Written by Pamela K. Orgeron, M.A., Ed.S., BCCC, ACLC
Similar to how individuals can be addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, tobacco and other vices, a person can also become addicted to food. In the Scriptures, this is referred to as gluttony.
[The following is excerpted and adapted from the book I (Pam) wrote entitled Food as an Idol: Finding Freedom from Disordered Eating (ABC’s Ministries, 2017)]
AVAILABLE IN BOTH SOFTBOUND AND HARDBACK EDITIONS
When does food become an idol? Piper (December 17, 2015) listed four indicators that an individual is practicing gluttony:
- A person becomes apathetic to the ill effects that food and his or her use of food is doing to the body. Does this apply to you?
- A person becomes apathetic to the way he/she stewards his/her money purchasing wrong/unhealthy foods unwisely. Is this you?
- A person uses food for comfort to escape problems. Are you a stress or emotional eater?
- A person fails to see God’s purpose for food. He or she no longer experiences pleasing God as the priority in life but he or she substitutes food for God. Has food become first place in your life rather than God?
For those who do not know or understand God, or who fear a relationship with him, food can seem the safer choice. This, however, places food in the position of an idol, as a created thing taking the place and position that rightly belongs to the Creator of all. “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). (Jantz, 2010, p. 211) (Orgeron, p. xxi)
If you identify with one or more of the indicators above answering any of the four questions given yes, then you might want to consider whether you have a food addiction. Personally, I believe food addiction is the hardest addiction to overcome because you have to eat to live. However, with other addictions one can rid his or her environment of the addictive agent and choose not to socialize with those individuals who do use the substance. Do you agree? Disagree? Why or why not?
Jantz, G. L. (2010). Hope, help & healing for eating disorders: A whole-person approach to treatment of anorexia, bulimia, and disordered eating. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press.
Piper, J. (2015, December 17). Four signs food has become an idol. Retrieved March 15, 2017 from http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/four-signs-food-has-become-an-idol