The Sin of Self-Indulgence

In Proverbs 23, Solomon doesn’t hold back when it comes to the topic of self-indulgence. We don’t see this term in the chapter, but we do see the principle throughout the entire chapter.

Solomon covers a few different topics of self-indulgence in this chapter.

He opens up the chapter with the self-indulgence of food. Vs. 1-3

He then mentions the self-indulgence of riches. Vs. 4-5

Next he talks about the self-indulgence of knowledge. Vs. 12, 23

He mentions the self-indulgence of sexual gratification. Vs. 27-28

Then he finishes the chapter with the self-indulgence of alcohol. Vs. 29-35

Self-indulgence: excessive or unrestrained gratification of one’s own appetites, desires, or whims.

When I look at the topics he covers throughout this chapter, there is only one that I believe is sin whether done in moderation or excess and that is alcohol. If you look at the other topics mentioned, they are all good if done in moderation. The exception to this would be sexual gratification, this is right if done within the confines of marriage between man and woman. Anything outside of the biblical guidelines is sin.

Food is good, but done in excess is gluttony.

Riches is good, but if that is our only concern in life then it becomes greed.

Knowledge is good, but we shouldn’t fill our minds with useless things and things contrary to Scripture.

Sexual gratification done in marriage is good, outside of that it is fornication and adultery.

Alcohol is sin. There is no good thing about it.

Anything done in excess, anything that we are unrestrained in, can be a sin if it takes the place of God or takes away from the things of God. We can make a list that goes beyond the topics covered in Proverbs 23 that can become sin if we indulge to much in them.

Self-indulgence comes from the inability to say no.

You eat too much because you can’t say no.

You are greedy because you can’t say no.

You don’t care what knowledge you gain, whether it is good or bad, because you can’t say no to what you listen to or look at.

You have sex outside of the biblical guidelines because you can’t say no.

You drink alcohol because you can’t say no.

If we are honest with ourselves, whether other people know or not, at some point we have all had a problem saying no to whatever sin we were faced with at the time.

One of the first words a child learns, at least mine did, is the word no. My one year old answers no to everything it seems like! Why is it that as we get older, we have a harder time saying no? It seems like it is easier to say yes to the wrong things and no to the right things when it really should be the other way around.

Tips on saying NO.

Don’t be afraid to say no!

Walk with God. Ask God to give you the power and strength to say no.

Avoid the things that you have a hard time saying no to.

Have someone to hold you accountable with the things you have a hard time saying no to.

Develop the right attitude towards wrong actions. When you believe wrong is wrong as much as you believe right is right, you will have an easier time saying no.

Don’t be afraid of what others may think of you for saying no. You have to give account for what you do in your life.


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