Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony


This week we will be talking about Gluttony also called Greed. Both of these words seem mutually exclusive and are different sins seeking different objects or ends: gluttony is food and greed is money. This was not the Medieval mindset.

Gluttony according to Dorothy Sayers is, “self-indulgence and the wanton pursuit of pleasure”. By this definition, an individual could both be greedy for food, sex, experience, achievement, anything in which the end is the pleasure pursued. Gluttony or greediness are always sought apart from the One who created the pleasure and it’s means. Though gluttony is a self-indulgent pursuit of pleasure, we must remember who created the pleasure to begin with.

C.S. Lewis, in his book, The Screwtape Letters, a junior tempter is being coached by his more experienced and senior uncle, Screwtape. Screwtape, speaking of pleasure warns his nephew regarding pleasure,

Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a should through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return–that is what really gladdens Our Father’s heart.

The Screwtape Letters, Chapter 9

“An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure”–therein is the sinfulness of sin. Pleasure was created for our enjoyment, but it was also created to provoke and rightly direct gratitude and love.

One thought on “Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony

  1. The sermon was great on Sunday – and it's been refreshed in my mind to read this post. The Screwtape Letters are just genius… pure and simple.

    Like

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