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Child Guidance

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    Chapter 63—Temperance in All Things

    Intemperance Causes Most of Life's Ills—Intemperance is at the foundation of the larger share of the ills of life. It annually destroys tens of thousands. We do not speak of intemperance as limited only to the use of intoxicating liquors, but give it a broader meaning, including the hurtful indulgence of any appetite or passion.1Pacific Health Journal, April, 1890.CG 394.1

    Through intemperance some sacrifice one half, and others two thirds of their physical, mental, and moral powers and become playthings for the enemy.2Messages to Young People, 236.CG 394.2

    Excessive Indulgence Is Sin—Excessive indulgence in eating, drinking, sleeping, or seeing is sin. The harmonious healthy action of all the powers of body and mind results in happiness; and the more elevated and refined the powers, the more pure and unalloyed the happiness.3Counsels on Diet and Foods, 44.CG 394.3

    Temperance Is a Principle of the Religious Life—Temperance in all things of this life is to be taught and practiced. Temperance in eating, drinking, sleeping, and dressing is one of the grand principles of the religious life. Truth brought into the sanctuary of the soul will guide in the treatment of the body. Nothing that concerns the health of the human agent is to be regarded with indifference. Our eternal welfare depends upon the use we make during this life of our time, strength, and influence.4Testimonies For The Church 6:375.CG 394.4

    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?5Pacific Health Journal, April, 1890.CG 394.5

    Our first duty toward 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. Hence 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 mind or body by overwork or by abuse of any part of the living machinery. As surely as we do this, we must suffer the consequences.6The Signs of the Times, November 17, 1890.CG 395.1

    It Has a Wonderful Power—The observance of temperance and regularity in all things has a wonderful power. It will do more than circumstances or natural endowments in promoting that sweetness and serenity of disposition which count so much in smoothing life's pathway. At the same time the power of self-control thus acquired will be found one of the most valuable of equipments for grappling successfully with the stern duties and realities that await every human being.7Education, 206.CG 395.2

    An Aid to Clear Thinking—Every day men in positions of trust have decisions to make upon which depend results of great importance. Often they have to think rapidly, and this can be done successfully by those only who practice strict temperance. The mind strengthens under the correct treatment of the physical and mental powers. If the strain is not too great, new vigor comes with every taxation.8The Ministry of Healing, 309.CG 395.3

    Temperate Habits Yield Rich Rewards—The rising generation are surrounded with allurements calculated to tempt the appetite. Especially in our large cities, every form of indulgence is made easy and inviting. Those who, like Daniel, refuse to defile themselves will reap the reward of their temperate habits. With their greater physical stamina and increased power of endurance, they have a bank of deposit upon which to draw in case of emergency.CG 395.4

    Right physical habits promote mental superiority. Intellectual power, physical strength, and longevity depend upon immutable laws. There is no happen-so, no chance, about this matter. Nature's God will not interfere to preserve men from the consequences of violating nature's laws.9Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 28.CG 396.1

    For Perfect Health Be Temperate in All Things—In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary.... Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things He has provided for them, and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth.10Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 52.CG 396.2

    Temperance Precedes Sanctification—God's people are to learn the meaning of temperance in all things.... All self-indulgence is to be cut away from their lives. Before they can really understand the meaning of true sanctification and of conformity to the will of Christ, they must, by co-operating with God, obtain the mastery over wrong habits and practices.11Medical Ministry, 275.CG 396.3

    In Study—Intemperance in study is a species of intoxication; and those who indulge in it, like the drunkard, wander from safe paths and stumble and fall in the darkness. The Lord would have every student bear in mind that the eye must be kept single to the glory of God. He is not to exhaust and waste his physical and mental powers in seeking to acquire all possible knowledge of the sciences, but is to preserve the freshness and vigor of all his powers to engage in the work which the Lord has appointed him in helping souls to find the path of righteousness.12Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 405, 406.CG 396.4

    In Work—We should practice temperance in our labor. It is not our duty to place ourselves where we shall be overworked. Some may at times be placed where this is necessary, but it should be the exception, not the rule. We are to practice temperance in all things. If we honor the Lord by acting our part, He will on His part preserve our health. We should have a sensible control of all our organs. By practicing temperance in eating, in drinking, in dressing, in labor, and in all things, we can do for ourselves what no physician can do for us.13Temperance, 139.CG 397.1

    As a rule, the labor of the day should not be prolonged into the evening.... I have been shown that those who do this often lose much more than they gain, for their energies are exhausted, and they labor on nervous excitement. They may not realize any immediate injury, but they are surely undermining their constitution.14Counsels on Health, 99.CG 397.2

    Those who make great exertions to accomplish just so much work in a given time, and continue to labor when their judgment tells them they should rest, are never gainers. They are living on borrowed capital. They are expending the vital force which they will need at a future time. And when the energy they have so recklessly used is demanded, they fail for want of it. The physical strength is gone, the mental powers fail. They realize that they have met with a loss, but do not know what it is. Their time of need has come, but their physical resources are exhausted. Everyone who violates the laws of health must sometime be a sufferer to a greater or less degree. God has provided us with constitutional force, which will be needed at different periods of our lives. If we recklessly exhaust this force by continual overtaxation, we shall sometime be the losers.15Fundamentals of Christian Education, 153, 154.CG 397.3

    In Dressing—In all respects the dress should be healthful. “Above all things,” God desires us to “be in health”—health of body and of soul. And we are to be workers together with Him for the health of both soul and body. Both are promoted by healthful dress.CG 398.1

    It should have the grace, the beauty, the appropriateness of natural simplicity. Christ has warned us against the pride of life, but not against its grace and natural beauty.16The Ministry of Healing, 288, 289.CG 398.2

    In Eating—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.17Temperance, 138.CG 398.3

    Those who eat and work intemperately and irrationally, talk and act irrationally. It is not necessary to drink alcoholic liquors in order to be intemperate. The sin of intemperate eating—eating too frequently, too much, and of rich, unwholesome food—destroys the healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts the judgment, preventing rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting.18Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 155.CG 398.4

    Special Care Not to Overeat—In nine cases out of ten there is more danger of eating too much than too little.... There are many sick who suffer from no disease. The cause of their sickness is indulgence of appetite. They think that if the food is healthful, they may eat as much as they please. This is a great mistake. Persons whose powers are debilitated should eat a moderate and even limited amount of food. The system will then be enabled to do its work easily and well, and a great deal of suffering will be saved.19Manuscript 1, 1876.CG 399.1

    Do Not Deny God by One Act of Intemperance—We have been bought with a price; therefore we are to glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are His. We are not to deny Him by one act of intemperance, because the only-begotten Son of God has purchased us at an infinite cost, even the sacrifice of His life. He did not die for us in order that we might become slaves to evil habits, but that we might become the sons and daughters of God, serving Him with every power of the being.20Letter 166, 1903.CG 399.2

    Those who have a constant realization that they stand in this relation to God will not place in the stomach food which pleases the appetite, but which injures the digestive organs. They will not spoil the property of God by indulging improper habits of eating, drinking, or dressing. They will take great care of the human machinery, realizing that they must do this in order to work in copartnership with God. He wills that they shall be healthy, happy, and useful. But in order for them to be this, they must place their wills on the side of His will.21Temperance, 214.CG 399.3

    Carry Temperance Into All Details of Home Life—We urge that the principles of temperance be carried into all the details of home life; that the example of parents should be a lesson of temperance; that self-denial and self-control should be taught to the children and enforced upon them, so far as consistent, from babyhood.22The Review and Herald, September 23, 1884.CG 399.4

    In the family circle and in the church we should place Christian temperance on an elevated platform. It should be a living, working element, reforming habits, dispositions, and characters.23Temperance, 165.CG 400.1

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