“Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” I Corinthians 9:25
Our problems and our sicknesses are often the result of our own intemperate habits. A man does not die; he kills himself. A healthy, happy person is one who is well balanced physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Temperance means self control or moderation in the enjoyment of those things which are good, and the avoidance of that which is harmful. …
Part I – Moderation in that which is Good
Sunshine is very healing to the body, but too much sunshine will result in sunburn; too much exercise will cause exhaustion; too much sleep causes one to become lazy; too much money causes one to become selfish; too much entertainment causes one to become irresponsible; too much reading can ruin one’s eyes; too much hurrying can cause a nervous breakdown, and too much food can cause obesity. We can plainly see that we all need some sunshine, some exercise and some food, but too much is harmful. If a little is good, that does not mean that a lot is better. This is especially true when it comes to food. We need moderation in all good things, and this article will cover just three of them, moderation in food, cleanliness, and entertainment.
Moderation in Food
Most obese people can improve their situation by simply reducing their intake of food and increasing physical activity. Overeating can be the root cause of any number of illnesses, from gastric indigestion, obesity, heart disease, and similar afflictions. The less active an individual is, the less food is required. Overeating not only puts undue stress on the digestive organs, but it weakens the entire body system making it more prone to disease. A person who can control his appetite is a self-disciplined individual.
Moderation in Cleanliness
Personal cleanliness—cleanliness of body and clothes—is actually another type of moderation. No one wants to be around someone who doesn’t regularly bathe or wash his or her clothes. Cleanliness of one’s home and belongings is also important. Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of visiting someone whose house was so dirty and cluttered that you could hardly get in the front door? Many diseases are the result of poor sanitation. Closely related to cleanliness is neatness and tidiness. Keeping things neat and in order is encouraging to our mental attitude.
Moderation in Entertainment
The major entertainment in America is the television set. The average child watches over 40 hours of T.V. a week. That adds up to almost 6 hours a day. This is not moderation at all and that is why we are having so many problems with our youth today, like violence, sexual permissiveness, disrespect, lying, stealing, and similar inappropriate behaviors. What can we expect when they watch this on T.V. over 40 hours every week?
Television is a very poor substitute for entertainment. What happened to the days when families did things together, like biking, camping, hiking, father and son building something together, mother teaching her daughter how to bake bread or make a dress? Today, most families simply watch T.V. together, where there is no communication between them; it is all one way. The T.V. communicates its negative system of beliefs to its audience. Why do we have a generation gap? Why do we have poor reading skills? Why do we have such negative outlooks on life? Why are we overweight and physically unfit? Why do we have such short attention spans? Why does actual life seem boring? The answer to all these and more is the television. We, as a nation, have not been selective in the programs we see nor in the amount of T.V. we watch. The Bible tells us that what we sow, we shall reap; and we here in American are now reaping the results of improper television viewing. May God help us to see our errors.
Part II – Avoiding that which is Harmful
The second part of the definition of temperance is “avoidance of that which is harmful.” There are literally thousands of things that are harmful, but we will be looking at just a few of these. We all know we should avoid such things as alcohol, tobacco and harmful drugs. Most people know that they are a poison to the body and that we should stay away from them. However, there are other things that are harmful to your body of which you may unaware – coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, baking powder and soda.
Harmful Effects of Coffee, Tea, Colas and Chocolate
These all contain methylxanthines which can cause physical and physiological damage. All of the methylxanthines have been associated with chromosome damage and deformities in the offspring of the user; and cancer is more common in those who use methylxanthines, especially chocolate, which may begin developing cysts and fibrous tumors especially in the breast, the so-called fibrocystic disease. Methylxanthines have the ability to alter the very protoplasm of cells, and to attach or concentrate in cells for an unknown period of time. The effects begin shortly after taking the drink containing them, and last for about four hours. Some of the symptoms can be imperfect balance, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, fatigue, finger tremor, headache, restlessness, irritability, depression and gastrointestinal disturbances. (See Psychopharmacology in the Practice of Medicine by Murray E. Janik. Reviewed in Journal of Family Practice 4 (6): 1180–1888, 1977.)
If one is accustomed to the regular use of coffee, tea, colas or chocolate, one may feel less alert, less contented, more sleepy and irritable when there is a delay in having these products. The shocking thing is that over 90% of the American population uses caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea and colas. Decaffeinated coffee and tea have more harmful substances than the caffeinated. …
Harmful Effects of Baking Powder and Soda
The use of soda and baking powder is harmful. Soda causes inflammation of the stomach by eating away the lining of the stomach. Soda also decreases the pancreatic juices, which are used for digestion; and all baking powders leave a residue of soda and bicarbonate of soda which destroys vitamins. The alum baking powder leaves a residue consisting of Glauber’s salts (sulfate of soda) and aluminum hydrate (which itself is poisonous to the body). The cream of tartar baking powders leave a residue of tartar of soda and potash – Rochelle salts. The phosphoric baking powders leave a residue of phosphate of lime and soda. (Hoffman, Jay Ph.D., The Missing Link, pg. 83, 1984.) Some health food stores carry a baking powder which they are told is healthy baking powder and is not harmful. This is not true; there has never come on the market a baking powder that does not leave a residue of soda.
Our bodies are not our own, to treat as we please, to cripple by habits that lead to decay. The wonderful mechanism of the human body does not receive half the care that is often given to a mere lifeless machine. Our bodies belong to God, He has arranged every fiber and nerve and sinew and muscle and will keep our bodies in perfect health, if we will cooperate with Him by being temperate and obeying His natural laws of health.
Excerpts from Natural Medicine, pages 99–105, Jerry Hoover, N.D. KNI Printers, Inc., Anaheim, California, 1993.