Intemperance and Crime
“Crime and disease have increased with every succeeding generation. Intemperance in eating and drinking, and the indulgence of baser passions, have benumbed the nobler faculties of man. Reason, instead of being the ruler, has become to be the slave of appetite to an alarming extent. An increasing desire for rich food has been indulged, until it has become the fashion to crowd all the delicacies possible into the stomach. Especially at parties of pleasure is the appetite is indulged with but little restraint. Rich dinners and late suppers are served, consisting of highly seasoned meats, with rich sauces, cakes, pies, ices [ice-cream], tea, coffee, [add to this soda], etc. No wonder that with such a diet people have sallow complexions and suffer untold agonies from dyspepsia (indigestion).
Against every transgression of the laws of life, nature will utter her protest. She [nature] bears abuse as long as she can; but finally the retribution comes, and it falls upon the mental as well as the physical powers. Nor does it end with the transgressor; the effects of his indulgence are seen in his offspring, and thus the evil is passed down from generation to generation.”
Wrong Eating Destroys Health
“A wrong course of eating or drinking destroys health, and with it the sweetness of life. Oh, how many times a good meal, as it is called, been purchased at the expense of sleep and quiet rest! Thousands, by indulging a perverted appetite, have brought on fever of some other acute disease, which has resulted in death. That was enjoyment purchased at an immense cost.
Because it is wrong to eat merely to gratify perverted taste, it does not follow that we should be indifferent to our food. It is a matter of the highest importance. No one should adopt an impoverished diet. Many are debilitated from disease and need nourishing, well-cooked food. Health reformers, above all others, should be careful to avoid extremes. The body should have sufficient nourishment. The God who gives His beloved sleep has furnished them also suitable food to sustain the physical system in a healthy condition.
Many turn from light and knowledge, and sacrifice principle to taste. They eat when the system needs no food and at irregular intervals, because they have no moral stamina [not dopamine D2] to resist inclination. As the result, the abused stomach rebels and suffering follows. Regularity in eating is very important for health of body and serenity of mind. Never should a morsel pass the lips between meals [except certain people with specific ailments].”
Too Frequent Eating a Cause of Dyspepsia (indigestion)
“Many indulge in the pernicious habit of eating just before retiring. They may have taken their regular meals, yet because they feel a sense of faintness [“I’ m hungry”] they think they must have a lunch. By indulging this wrong practice it becomes a habit, and they feel as though they could not sleep without food. In many cases this faintness comes because the digestive organs have been too severely taxed through the day in disposing of the great quantity of food forced upon them. These organs need a period of entire rest from labor, to recover their exhausted energies. [Hence, fasting].
A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to recover from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. [The curse of modern-day snacks!]. When we lie down at night, the stomach should have its work all done, that it, as well as other portions of the body, may enjoy rest. But if more food is forced upon it, the digestive organs are put in motion again, to perform the same round of labor through the sleeping hours. The sleep of such is often disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning they awake unrefreshed. When this practice is followed, the digestive organs lose their natural vigor, and the person finds himself a miserable dyspeptic.
And not only does the transgression of nature’ laws affect the individual unfavorably, but others suffer more or less with him. Let anyone take a course that irritates him in any way, and see how quickly he manifests impatience. He cannot, without special grace, speak or act calmly. He casts a shadow wherever he goes. How can any one say, then, ‘It is nobody’s business what I eat or drink”?
Evils to be Avoided
- Over-eating: “It is possible to eat immoderately, even of wholesome food. It does not follow that because one has discarded the use of hurtful articles of diet he can eat just as much as he pleases. Overeating, no matter what the quality of the food, clogs the living machine and thus hinders it in its work.
- Drinking cold water or soda or juices during meals.—“Many make a mistake in drinking cold water, with their meals. Food should not be washed down. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the saliva; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. [Ice-cold sodas?]. Ice water or ice lemonade, taken with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it take up its work again. Masticate [chew] slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. [Saliva is ptyalin or salivary amylase needed
to break down carbohydrates beginning at the mouth]. ; . . Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors [particularly during mealtime].”
“In order to secure healthy digestion, food should be eaten slowly. Those who wish to avoid dyspepsia, and those who realize their obligation to keep all their powers in a condition which will enable them to render the best service to God, will do well to remember this. If your time to eat is limited, do not bolt your food, but eat less, and masticate slowly. The benefit derived from food does not depend so much on the quantity eaten, as on its thorough digestion; not the gratification of taste so much on the amount of food swallowed, as on the length of time it remains in the mouth. Those who are excited, anxious, or in a hurry would do well not to eat until they have found rest or relief, for the vital powers, already severely taxed, cannot supply the necessary digestive fluids.
When traveling, some are constantly nibbling, if there is anything within their reach. [Reminds us of the rats in the foregoing experiments!] This is a most pernicious practice. If travelers would eat regularly of the simplest and most nutritious kinds of food, they would not experience so great weariness, nor suffer so much from sickness.
In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary—temperance in labor, temperance in eating and drinking.”
Faithfulness in Health Reform
“Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.”
Parental Responsibility—the Moral and Physical Constitution of their Children
“Parents should make it their first duty to become intelligent in regard to the proper manner of dealing with their children, that they may secure to them sound minds in sound bodies. The principles of temperance should be carried out in all the details of home life. Self-denial should be taught to children and enforced upon them, so far as is consistent, from babyhood. Teach the little ones that they should eat to live, not live to eat; that appetite must be held in abeyance to the will; and that the will must be governed by calm, intelligent reason.
If parents have transmitted to their children tendencies which will make more difficult the work of educating them to be strictly temperate, and of cultivating pure and virtuous habits, what a solemn responsibility rests upon the parents to counteract that influence by every means in their power! How diligently and earnestly should they strive to do their duty by their unfortunate offspring! To parents is committed the sacred trust of guarding the physical and moral constitution of their children.”
The Spiritual Diet for Eternal Life
Read John 6: 1-71. What we choose to feed our mind that we are, morally and spiritually, and, as a natural consequence, physically as well. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the Bread of life: he that comes to Me shall never hunger, and he that believes in Me shall never thirst.” “ I am the living Bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat this Bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6: 35, 51.
“Many are starved and strengthless because instead of eating of the Bread which came down from heaven, they fill their minds with the things of minor importance. But if the sinner will partake of the Bread of Life, he will, regenerated and restored, become a living soul. The Bread sent down from heaven will infuse new life into his weakened energies. The Holy Spirit will take of the things of God and show them to him [2 Cor. 2: 10-13], and if he will receive them, his character will be cleansed from all selfishness, and refined and purified for heaven.. . . Bread cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes part of our being.
A knowledge of Christ will avail of nothing unless we become like Him in character, bearing the same likeness, and representing His spirit to the world. Christ is of no value to us unless He is formed within, the hope of glory [Col. 1:26, 27]. If we do not know Him as our personal Savior, a theoretical knowledge will do us no good. Water will not quench thirst unless we drink it. Bread will not satisfy hunger unless we eat it. If we are feeding spiritually upon Christ we are partakers of His divine nature, we are eating His flesh. . . .
When Christ uttered these words many of His disciples were in doubt as to what He meant, and He explained His words, saying: ‘It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ (John 6:63).
If Christ is to you a valuable treasure, if you find in Him your greatest satisfaction, if He is prized and cherished above all others, if you regard everything else as loss that you may win Him [as Paul did, Phil. 3: 8], you are eating His flesh and drinking of His blood and are becoming conformed to His image. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled [Matt. 5:6].
The invitation is: ‘Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And labor for that which satisfieth not?. . . . eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the abundance of God’s glory].” (Isa. 55: 1, 2). . . All heaven rejoices at the redemption of the lost race. Christ rejoiced in the secret consciousness of what He purposed to do for man. He desires to do far more abundantly than we are able to ask or think [Eph. 3: 20]. The fountain of His inexpressible love is inexhaustible, and it flows toward all those who [intelligently and spiritually] believe Him.” – That I May Know Him, pp. 106, 107.
The Rich Banquet of His Word. — See 1 Tim. 1:15-17. “The only safety for any one of us is to plant our feet upon the Word of God and study the Scriptures, making God’s Word our constant meditation. Tell the people to take no man’s word regarding the Testimonies [see Isa. 8:20; cf. Rev. 19: 10; 12:17], but to study them for themselves, and then they will know that they are in harmony with the truth. The Word of God is the truth [John 17:17]. Of a good man the psalmist declares, ‘His delight in the law of the Lord; and in His law does he meditate day and night’ (Ps. 1:2). He who puts his mind and heart into this work gains a solid, valuable experience.
The Holy Spirit is in the Word of God. Here is the living, undying element so distinctly represented in the sixth chapter of John. Let us believe the Word. He who thus eats the bread of heaven is nourished every day. Here is represented before us a rich banquet, of which, all who believe in Christ as a personal Savior may eat. He is the Tree of Life to all who continue to feed on Him. . . .
All who study these precious utterances may have strong consolation. If they will feed upon the banquet of God’s Word, they will gain an experience of the highest value. They will see that in comparison with the word of God, the word of man is as chaff to the wheat. . . . The banquet is spread before us; were are invited to eat the Word of God, which will strengthen spiritual sinew and muscle.” –E.G. White, Letter 132, Oct. 10, 1900/This Day With God, p. 292.
“Therefore, whatsoever you eat or drink,
or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10: 31