Giving up excess for Lent (and hopefully longer)

Maureen Herring

February 22, 2012

I have only recently begun reading and meditating on the socially respectable sin of gluttony--perhaps the most insidious form of which we see in Americans' material acquisitiveness. Far from naming this smoldering discontent with our "stuff" for what it is (sin), we celebrate it as though it were a virtue.

"You got the latest iWhatever yet? Oh, man, you don't know what you're missing out on!"

We portray it as a healthy and even laudable thing when we have all the latest gadgets, are taking advantage of all the latest services, are endlessly acquiring yet another something that we are convinced will somehow improve our already-comfortable lives.

But here's the part I'm starting to learn to appreciate about gluttony: it's not the consumption that's sinful so much as the discontent. Yes, in being gross over-consumers we do deprive others in the world of their "fair" share of resources--if you want to get all philosophical about such things. But I think the root of our acquisitiveness is rooted in the darker part of gluttony. We are revealing how much we are still in love with the world and the things of the world. And as John said, "If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them" (1 John 2:15 NIV).

April 7, 2015

I do appreciate Maureen’s testimony which I think challenges each and every Christian believer if we are honest with ourselves. In addition to that, when you consider the quantity of food and the number clothes as well as many households items that are thrown out everyday in North America while some of our Christian brothers and sisters in the poor countries do hardly get one meal per day or have no basic necessities at all, you wonder about the accuracy of the Christian “love of one another”. I personally know areas experiencing famine, malnutrition, lack of clean water, lack of clothing items, schools under the trees, lack of health centres, … and apparently nothing is done to demonstrate God’s love for those who are victims of such misfortunes.

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