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Is it wrong to overeat?

By: john weirick

Is your life controlled by your desire to eat more food?

Your immediate answer might be “no,” but how many pictures of food have you liked or posted on Instagram this week? How many of your favorite restaurants are favorites because of their generous portions?

It sounds strange to consider being addicted to food. Everyone needs to eat, right? However, food idolatry is not just a body issue — it’s a soul issue.

Idolatry is when you place something or someone other than Jesus in the center of your life. The difference between loving food and being a food addict is how much control Jesus holds in your life.

Food Is Good

The way you think about food determines the way you’ll use it. Food is a gift from God. He wants us to be nourished by it and to enjoy it, yet when we put a good thing in God’s place, it becomes a bad thing.

This isn’t to say that enjoying treats is bad, or that you shouldn’t feast for special occasions. Actually, the Bible says feasting for special occasions is a good practice and reminds us to be thankful to God. However, the Bible also teaches us that gluttony is foolish and people are led away from God when they live for food instead of Jesus (Proverbs 23:1-7, Proverbs 23:20-21, Philippians 3:18).

God doesn’t want us to be without desires. He’s created us with all sorts of desires that help us live abundant lives. If we didn’t have the desire called thirst, we wouldn’t drink enough water for our bodies to operate well. If we didn’t have the desire to sleep, we’d be groggy, unproductive, irritable people. The trouble with overeating is that it's an unchecked desire that can lead to being overweight and even significant health problems like obesity. God is for our whole health—not just spiritual, but mental and physical health, too.

Food Is Not God

Author and theologian C.S. Lewis wrote:

“Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink, sex, and ambition, when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Jesus made us to experience the highest fulfillment, better than anything we hoped for, but this fulfillment doesn’t come through eating or drinking or anything else to satisfy our physical desires. The highest fulfillment we can experience is from knowing Jesus and living our lives following Him. This is why God designed us. When we walk with Jesus, we’re made whole, unlike anything else can make us whole.

Only Jesus deserves to be the King of your life—not food, not your appetite, not even yourself. If we belong to God, we should not be controlled by anything other than His Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

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