Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:2
"And put a knife to your throat if you are a man of great appetite"
This proverb is the actual command of what to do when dining with a leader when you are in the presence of luxuries and desirable things that only the very rich or powerful have available to them.
Solomon uses very strong imagery. Put a knife to your throat so that if you were to swallow, you would cut your own throat. Your swallowing mechanism should be closed to the opportunities that will be available to you.
One of the greatest tests of a person's character is success. It is easier to be moral and controlled when there are few other options. But when the whole world is offering itself to you and you can have every type of temptation, this is when your character shows through. Solomon says you must make sure that you do not let your guard down just because it is free; just because it is being offered. Food, sex, money, and power can all be traps which hold their prey in an ever tightening embrace.
Solomon is trying to get you ready for any and all eventualities. If you are successful at the skill development that God has given you, then you will be in front of great men; but you must know how to be there without letting that environment destroy you. This is one of the few sections of the Scriptures that deal specifically with gluttony, overeating, and the temptations of food. In America we have become the young stewards let into the king’s chamber who could not control ourselves. We have become fat – feasting on all the wonderful pastries, desserts, and wonderful tasting goodies that are plumbing us up for ill health and inactivity.
Taking a broader perspective on this verse, we see that having self-control with our eating is crucial to maintaining our place of leadership and success. Don't be fooled; you can eat your way out of the center of God's will.
The most highly successful weight loss program in America and the only one to stand up under scientific study is Weight Watchers which emphasizes, through their points system, portion control – or in Solomon's parlance, putting a knife to your throat. Realize that living anywhere in western civilization is to be in the king's chamber where delicacies are available to you that are not good for you. You have to learn how to tell yourself NO. You have to, in many cases, eliminate whole types of foods as not to be consumed: Cookies, Ice Cream, Cakes, Pies, French Fries, Fast Food, etc. The healthy way to go with eating seems to be vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meets, and lots of water.
The ethical adage is appropriate here. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
It would be a shame to go to all the work to develop a skill and gain information that vaunts you to making a significant impact, only to be shut out of using it because you could not control your weight. I know that shouldn't make a difference, but it does. It did in Solomon's day and it still does today. Put a knife to your throat – control how much of the bad stuff you are consuming.