“If you have found hone, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.” (Prov 25:16-17)
One of my favorite places to eat as a teenager was Franks Country Inn in Tulsa, OK. It was an all-you-can-eat BBQ restaurant. The variety of meats and sides were incredible. Several bars of entrees and desserts awaited all those who dined there.
Not many people in my sphere of influence enjoyed Frank’s as much as me, but I did have a few friends in high school that did. So, at times after a Friday night football game, we might eat there. Or during finals week, when we had extended off-campus lunch, we might have lunch there.
During one such a week, a friend of mine named Alvin was eating…and eating…and eating. This guy put down plates of meat like nothing I had ever seen. In fact, it was the only time I have ever eaten at a buffet where the manager came out and actually asked him to stop eating because his consumption of food and stacks of plates was bothering other customers.
Was it gluttony? Probably.
And, we were certainly encouraging Alvin to eat more and more, because of the show that it had become. But he had certainly reached the point where he had too much of a good thing.
In the verses above, honey and a visit from a neighbor are good things.
Honey is sweet and pleasant to consume. And, a neighbor coming to visit is on opportunity to show them Christ. Both are good things. But you can have too much of a good thing and then it becomes counter-productive.
Someone who comes to your house incessantly, interrupting your rhythms often, interrupting meals with other people, coming inside without a knock or doorbell, are stepping over the social norms and are in danger of offending.
And consuming too much food – like honey – will make someone sick. So, yes, you can have too much of a good thing.
The Bible says that we can enjoy foods, but we must not be mastered or controlled by them (I Cor 6:12). We must exercise self-control both of our consumption and with our burdening on other people. We need to be careful with meddling in the lives of others, serving as busy bodies and becoming a general annoyance to our neighbor.
There can be too much of a good thing.