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Gluttony Part 3: The Causes of Gluttony

January 25, 2008

Once again, I’m paraphrasing, condensing, or explaining much of what I’m reading from this section of Richard Baxter’s Christian Directory. Some of the contributing factors for gluttony could be:

  1. Having an inordinate (=excessive, immoderate, not within prescribed bounds) appetite that sets its mind on the happiness and pleasure that comes from pleasing the flesh.
  2. Having lack of strong reason, faith, and a spiritual appetite which will steer the ship rather than the fleshly appetite, thus fixing the direction of one’s self on higher, spiritual pleasures.
  3. Gluttony is increased by use. Like a prowling lion, he’s a desire that’s weakened by starvation, not attention.
  4. Idleness and lack of diligence in one’s life and contributes to gluttony.
  5. The pride of a man can be a snare for gluttony, wanting to impress himself and his company with the delicacies and tastiness of his food and drink.
  6. The gluttonous may not be acquainted with the spiritual exercises “In which the delightful fruits of abstinence do most appear”. So here the man needs to mature, leaving the old man behind.
  7. Those who have good physiques or habits “better than others” may not recognize gluttony in themselves because they do not fully understand the insidious nature of the sin of gluttony, or more broadly flesh-pleasing.

We are always seeking to grow into maturity in Christ. Consider how perfectly he could feast and dine at appropriate times, while being devoted to God in prayer and fasting at others, taking every season in proper measure.

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