High fructose corn syrup was introduced in 1970 as a solution to the rising costs of sugar cane. While reducing the production costs of soda (and many other products), it wreaked havoc on the waistlines of Americans. Obesity grew expotentially in the years following, making it the second leading preventable cause of death in America.
Gluttony is condemned in scripture as well as greed which I assume includes hoarding food. Yet I find myself able to navigate the rough waters of gluttony and greed without pushing anyone out of the raft. After all, Jesus was accused of drunkenness and gluttony by the Pharisess, but according to his words, “wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” (See Matthew 11 for the full account.)
In Jesus’ words to the religious leaders, I hear him saying that not everything is as it seems. Jesus eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners didn’t make him a glutton.
Not everything is as it seems…I know many people who struggle with their weight, they might even meet the criteria for obese, and they are not gluttons. These people are genuinely concerned with their health but for one reason or another, losing weight is extremely difficult. I am sympathetic to those with underlying issues that cause obesity. I know not everything is as it seems.
There are so many other situations just like this one. The other day, I stopped at a grocery store where I don’t usually shop. It is out of my way, but this day I was going past and needed a few things. I encountered so many people who looked wounded and scared. At one time, I might have judged them unfit in some way or been uneasy in their presence; but not this day. A song by Tim McGraw says all I felt as I walked through the store, gathering my few things. The first verse goes like this
I pulled into the shopping centerGrown Men Don’t Cry by Tim McGraw
And saw a little boy wrapped around the legs of his mother
Like ice cream melting, they embraced
Years of bad decisions running down her face
All morning I’d been thinking my life’s so hard
And they wore everything they owned, living in a car
I wanted to tell them it would be ok
But I just got in my Suburban, and I, I drove away
It bothers me that I can so easily say that “all is not as it seems” about some sins (gluttony), while other sins (promiscuity, stealing, hatred, lust, sowing discord, etc) are so clear cut in my mind. My prayer these days is for a deeper revelation of the person of Jesus being an exact representation of God. I pray that any obstruction to seeing the glorious image of God in Jesus would be removed and my eyes see clearly.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…Colossians 1:15
The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.Hebrews 1:3
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.2 Corinthians 4:4
Adam and Eve believed a lie about God — he was withholding something good from them, he wasn’t trustworthy, he didn’t really care about them. There is a remnant of that lie I continue to believe but, by God’s grace, I am asking for it to be eradicated from my life. The cry of my heart is to walk in the deep waters of God’s love for me and all His creation! Open my eyes to the unsurpassable worth of every single person he created.
How about you? Do you easily show grace and mercy for some sins while actively condemning others? Do your sins seem less odious than the sins of others? What will you do about it?