May 9 – 15, 2021
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2).
Study Help: The Sanctified Life, 18–33; Education, 195–206.
“Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 485.
1 HARMONIOUS INTERACTION NECESSARY
1.a. In the creation, what requirements were placed upon man that were not required of other creatures? Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:16, 17.
Note: “The harmony of creation depends upon the perfect conformity of all beings, of everything, animate and inanimate, to the law of the Creator. God has ordained laws for the government, not only of living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything is under fixed laws, which cannot be disregarded. But while everything in nature is governed by natural laws, man alone, of all that inhabits the earth, is amenable to moral law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 52.
1.b. How are Christians exhorted to strive for sanctification, both mental and physical? Romans 12:1; Philippians 2:12, last part, 13.
Note: “The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of what constitutes a sanctified character.” The Review and Herald, January 25, 1881.
“[It presents] a lesson for all, but especially for the young. A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind. In order to reach the highest standard of moral and intellectual attainments, it is necessary to seek wisdom and strength from God, and to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life. In the experience of Daniel and his companions we have an instance of the triumph of principle over temptation to indulge the appetite. It shows us that through religious principle young men may triumph over the lusts of the flesh, and remain true to God’s requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice.” Ibid.
“The body is the only medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character.” The Ministry of Healing, 130.
2 THE BODY AFFECTS THE MIND
2.a. How is mental effort affected by good physical health? 3 John 2; 1 Corinthians 9:27.
Note: “We should seek to preserve the full vigor of all our powers for the accomplishment of the work before us. Whatever detracts from physical vigor weakens mental effort. Hence, every practice unfavorable to the health of the body should be resolutely shunned. …
“We cannot maintain consecration to God and yet injure our health by the willful indulgence of a wrong habit. Self-denial is one of the conditions, not only of admission into the service of Christ, but of continuance therein. Christ Himself declared, in unmistakable language, the conditions of discipleship: ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ (Matthew 16:24).
“Yet, how many who call themselves Christians are unwilling to exercise self-denial, even for Christ’s sake. How often the love for some pernicious indulgence is stronger than the desire for a sound mind in a sound body. Precious hours of probation are spent, God-given means squandered, to please the eye or to gratify the appetite. Custom holds thousands in bondage to the earthly and sensual. Many are willing captives; they desire no better portion.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 380, 381.
2.b. What is the effect of fleshly lusts on the mind? 1 Peter 2:11.
Note: “Study is not the principal cause of breakdown of mental powers. The main cause is improper diet, irregular meals, a lack of physical exercise, and careless inattention in other respects to the laws of health. When we do all that we can to preserve the health, then we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 299.
“By allowing ourselves to form wrong habits, by keeping late hours, by gratifying appetite at the expense of health, we lay the foundation for feebleness. By neglecting physical exercise, by overworking mind or body, we unbalance the nervous system.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 346.
3 DIET AND THE MIND
3.a. What effects do temperance and discipline have on the mind? 1 Corinthians 9:25, 27.
Note: “True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.
“There are ample reasons why there are so many nervous women in the world, complaining of the dyspepsia, with its train of evils. The cause has been followed by the effect. It is impossible for intemperate persons to be patient. They must first reform bad habits, learn to live healthfully, and then it will not be difficult for them to be patient. Many do not seem to understand the relation the mind sustains to the body. If the system is deranged by improper food, the brain and nerves are affected, and slight things annoy those who are thus afflicted. Little difficulties are to them troubles mountain high.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 434.
3.b. How can a person’s dietary practices affect and influence the faith of others? Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:13; Daniel chapter 1.
Note: “We are composed of what we eat, and eating much flesh will diminish intellectual activity. Students would accomplish much more in their studies if they never tasted meat. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately. A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded.” Medical Ministry, 277, 278.
“I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amount of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery, affects the brain very directly. And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat. These changes should be made cautiously, and the subject should be treated in a manner not calculated to disgust and prejudice those whom we would teach and help.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 328.
4 THE BEST MEDICINE
4.a. What forces does happiness release? Proverbs 15:15, last part; 16:24, first part.
Note: “The pleasure of doing good animates the mind and vibrates through the whole body. While the faces of benevolent men are lighted up with cheerfulness, and their countenances express the moral elevation of the mind, those of selfish, stingy men are dejected, cast down, and gloomy. Their moral defects are seen in their countenances.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 534.
4.b. What are the best practices/habits for diseased bodies and minds? Proverbs 3:1–8.
Note: “The consciousness of rightdoing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 502.
5 MIND AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH
5.a. What effect will following Jesus have on the mind? Malachi 4:2; John 14:27.
Note: “When the gospel is received in its purity and power, it is a cure for the maladies that originated in sin. … Not all that this world bestows can heal a broken heart, or impart peace of mind, or remove care, or banish disease. Fame, genius, talent—all are powerless to gladden the sorrowful heart or to restore the wasted life. The life of God in the soul is man’s only hope.” The Ministry of Healing, 115.
5.b. How are reason and grace bound together? Romans 6:1,2; Isaiah 1:18, 19.
Note: “The body is a most important medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here often means the surrender of the whole being to evil. The tendencies of the physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death. The body is to be brought into subjection to the higher powers of the being. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in the life.” Prophets and Kings, 488, 489.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Discuss co-dependence of the physical and mental powers.
2 How does temperance relate to physical and mental strength?
3 How does what a person eats affect his intellect?
4 What is the best medicine for sick bodies and minds?
5 What is the cure for spiritual disease originating from the commission of sin? How does this affect spiritual health?
Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.