Lent 7: Seven Deadly Sins (Jeff Cook)

Lent 7: Seven Deadly Sins (Jeff Cook) April 20, 2011

Jeff Cook, author of Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes , has offered some brief meditations for us to ponder during Lent this year.

Gluttony

During Lent, we will meditate together on the Seven Deadly Sins and use this list as an aid in confession as we prepare ourselves for Holy Week, Good Friday and the Easter announcement of resurrection.

When Adam and Eve fell in the garden, their sin was not about sex or violence. Nor was their sin about pride as some have argued. Eating from the tree was an act of gluttony. Adam and Eve took more than they needed. They believed they could do whatever they wished with God’s creation for their own pleasure and benefit.

Gluttony is not about obesity; gluttony is about what we unite ourselves to. Gluttons wed themselves to meals over and above what is healthy—and by devouring more and more, they always have less. Body weight is not a worthy indicator of this sin. The skinny suffer from gluttony as easily and often as the stout, for gluttony is first and foremost excessive. Gluttony demands a third car when one will do, a third drink when one is best, a third hobby when the other two you started aren’t satisfying enough. Alcoholics are gluttons but so are many bloggers, card players and businesspeople. Gluttony is immoderation, and immoderation is not about having body fat. It’s about having a gaunt soul.

Sin entered the world through the body of a man and woman, and it would take the body of another man to defeat it. During Holy week, let us feed on what Jesus said. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never thirst … My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:35, 40).

(Excerpt from Seven: the Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes by Jeff Cook)

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  • Interesting point. I had really never thought about the sin of Adam and Eve being gluttony?

    I believe that all sin starts with the foundation of believing a lie. The lies we believe, and eventually act on, ultimately lead us to being at loggerheads with God and God’s laws. Adam and Eve’s sin began because they believed a lie…which was direct disobedience to God’s Word. While the final act was desire and consumption, the lie is what put Eve at the base of the tree. The rest is fallen history. Great post!

    Blessings,
    Mark
    3-foldcord

  • JoanieD

    I like this very much! I think there is a typo, though. It reads, “When Adam and Eve feel in the garden.” I think the word “feel” is not what is wanted there.

  • MatthewS

    Eating from the tree was an act of gluttony. Adam and Eve took more than they needed.

    Intriguing thought but –

    Gluttony is about excess but the first sin was equally bad whether they ate one bite or a whole bushel of this particular fruit. The rule did not involve portion sizes, “you shall not eat more than this.” Rather, it was an absolute prohibition of this particular fruit, “you shall not eat.”

    The serpent promised new knowledge, something God was holding back from them. It seems more natural to me to see pride or rebellion in this rather than gluttony.

  • I like his overall take on gluttony but agree with #3 on this to a point. However, it is also true that they (we) were gluttons of knowledge and power. They were not content to live with what God had given but wanted more. Threads of envy, lust, greed, pride and self will over and against God’s will may also have been at work here. I think it is a good example of how one act can have the roots of many sins attached to it.

  • Jim

    had never thought of Adam & Eve’s sin as one of gluttony.

    Also, helped me see how gluttony can be a form of idolatry. I think of idolatry as occurring anytime we seek something from the world that is passing away that only God can provide.

    We seem eager to find peace, security, even salvation by clinging to ideas, relationships, and material as if any of those things can provide what only God can provide.

    I can see how gluttony is an expression of that, especially as we learn that what we use cannot give us what we seek.

    We want more and more of that which gives us, in the end, nothing.

  • Here’s how St. Gregory the Great put it all those years ago:
    Too Soon, Too Much, Too Avidly, Too Richly, Too Daintily.

    I’ve been preaching and blogging through Lent on the Deadly Sin of Gluttony. For what it’s worth, here’s the link to those posts: http://timmhallman.blogspot.com/search/label/Gluttony

    We’ve used Gregory’s summation as a launching pad for examining all the different ways we are gluttonous.

    I also saw the temptation to gluttony in the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness: stones to bread was gluttony of the belly, being given the kingdoms of the world was gluttony for control and glory, and jumping off the temple was gluttony for affection and affirmation.

    “It’s about having a gaunt soul.” Well said, Jeff.

  • Pat Pope

    MatthewS-I agree with your point about Adam and Eve and initially thought the same thing, however I think the case could be made for gluttony in that they already had everything they needed. They didn’t need to eat from the garden and since they’d already been instructed not to, to eat from it anyway was an act of disobedience as well as gluttony.