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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Sunday, June 14, 2009

America And The Deadly Sin Of Gluttony

There is no official Biblical list of deadly sins, but there is an unofficial well recognized list. Gluttony is one of those sins. It is defined as consuming more food than one needs. In a country that struggles with obesity, gluttony can be assumed to exist. The problem that we Americans have with gluttony is that we only associate gluttony with the consumption of food. We might want to consider whether we Americans are gluttons of other things too. One thing that comes to mind is whether many of us Americans are gluttons of entertainment?

Biblically speaking, consuming too much entertainment has been associated with idolatry. This was the case in Exodus 32 where the people ate, drank, and played. Those people received God's harshest judgment. But there is no reason not to see our excessive enjoyment of as a form of gluttony as well. Consider some of the signs of compulsive eating [1]:

Always thinking about food

Eat to feel better

Continuing to eat even after feeling full


Hunger makes you feel vulnerable and uneasy.

The above is just a partial list of signs of compulsive eating. The site goes on to say that if one suffers from at least 3 of the above signs, then you most likely have eating problems. So what should we think if we apply the above signs to our consumption of entertainment. Entertainment, here, includes listening to music, watching TV, going to the movies, watching sporting events, and playing games, all of which can remove us from an unpleasant real world.

The point here is not that entertainment is bad. That is not true. The point is do we consume too much entertainment. One way to determine that is to scan the above list and see if what is said about eating also applies to our consumption of entertainment. Do we

Always think about enjoying some form of entertainment or fun

Enjoy entertainment in order to feel better

Continue to be entertained long after we have been entertained

Consume too much entertainment

Are there times when we are restless when not being entertained

And while we are indulging in entertainment, we should note what is happening in the world around us. How many people in our own towns struggle economically, suffer abuse, experience hunger, and suffer fro health problems. After that, we might want to ask how many people around the world suffer the same. What would the world be like if we spent just a little less time being entertained and more time being involved with a suffering world?

I remember how we were taught to look down on the story of Nero playing music as Rome burned. How much different are many of us from Nero? How many of us seek contentment through entertainment while the world burns.

[1] http://www.freedomyou.com/compulsive_eating/compusive eating signs.htm

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