Appetite is a natural or strong desire for liking something or satisfying a bodily need. The degree or intensity of appetite varies based on several factors such as our interest, health status, and age. We have an appetite for so many things – acceptance, food, clothing, music, sports, and entertainment. These of course may seem very innocent and perhaps as things that we should have an appetite for, but have you ever thought of whether and how it affects your physical, mental, or spiritual health?

So why is appetite control so important? One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet is upon the point of appetite. —Testimonies for the Church 3:485. HL 74.4. The indulgence of appetite affects every aspect of our lives. If appetite is allowed to rule, the mind will be brought under its control. – Unpublished Testimonies, August 25, 1897. HL74.3.

Come on, who wants to be controlled by their appetite? But sadly, many of us succumb to its powers especially when it comes to food. Many are made sick by the indulgence of their appetite. They eat what suits their perverted taste, thus weakening the digestive organs, and injuring their power to assimilate the food that is to sustain life…Thus the delicate machinery is worn out by the suicidal practices of those who ought to know better. Sin indeed lies at the door. The door is the mouth. – Unpublished Testimonies, August 25, 1897. HL74.1.

The time we live in has made it challenging to control our appetites. The desire to have the latest cell phone, to get the most likes or views on our social media platforms, to wear the latest fashion, to indulge in secular entertainment, to indulge in junk foods and fast foods that offer minimal nourishment all attempt to suck us into their pleasures. After all, who doesn’t love pleasure or to be pleasured? However, you cross a threshold when you allow your appetite for these things to control you impacting you negatively. How do you know when your appetite is imbalanced? Gluttony, illnesses, irrational thinking, drunkenness, addictions, gossiping, jealousy, distress, unhealthy relationships, intemperance, spiritual lethargy are all possible signs.

Philippians 4:8 instructs, "…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." 1 Corinthians 10:31 advises that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

If you desire to please God, you must deny the gratification of your appetites and exercise temperance in everything. Satan sees that he cannot have such a controlling power over us as he could if appetite were indulged. —Testimonies for the Church 3:569. HL 75.1.

Are you in control of your appetite or is your appetite controlling you? Take control! Seek the help you need. Your health, your life, and even your salvation depends on it.

This article is written by Ms. Shandera Smith, M.Sc., LDN, BCDE, President of the Adventist Health Professionals Association.

This article was extracted from the Logos for April 24, 2021.