3 - TEMPERANCE
“In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is
necessary – temperance in labour, temperance in eating
and drinking.” How to Live, pg.57 (Ellen G. White)
“True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with
everything hurtful, and to use judiciously that which is
healthful.” The Faith I Live by, pg. 231. (Ellen G. White)
Temperance is to avoid anything that is harmful to your body. This includes liquor, drugs, tobacco, overeating, eating between meals, sugar-laden foods, strong condiments and spices, all caffeinated foods (chocolates and some sodas contain caffeine, as do coffee and tea), large combinations of foods, grease and fat, excess salt, and animal foods. "Indulgence in eating too frequently, and in too large quantities, overtaxes the digestive organs, and produces a feverish state of the system. The blood becomes impure, and then diseases of various kinds occur."—Review and Herald, September 5, 1899
"Abstemiousness in diet and control of the passions, will preserve the intellect and give mental and moral vigor, enabling men to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher powers, and to discern between right and wrong, the sacred and the common."—Ellen G. White,Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 491
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1,2
For healthy living, we must abstain from everything God says is harmful, using what is beneficial only as far as God instructs. Ellen White pointed out that The Christian will be temperate in all things,—in eating, in drinking, in dress, and in every phase of life. "Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." 1 Cor. 9:25. We have no right to indulge in anything that will result in a condition of mind that hinders the Spirit of God from impressing us with the sense of our duty” (Counsels on Health, 432).
“Indulging in eating too frequently, and in too large quantities, overtaxes the digestive organs, and produces a feverish state of the system. The blood becomes impure, and then diseases of various kinds occur.” Facts of Faith p133.
Lack of Exercise
“Neglecting to exercise the entire body, or a portion of it, will bring on morbid conditions. Inaction of any of the organs of the body will be followed by a decrease in size and strength of the muscles, and will cause the blood to flow sluggishly through the blood vessels. The blood is not enabled to expel the impurities as it would if active circulation were induced by exercise.” 2 Testimonies p529.
“A neglect of cleanliness will induce disease.” How to Live Ch 4. p61.
“If any part of the body should be favored with extra coverings, it should be the limbs and the feet, which are a distance from the heart. The limbs should ever be clothed with a warm covering to protect them from a chill current of air... There is but one woman in a thousand who clothes her limbs as she should... Women should clothe their limbs as thoroughly as do men.” Health Recorder and How to Live Ch 6. p64. (Cover the children’s legs with warm clothing, especially little girls.)
“Sickness is caused by violating the laws of health.” 3 Testimonies p164.
“Tobacco is a poison of the most deceitful and malignant kind, having an exciting, then a paralyzing influence upon the nerves of the body. It is all the more dangerous because its effects upon the system are so slow, and at first scarcely perceivable.” Facts of Faith p128.
“Tobacco is a slow, insidious poison, and its effects are more difficult to cleanse from the system than those of liquor.” 3 Testimonies p569.
Modern science today has identified many chemical poisons in tobacco.
“The use of tobacco encourages the appetite for liquor; and the use of tobacco and liquor invariably lessen nerve power.” Ibid p488.
Alcohol destroys brain cells because it clogs the blood, and oxygen (brain food) cannot get to brain cells fast enough.
Tea and Coffee
“Tea has an influence to excite the nerves, and coffee benumbs the brain; both are highly injurious.” 4 Testimonies p365. (Both tea and coffee contain caffeine, a stimulant. Many herb teas do not contain caffeine. Tea also contains the poison tannin. Many herbs teas do not. Coca Cola, Fanta and other soft drinks contain a large amount of caffeine. Diet Coca Cola and other diet soft drink also contain a deadly poison, Aspartane.
“The use of unnatural stimulants is destructive to health, and has a benumbing influence upon the brain, making it impossible to appreciate eternal things.” 1 Testimonies p549. (These include spices, as well as alcoholic drinks)
“Cider drinking leads to the use of stronger drinks.” 5 Testimonies p354-361.
Milk and Sugar
“Large quantities of milk and sugar eaten together are injurious... they clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain.” 2 Testimonies p369. (This refers to cow’s milk and not soy milk)
Sugar (Especially the white refined sugar)
“Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machinery.” 2 Testimonies p369. (Be very careful when using artificial sweeteners, as most contain Aspartane)
“Do not eat largely of salt.” Counsels on Health p120. (We need a little salt, but large quantities are now known to injure health)
Condiments and Spices
“After the immediate effects are gone, those who use the condiments and spices drop as far below normal as they were elevated above normal by these stimulating substances. The system is weakened, the blood contaminated, and inflammation is the sure result.” Unpublished manuscript No.5.1896. (Cayenne is not included in the harmful spices, as it is the only stimulant without a harmful effect)
Rich Cakes and Pastry
“Cook meat with spices, and eat it with rich cakes and pies, and you have a bad quality of blood… The mince pies and pickles, which should never find a place in any human stomach, will give a miserable kind of blood.” Christian Temperance. (Grease means animal fat. Foods fried in any kind of fat or oil is not healthful)
“The food should be prepared in a simple form, and free from grease.” 2 Testimonies p485. (Uncooked oil can be included in the food, especially good olive oil. Never use canola oil as it is a poison)
“Cheese should never be introduced into the stomach.” 2 Testimonies p68.
“Butter injures the health.” 2 Testimonies p486. (Margarine is made of hydrogenized oils through which hydrogen is forced. These are worse than butter. Use avocado instead of both)
“The physical powers are depreciated by the habitual use of flesh meat. Meat eating deranges the system. The liability to take disease is increased tenfold by meat eating.” 2 Testimonies p64.
“The mortality caused by meat eating is not discerned. If it were, we should hear no arguments and excuses in favor of the indulgence of the appetite for dead flesh.” Unpublished manuscript No. 5. 1896.
“Cancers, tumors, and various other inflammatory diseases are largely caused by meat eating.” Ibid. (Remember, the animal kingdom is very sick. They are filled with chemicals to prepare them for market, without which they probably would have died. Many men, women and children are becoming sick, not only because of the disease that affect animals and man, but also because of the high intake of chemicals in the meat)
“Pork, although one of the most common articles of diet, is one of the most injurious. God did not prohibit the Hebrews from eating swine's flesh merely to show His authority, but because it was not a proper article of food for man.” How to Live Ch 1. p58.59. (God forbad the Hebrew nation from eating swine’s flesh, as well as other animals, birds, and fish, which he said were unclean. This was not only ceremonial, but it was because He knew they harboured disease. The pig is the worst, but others like rabbit, horse, dog, elephant, and giraffe are unclean. In the birds, eagles, ravens, vultures and others. And in the fish, shark, muscles, oysters, crayfish, crabs, are also unclean. For a full list, look at Leviticus 11. Science has confirmed the disease of the pig, but not yet for many of the others. We need to trust the Creator)
“Drugging should be forever abandoned; for while it does not cure any malady, it enfeebles the system, making it more susceptible to disease.” Testimony No.32 p57. (Drugs do not cure; they alleviate the symptoms. However, while they help in one area, they cause problems in another which may not be seen for many years)
“There are more who die from the use of drugs than all who would have died of disease had nature been left to do her own work.” How to Live Ch 3. p61. (The body will heal itself, providing the laws of God are obeyed, the immune system is strong enough to fight the disease, and it is the will of God to heal. However, this does not mean drugs should never be used. If there is no knowledge of natural treatments, then it is better to do something and live, than nothing and die)
“Satan is the originator of disease, and the physician is warring against his work and power. Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere. Nine tenths of the diseases from which men suffer have their foundation here.” 5 Testimonies p444.
“The body is the only 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 means the surrender to evil of the whole being.” Counsels on Diet and Foods p73.
Other reading materials, such as novels and love stories, “charm, but destroy.” 2 Testimonies p236. Fiction “creates a morbid craving, and the mind is educated for crime by a familiarity with sin.” Fundamentals of Christian Education p92.
This principle applies also to entertainment. “Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes deprave the imagination and debase the morals.” The Adventist Home p516. We would include theatre plays, movies, television, videos, DVDs, audios, and other places of entertainment that degrade rather than elevate the soul.