Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 152

True Temperance Is Well-balanced Living, May 20

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16.

Only one lease of life is granted us here; and the inquiry with everyone should be, How can I invest my life that it may yield the greatest profit? Life is valuable only as we improve it for the benefit of our fellow creatures and the glory of God. Careful cultivation of the abilities with which the Creator has endowed us will qualify us for elevated usefulness here and a higher life in the world to come.

That time is spent to good account which is directed to the establishment and preservation of sound physical and mental health. We cannot afford to dwarf or cripple a single function of the mind or body by overwork or abuse of any part of the living machinery. As surely as we do this, we must suffer the consequences. Our first duty to God and our fellow beings is that of self-development. Every faculty with which the Creator has endowed us should be cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, that we may be able to do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable. In order to purify and refine our characters, we need the grace given us of Christ that will enable us to see and correct our deficiencies and improve that which is excellent. This work, wrought for ourselves in the strength and name of Jesus, will be of more benefit to our fellow creatures than any sermon we might preach them. The example of a well-balanced, well-ordered life is of inestimable value.

Intemperance is at the foundation of the larger share of the ills of life.... We do not speak of intemperance as limited only to the use of intoxicating liquors; it has a broader meaning, including the hurtful indulgence of any appetite or passion.... If the appetites and passions were under the control of sanctified reason, society would present a widely different aspect. Many things that are usually made articles of diet are unfit for food; the taste for them is not natural, but has been cultivated. Stimulating food creates a desire for still stronger stimulants.

Indigestible food throws the entire system out of order, and unnatural cravings and inordinate appetites are the results.... True temperance teaches us to abstain entirely from that which is injurious and to use judiciously only such articles of food as are healthful and nutritious.—Signs of the Times, April 20, 1882.

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