Temperance—Hello again from the Ministry of Healing and Restoration. This month we will be discussing a very important law of health, temperance. The dictionary defines temperance as “moderation; particularly, habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions.” Below is another definition I find to be very fitting in understanding just what we are speaking of when we speak of temperance.
“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.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, page 562)
Many do not realize it, but temperance is mentioned several times in the Bible as a Christian virtue. “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 Corinthians 5:19; also please read Titus 1:8; 2:2; Acts 24:25; Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Peter 1:4-8.)
Man was originally made in the image of God. Genesis 1:26. The plan of salvation includes restoring the image of God in man. Those acquainted with God through the Bible would agree that one of His strongest attributes is self-control or temperance. None need look any further than the life of Christ to see this attribute in our Heavenly Father. Satan and his agents constantly harassed Christ during His life on earth. Through all this, however, we never see our precious Savior lose His self control when dealing with the devil and evil men. This should not be confused with the “righteous indignation” that was exercised by Christ in the cleansing of the temple and many of His other rebukes. One of the strongest evidences we can give that we are being recreated in the image of God is when we exercise self-control or temperance in this world of sin and self-indulgence. Truly, this gift is not inherent in man and can be possessed only through divine power.
Temperance is ever so important in the context of physical health because we must allow God to give us the self-control needed in order not to indulge in harmful substances and practices that will put an added burden on the physical organism. And even with things that are good in and of themselves, we must not overindulge and turn a blessing into a curse. God has given the body the ability to heal itself under certain circumstances. However, when we deliberately take into the body things that are damaging, and participate in activities and lifestyles that are harmful to the body, we can be sure that our health will suffer and we will not be able to glorify God in our bodies. (See 1 Corinthians 6:20; 10:31) One closing reminder: temperance is not an inherent quality in man. In our fallen condition we are naturally drawn to indulgence and a lack of self-control. True temperance can only be obtained by having God’s Spirit living within us. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance.” (Galatians 5:22, 23) Temperence is a virtue we must possess if heaven is our hope. Until next month, may God richly bless you.
(The above article was provided by Curtis Kline, Director of Ministry of Healing and Restoration, Canvas, WV. For more in-depth information he can be contacted at (304) 872-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. While we believe the principles in this article can be helpful, we are not responsible for any negative effects resulting from the use of remedies or recommendations herein. Use them at your own risk. Editor)