Overeating is a sin.

Do you cringe reading those words? I admit, I cringe typing them.

Yet the truth is that overeating is a sin. Here’s how to overcome it in your life and and if you are overweight, how to break free from emotional and spiritual bondage to food.

Is overeating a sin?

When a Culture Worships Food

If there was ever a wrong behavior that is considered acceptable in today’s modern culture, it’s overeating.

With 24/7 food channels, restaurant portions of ridiculous sizes, and food photos and videos splattered everywhere you look, food is worshiped in today’s world.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying food. Food is delicious and pleasurable. But, when more people are overweight than at a healthy weight (reference) it’s obvious we’ve taken this idea too far.

It’s important to keep in mind that the people who market food, push food, and glorify food are often those who stand to profit from food.

While they are just doing their jobs in a free market, try to recognize that the food messages you receive from our culture are rarely about what’s best for you and your health and are more invested in how to get you to spend your dollars.


Is Overeating a Sin? {Videos}

In Video 1, Becky and I discuss what the Bible says about overeating and sin.

This topic has generated hundreds of reader comments and questions! In video 2 we read many of these and discuss.


What Does the Bible Say About Overeating?

When it comes to the topic of overeating, the Bible uses the word gluttony. (Ugh, even the word is unpleasant.)

Gluttony is habitual greed or eating in excess.

Why is overeating a sin? Overeating puts a physical item (food) in place of God. Overeating makes food an idol in your life and negatively impacts the body God gave you.

Many of us have a pattern of overeating. When I was 100 pounds overweight, I certainly did. Even today, 10+ years into recovery, I must be continually mindful not to fall into the sin of gluttony.

Where in the Bible does it say overeating is a sin? Here are just a couple verses and there are many others.

Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

Philippians 3:19


Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.

Proverbs 23:20-21

Overeating NOT Okay – It’s a Big Deal

How is overeating a sin?

Gluttony, or the sin of overeating, is one of those insidious sinful behaviors because it’s doesn’t seem that bad in the moment.

We say things to ourselves like to justify that overeating is not a sin.

  • What’s a few extra potato chips?
  • Everyone overeats at the holidays.
  • Just one more bite is no big deal.
Sara Lost 100 lbs - before and after weight loss
When I was 100 pounds heavier, I justified my overeating as not that bad.

I remember feeling somewhat justified in my overeating because at least I could still take care of my children.

Yes, I knew it was wrong to overeat but surely it wasn’t as bad as moms who drink alcohol or do drugs.

Honestly, I think I felt that my heavier body was almost a badge of honor. It showed the world how much I was willing to sacrifice – even my health – for my children.

Yet sin is sin and there is no justifying it away.


Compassion to Heal Food Addiction

A tremendous part of my healing from eating addictions was learning to treat myself with grace and compassion.

Just as God has given me grace, I can extend that grace to myself and others.

Yet compassion doesn’t mean saying overeating is “no big deal”. Just the opposite. Compassion is recognizing that overeating is serious yet Jesus’ saving work on the cross covers it completely.


Trade Your Guilt for Grace

Maybe you recognize that your overeating is a sinful behavior, but now what? Trying to just stop isn’t exactly easy. In fact, it can feel absolutely impossible.

Together with my business partner, Becky, I run an online Christian women’s weight loss program called Faithful Finish Lines.

The foundation of our program is a principle we call Trading Guilt for Grace. While the exact process is exclusive to members of our program (which opens to the public on September 15, 2019) here is a helpful overview.

How to Trade Your Guilt for Grace

When you overeat or are in a pattern of overeating, here’s how to rely on God’s grace and strength to find healing, hope, and forgiveness.

Step 1 – Admit Your Sin.

Overeating might seem like a minor sin compared to some, but that’s the trick of this sin, right? Overeating is sinful and it’s not okay. Confess your sin to the Lord.

Step 2 – Ask for Forgiveness.

Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, you can be assured that God offers you complete and total forgiveness for any overeating you have done. Ask God to extend his mercy and grace to you.

Step 3 – Accept God’s Grace.

Often, accepting God’s grace is the toughest part of trading guilt for grace. You might be tempted to beat yourself up for your overeating behaviors. Instead, recognize that you are forgiven! Let go of shame. Turn away from your sin and walk as a renewed child of God.


Do you believe overeating is a sin? How will you trade your guilt for grace? Share in the comments below.


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Is overeating a sin? Here's how to overcome it.
Overeating is a sin. Here's how to overcome it.