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Temperance in All Things

Temperance is an old, mostly outdated word in our modern world, but it still means the same thing. People who really want to be healthy will avoid everything that is harmful, and will use every good thing in moderation, avoiding extremes.

I was once called to the emergency department to see Billy, a three-year-old boy with a bellyache, to evaluate him for possible surgery. Following a careful examination and after quizzing he and his parents, I discovered that Billy had watched a program on television telling that carrots were good for the eyes. Wishing to see really well—and gullible (as many of us are, even as adults)—this little guy had consumed five whole large carrots in one sitting. Though he avoided an operation, it was still a hard lesson on temperance for Billy. He will not likely fill up on raw carrots again for a long time.

Temperance—Abstaining from harmful things and using good judgment regarding good things—is good for our health. It is good for preventing disease, and it is good for healing illness.

Intemperance kills.

Chapter contents

A) Results of intemperance

B) Living temperately

A) Results of intemperance

Alcohol and many mind-active drugs kill—sometimes by accident, sometimes by direct toxic effect on vital body organs, and sometimes by self-affliction.

There is no such thing as alcohol deficiency!

Alcohol and addicting drugs are not content to kill their user, but must also destroy his/her family, neighbor and community. More than 40% of accidental deaths involve the use of alcohol.

Tobacco too kills its users, their families, and anyone breathing the second hand smoke.

Eating kills—by consuming too much food or too many calories. While it is difficult to “OD” (over-dose) on whole, unrefined natural foods, it is easy to do when consuming refined foods, even when all of plant origin. Nutritional deficiencies also kill—as is best illustrated by young ladies suffering from anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

Water kills—Marathon runners sometimes drink too much water and become water intoxicated. It is a condition that can kill rapidly, often even among conditioned athletes. Deficiency of drinking water also kills by dehydration.

The point is this: there are many ways to be intemperate—even with perfectly good things—and they are all destructive to our health and well being.

Living temperately

Abstain from all harmful things—drugs, environmental toxins, etc. A temperate person will abstain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and all other harmful drugs.

You can do so by the power of God in response to a sincere prayer for help (Section XII, chapter 5–power from above) (Section VI, chapter 9—how to quit smoking).

Eat moderately, maintaining your normal body weight (Section IV, chapter 3).

Get your optimal amount of sleep each night (Remember, good sleep follows good work!).

Take frequent diversion breaks during the day. Take restful vacations at least once a year, and spend each Sabbath in worship and fellowship with your God.

Drink water, but do not overdo it!

Exercise is great for health, but do not do it to excess.

Enjoy the sunlight, but do not burn.

Breathe lots of fresh air, but high concentrations of oxygen may be harmful to delicate tissues of infants and adults.

Trust in the Lord always, submit your ways to Him, but effective prayer must be accompanied by effective work!

© Copyright 2010 by A Place of Healing.