Greetings! In today’s class, we shall continue our study on health, habits, and character. Furthermore, are you in need of a physical, mental, or spiritual miracle? Find out, herein, how to get one.
The use or abuse of the sense of taste, in conjunction with the other senses as helpers, will build up or undermine the mental powers with the reasoning faculties, the power of choice, and the will.
The Spiritual Life
When the mental powers are weakened, it becomes difficult or impossible for the mind to perform its highest function in the contemplation and acceptance of spiritual ideals and opportunities. The mind allies the finite with the infinite. Therefore, anything that dulls its perceptions or disturbs its normal action, to some extent, lessens man’s ability to comprehend divine ideals and objectives, or to lay hold of infinite power to achieve them.
For these reasons, a full spiritual experience cannot be found unless by self-control, the use of the five senses is yielded to the wishes of their Author. This is one of the requisites of spiritual growth, and a most vital one.
Inspiration writes, “The body is the only medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. For this reason the adversary of souls directs his temptations to enfeebling and degrading the physical powers. His success here means the surrender to evil of the whole being.” MH 64
Therefore the most vital spot in human experience and existence is the proper use of the sense of taste in maintaining health, in the preservation of strong mental powers, and in laying the foundation for the character, which finds its highest exercise in a spiritual experience. The use or abuse of the appetite can aid in upbuilding or in destroying all.
Furthermore, not only can the mental powers be weakened, the character undermined, and the spiritual powers prostituted, but the persistent violation of the laws of life through the misuse of the senes, the leader of which is the taste, places one in open antagonism to the Author thereof and so enters the realm of loyalty; for how can a person claim to be loyal to his Maker when he persists in any indulgences which is contrary to his Maker’s will as expressed in the laws of life which He has established within the body?
The object in stating here the foregoing principles which are fundamental to character development is that they be considered in connection with the health habits already mentioned in this class, a few of which will now be considered in this segment. Let it be first noted that anything which disturbs the brain or nerves disturbs the mind, has an effect upon the thinking, and so influences the character. Each of the following items, experiences, or conditions influence the mind and so affect the character in some specific manner:
- Alcohol deadens the nerves and the brain, weakens the will, blunts the conscience, and arouses the animal instincts. It is habit-forming.
- Tobacco is a narcotic to nerves and brain, weakens the will, and blunts the conscience. It is habit-forming. Tea, coffee, and cola drinks injure the nerves, interferes with the function of the brain, weakens the will, and are habit-forming. Cocoa is in the same class as coffee but is weaker and is not habit-forming. Spices irritate the nerves. Pain-killing remedies deaden the nerves and the brain to some extent.
- “Dope” –the derivatives of opium, and similar preparations– injures the nerves and the brain cells. Sour stomach makes clear thinking very difficult and the best thinking impossible. Constipation, by causing toxins to be absorbed into the blood, contributes to a dull mind. Worry has a disastrous effect on both nerves and mind.
Minerals, vitamins, air, sunshine, exercise, rest, and other things, build up nerve vitality, strengthen the mind and aid in securing a normal mental poise. When nerves are undernourished because these elements are lacking, the individual becomes nervous, easily irritated, fretful, cross, and impatient. This condition seriously mars his relation to his family, his friends, and to God. This condition is destructive to health, to character, and to spirituality.
Manifestly, the need is for (a) knowledge, and (b) self-control. The items just mentioned are all involved in forming merely the “good moral character” apart from any definite spiritual experience; but the best character develops from roots which run deeper yet; it comes through loyalty to the Author of the laws involved in all these matters of health and habits.
Two Kinds Of People
Certain people wish to learn the principles of healthful living merely for health reasons, and others desire to have the use of their strength directed by principles which are understood only when man recognizes his obligations to his Maker. If this lesson is to really cover the subject “Health Habits and Character”, it must add this higher viewpoint to the lower, to follow that which may be termed “The Higher Order of Living.”
A Dangerous Viewpoint
Among church people, a dangerous attitude is often taken. The sick either are not well-informed concerning health principles, or they are unwilling to follow them and cease their injurious habits; and consequently, they seek for miracles of healing instead of reforming their habits.
Miracles have their place in the church, but their place is very definite and clearly defined. Four points should be well understood and properly related, in the following order:
1. Obedience to life’s laws
2. The use of natural remedies and treatments
3. Surgery in case of necessity
4. Miracles as a last resort
If we seek for a miracle from Him whose laws we ignore, that is to scorn Him whose blessing we seek. That is not faith, but is presumption; it is not loyalty, but is rebellion; that is not consistency, but is hypocrisy. Before a miracle is sought, obedience should be rendered, rational treatment employed, and surgery used if indicated; all we can do with means Heaven has provided should be done before seeking for miracles.
Grab a friend and share the wealth, from what you’ve learned in the School of Health! In our next class, we shall continue our study on, Health Habits & Character. God bless!
Previous Lesson: Part 1
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