It's hard to keep track of all the calories that go into our body come Christmas season. All of the holiday parties, feasts and get-togethers are great ways not just to satisfy our appetite but to come together as families, friends and colleagues and to enjoy God-given relationships as well.
But let us not forget the danger that is gluttony this Christmas season of feasting. Does it really matter how much we eat?
Gluttony is known as one of the seven deadly sins made popular in the fourth century along with envy, vainglory, sloth, avarice, anger, and lust. Throughout centuries, clergymen have preached against these sins all too often that people have become overfamiliar with the concept even without knowing why gluttony matters.
Gluttony goes beyond what goes into our bodies, but what's already in our hearts. What makes gluttony a serious matter is not how many helpings you have come Christmas dinners, but the attitude of selfishness reflected in the excess eating.
Gluttony goes just beyond bingeing on food but is an extension of an uncontrollable desire for self-satisfaction, often manifesting in our excessive eating and drinking.
But it doesn't stop with food. The selfish core of gluttony also causes us to seek gifts, attention, idleness and an array of seemingly good things but things that can and are often abused.
Behind gluttony is the sin of selfishness and self-idolatry which maligns God's perfect design.
Selfishness can become an issue most especially because it urges us to look to fulfill our own desires at the expense of the convenience and welfare of others. But Jesus taught us and even exemplified true selflessness: a willingness to dismiss our own desires and wants for the sake of Christ and for the sake of others.
In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul gave this command: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
How can we protect our hearts from gluttony, and more importantly the root of selfishness?
We must always remember how we, in our sinful and worldly state, deserve nothing but God's punishment and judgment, but in His grace He allows us to enjoy all things.
Let us watch our hearts for the entitlement and selfishness that can overshadow the true meaning of Christmas, which is that God gave Christ to us freely and that He invites us to share in His generosity and to be generous as well to others.