woman eating chocolate

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.

Most of us don't want to admit it, but we've grown accustomed to overeating. It's time to repent and develop some self-control.

The Bible tells us that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:22, NIV). All these virtues should be displayed by those in whom the Spirit of God resides. But I've observed that self-control, the last in the list, is often overlooked--much like young David was when the prophet Samuel told Jesse to assemble his sons so he could anoint one of them as the new king of Israel (see 1 Sam. 16:1-13).

We're diligent in our quest to become living examples of unconditional love, unspeakable joy and peace that passes understanding. We commit ourselves to serving in our local churches so that they grow to reflect the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. We strive to show patience when we minister to a hurting and sin-sick world. Even past President George Bush publicly expressed his hope that America become a kinder and gentler nation.

But what has happened to self-control? Where is the zealous pursuit, the burning desire, to restrain our flesh and govern our impulses? How is it that this last-listed fruit is so often neglected?

The problem is not just a "worldly" one. We see a disturbing lack of self-control within the body of Christ. It's manifested in the sexual sins that plague both the laity and the leadership of our churches. It's manifested in the gambling that causes Christians to spend their time and money (including their tithes) in local riverboat casinos. It's mani fested in the smoking, alcoholism and drug addiction that are ever-present problems within our congregations.

But the one area in which a lack of self-control has become most apparent is the area of food. Overeating--the sin of gluttony--has as its foundation a lack of self-control.

The consequences of gluttony have reached epidemic proportions in this country among both Christians and non-Christians. From the 1960s to the 1990s, the cases of obesity nearly doubled. Current statistics show that 55 percent of adults are overweight.

Some groups, such as African American women, are more prone to obesity than others. Sixty-six percent of us are overweight and 37 percent are obese. Along with the rapid rise in these conditions comes an increasing prevalence of weight-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and arthritis, according to a survey published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Don't misunderstand me--I am not suggesting that every person who has a weight problem is a glutton. Obesity is a complicated disorder with multiple, often interrelated, contributing factors.

Eating is influenced by conditions such as stress, boredom and depression. For some of us, the problem is simply one of ignorance--not knowing how to interpret a food label, not knowing how to prepare foods and not knowing which foods should be eaten in moderation.

For others, a lack of exercise is the major problem. This is especially true for overweight children who, in this era, tend to entertain themselves with television, video games and computers rather than bicycles, jump ropes and relay races.

What I am suggesting is that the sin of gluttony plays a major role in the obesity epidemic, and it's time for us to confront it. We have grown much too comfortable with self-indulgence.

We regularly eat more than our bodies require. We're guilty of eating for taste rather than for hunger. And we've conveniently ignored the call for temperance in the supermarket, in the kitchen and on our plates. As disturbing as it might be, this acceptance of gluttony shouldn't come as a surprise in a world that's overflowing with super sizes, jumbo servings and all-you-can-eat buffets.

To make matters worse, we are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages regarding food. This is especially true for women.

Take Cooking Light magazine, for example, which has a mostly female readership. Cooking Light is devoted to promoting all aspects of healthy living. It contains dozens of low-calorie recipes, and each issue has articles devoted to diet, exercise and nutrition.

But as you leaf through the pages of this health-conscious magazine, you'll come across numerous ads that promote unhealthy eating. Baker's Chocolate encourages you to "Indulge in the chocolate cookie recipe that's more chocolate than cookie." The American Dairy Association tries to convince you that cheese is a food with authority in its slogan: "Ahh, the power of cheese."

And Nabisco tempts you to submit to SnackWell's cookies: "Go ahead. Worship the Devil's Food." Rather than promoting self-control, these ads entice us to yield to the cravings of the flesh.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit