Yes, overindulging is a sin. But how aware are we of gluttony examples that occur within the church? For example, at a ministry event I was eating Way Too Much Pizza. The guy next to me turned and said, “I eat like a glutton only at youth group activities.”
I haven’t been able to get that out of my head. Because it’s completely true. If I ever eat six slices of pizza, or eat five donuts, or go back for a seventh bowl of chili …
… it definitely means I’m at a church function. And I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.
Gluttony Examples in the Bible (Yes, It’s an Actual Sin.)
Are we tacitly encouraging the sin of gluttony during youth group?
I remember a New Year’s Eve party I did once. Because it was the end of the year, we had enough budget money leftover to make it a good party. Students ate candy and stuffed chips in their faces and drank soda and there was Way Too Much Pizza.
I remember a chili cook-off where I challenged a student to a chili eat-off.
When I was a teenager, I remember my own youth pastor engaging me in a Mountain Dew chugging contest.
(Sidenote: If you provide Mountain Dew to kids, you forfeit the right to complain about how they won’t calm down for your message.)
In fact, I think I’m more likely to eat sensibly at Thanksgiving or a Memorial Day barbecue than I am at a church event with free food. What’s up with that?
What happens when we eat like gluttons at youth group? Well, we encourage sin and undermine the teaching we might want to do about it later. Plus, we may be setting students up with unhealthy habits that could very well hurt their health down the road.