himself, even if he has already eaten much more than one person should.
Eating too much, especially the same kind of food, will cause one to feel sick—not to mention the potential health issues from eating to excess, especially if one leads a sedentary lifestyle. Health concerns aside, the Bible sternly warns us against gluttony and emulating those enslaved by it. Proverbs 23:20–21 warns us, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
While not all of us struggle with gluttony in the narrow sense, I’m sure most of us can identify with greed. In the Bible, gluttony and greed are mentioned back-to-back as sins to steer clear of (Proverbs 23:1–5). The world has adopted sophisticated ways of disguising “greed” and “gluttony” as harmless manifestations of “curiosity” or even “opportunity.” As such, we must temper our appetites by exercising moderation and self-control—easier said than done, if we have to rely solely on our own strength. My church friends often remind me in no uncertain terms to watch my eating habits, especially since I have certain food allergies. Watching out for one another helps us avoid slipping into old habits that will ultimately lead us to ruin.
God offers us strength and hope in the constant struggle against sin. When you feel all alone, remember that Jesus is always with us, even when we go astray. He is present every step of the way, in every prayer we make. And when our thoughts are fixed on Him, our cravings for other things will fade.