God cares about what you eat, Kotter says at women’s event

Communications Staff — March 20, 2008

Only when Christians think of meals as opportunities for either sin or obedience can they eat for the glory of God, David Kotter said Feb. 26 at a Pendergraph Women’s Ministry event at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“Gluttony is a sin,” said Kotter, who serves as executive director of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. “That’s the good news because we have a Savior who forgives us of our sins and sanctifies us from all unrighteousness. If you remember nothing else from tonight, remember the Gospel solution is that … through [Jesus Christ] we can break the power of this sin.”

Around the world people are becoming increasingly
overweight to the point that a crisis has developed, he said. Since the Civil War, exercise has decreased, food portion sizes have increased and the same size portions of food now contain more calories, Kotter said.

“All around the world right now we’re experiencing what is called an obesity epidemic,” he said. “In every country around the world, people are gaining weight in this generation like never before in the history of mankind. In fact, many countries today are going from malnutrition to obesity in one generation. And we’ve really never seen such a thing before.”

Fad diets will not solve the weight problem in the long run, Kotter said, and weight gain will negatively affect our attitudes and actions until we make a healthy change. Thankfully, God does not leave us without guidance when it comes to eating, he said.

“If you start from the beginning of your Bible and survey all the way to the end of your Bible, it is filled with God’s concern about what is on the menu and how His people are eating,” he said.

When it comes to food, one of God’s concerns is that His people avoid gluttony—habitually eating to excess, Kotter said, noting that for the first time in history persons of any economic level can now practice gluttony.

Though no one is comfortable talking about gluttony, recognizing it as sin is the only way to attain godliness in our eating habits, he said.

“If you call it a sin, which it is,” he said, “then you can say, ‘This is something for which Christ died. This is a big deal. God does care about what’s on the menu, and Jesus Christ died—He shed His precious blood for me to break the power of sin in my life.’”

There are at least two ways Christians commit the sin of gluttony, according to Kotter. Some people practice idolatrous eating in which they attempt to fulfill some need that only God can fulfill, he said. Others practice foolish eating in which they consume far too many calories simply because they have not exercised wisdom in considering the value of the foods they eat, he said.

Healthy eating in a modern context involves reducing fat and increasing fiber, Kotter said. He noted that a good rule of thumb is to eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day and fewer than 50 grams of fat.

Exercise is also an important part of a healthy life and should be viewed with the proper perspective, he said. While exercise without a healthy diet will not make much difference in a person’s life, walking just 30 minutes per day along with healthy eating would result in losing approximately one pound every two weeks, Kotter said.

“If you can cut sinful eating out of your life and if you can add walking to your life, in the next year that 10 pounds you always wanted to lose—you probably would,” he said.

The best way to change unhealthy eating habits is to treat them like any other sin, Kotter said: using an accountability partner, a food journal, prayer and self-control. Though our struggles with eating will never be conquered in this life, Christians can look forward to a day when they will be perfectly satisfied by eating from the tree of life and partaking of the marriage supper of the Lamb, he said.

“The happy ending is that you get a glorified body. The happy ending is that the Holy Spirits dwells in you and one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control,” he said. “The happy ending is (that) you get to eat from the tree of life because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross.”

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.