Did God intend you to be sick - to feel only "half alive"? Here is the way to a joyous, healthful, thrilling life!
By Roderick C. Meredith
It may come as a shock - few realize it. But from one quarter to one third of the American people are either sick or physically or mentally or emotionally impaired!
These shocking facts are revealed in the latest estimates compiled by the
National Health Education Committee. Most are suffering from one of
eighteen "main illnesses and handicapping conditions". At the head of the list was - you may have guessed it - mental disease!
This is estimated to affect 17 million, or one in ten of all Americans.
Then follows arthritis and rheumatic diseases, affecting over 11 million. Next comes diseases of the heart and circulation, which afflict over 10 milllion persons!
Now look around the world. In Britain the London Observer reported
in 1964: "British industry loses an estimated 18 million man hours every
year through psychiatric illness, compared with 4 million caused by strikes."
Need we mention the tragic state of health of hundreds of millions in Asia, Africa, South America?
What About YOU?
Are you bubbling over with enthusiasism? Are
you free from all pain and sickness? Do you have the drive and consistent
good health to lead, to produce, to accomplish - to fulfill the purpose of
your live successfully? Make no mistake!
Christians are called to be a "light" an example to others. They are
called to help and serve others. And they are called to be leaders
- preparing to rule with and under Jesus Christ in the World Tomorrow. But
they simply cannot do this effectively if they are sick most of the time!
For your bodily health greatly affects your drive and zeal - even in spiritual
matters. It affects your warmth and friendliness - your whole personality.
You simply cannot afford to remain sick or "below par" most of the
time. You need to find the cause of sickness and the way to build radiant
Cause of Illness
People do not just happen to get sick! There is a cause for every effect.
And there is a definite cause for all the sickness, disease, and physical
suffering which is so common in this modern world.
God does not intend for us to be sick. In 3 John verses 1,2, God inspired
John to write to an elder in the church "Beloved, I wish above all things
that you mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."
We know that God inspired all scripture for our inspiration (2 Tim.3:16)
and so this scripture applies to all who would obey their Creator.
God wishes us to be in health! That is His will.
Why then are so many sick today? We find in 1 John 3:4 that sin is
the transgression of law. That's the Bible definition of sin. Spiritual
sin is the transgression of God's spiritual law, the law of love summed up
in the ten commandments.
But there are physical laws too that regulate physical health. If you
break these laws, of if they are accidentally broken, it is a transgression
of law - and it exacts a penalty. The penalty is sickness - or physical
suffering of some kind.
When Jesus Christ healed the sick, it was the forgiveness of physical sin.
Notice how Jesus healed a man sick of the palsy (Luke 5:18-26). He
said to the sick man on the bed "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee." Read
this account carefully. In healing the man, Jesus forgave the physical
sins which had caused the palsy.
The cause of sickness is the transgression of physical laws which God has
set in motion to govern the operation of our human bodies. These laws
are just as real as the law of gravity, and the penalty for breaking them
is just as sure.
God has been interested in the physical health of His people from the beginning.
The Old Testament is full of directions and laws concerned with maintaining
health. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God gave Israel instructions
as to what meats should be eaten. He revealed that they should eat
neither fat nor blood (Lev.3:17).
These and many other directions as to food, cleanliness, and general health
were important guides to Israel down to the time of Christ. The early
New Testament church, composed at first principally of Jewish converts, was
able to benefit by the health principles God gave Israel.
All through the book of Acts, we find the Christian life spoken of as "the way"
and "that way" (Acts 18:26, 19:23). An honest and careful study of
the New Testament will show that in apostolic times Christianity was a definite
way of life - including an understanding and practice of basic health principles.
The apostle Paul commanded the Christians at Corinth: "Glorify God in your
body" (1 Cor.6:20). He said that we are "bought with a price" - our
bodies belong to God. We should therefore glorify God in our physical
bodies by using them as He intended, and by obeying physical laws He has
set in motion.
God has left it up to man to discover most of these laws - knowing we would
be able to do so. But God does reveal the principles we should go by,
and in addition He specifically reveals those laws governing health which
we would not otherwise be able to learn.
Yes God does wish us to "prosper and be in health". And through the
apostle Paul, He has commanded us to "glorify God in our bodies".
Using the health principles revealed in God's word as a guide, and utilizing
the results of man's observation and research into this subject, we can learn
the definite laws which govern our health. By really undestanding and
obeying these laws, we can build the kind of radiant health which will enable
us to live the kind of full active and joyful lives that God intended.
There is no excuse for feeling and being only half alive! The mounting
rate of sickness, suffering and death clearly shows that this world has lost the way to
health - the way to live. We need to learn how to really live! What
then are these physical laws which affect our bodies - and our lives - so
1) Build a POSITIVE Mental Attitude
One of the least understood
factors governing health is the profound effect that the mind has upon the
body. It is becoming increasingly recognized that a large part of the
common ailments of mankind are caused - not so much by the body - as by the
mind. Ulcers, indigestion, headaches, eyestrain, nervousness, and a
host of other ailments - are often found to be directly caused by the condition
of the mind - not the body.
Physical nourishment and care alone are not enough. In Proverbs 15:17
God inspired Solomon to write: "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."
Haven't you known families who engage in a "free-for-all battle" during nearly
every meal? Perhaps they are ignorant of the fact that fighting, nagging,
and quarrelling at the table is almost certain to cause nervous indigestion
and other ailments.
Few people today have the sense of contentment and real peace of mind upon
which good health is predicated. They need to learn to relax, and to
put living faith in God to guide them in solving the little problems which
plague so many people.
The first requirement of good health is something which people who reject
the knowledge of God can never fully hope to achieve. They may go to
physicians and to psychologists and psychiatrists with their mental ills
and fears. But it is God alone who can give real peace of mind. Men
cut off from God will continually seek and not be satisfied, but Paul wrote
of the Christians "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil.4:7)
Even the Christian has to work at building positive mental habits. As
Jesus said, we are to take no anxious thought for the morrow, but put faith
in God and the power of His Kingdom. Do your part in overcoming thoughts
of hate, strife, and worry. Then keep close to God in prayer and obedience.
Ask him to give you love, joy, and peace through the Holy Spirit.
Cultivate thoughts of love, faith, and joy, for Solomon wrote "A merry heart
doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones" (Proverbs
2) Food and Fasting
We are what we eat. The body is formed entirely from the foods we eat.
Yet the average person has very little knowledge of what he really
ought to eat to build a strong vigorous body.
If the foods most of us eat were fed to a rat, the rat would soon die of
starvation! Why? Many of the products commonly called foods are
of little or no value in sustaining, nourishing or building the body. In
fact, it has been proven by tests that they do actual harm to the body. They
clog the digestive system, aggravate it and become a real burden for the
body to eliminate. In many cases they act as poisons - not foods!
The basic thing to remember in selecting foods is to be sure you eat natural
foods which have not been corrupted or perverted in man made "food" factories.
Then you must learn to have a balanced diet containing all the elements
your body requires to sustain and build health.
Take care that your food is properly prepared so as not to destroy the body
building elements. Avoid the starchy greasy sugary spiced-up concoctions
which may taste good at the moment, but which contain little of nutritional
value and will in time wreck your stomach.
It is beyond the scope of this article to give you specific dietetic instruction,
but remember the principle that your foods should be natural foods - as God
caused them to grow or be formed in nature. These will include genuine
whole grain breads (without poisonous preservatives added) and cereals, fresh
fruits and fresh vegetables - cooked at low temperatures so as to preserve
their nutritional value, lean meats cooked without grease or fat, and dairy
products - including certified raw milk.
Few people fully realize the great harm caused by such "refined" or "improved"
products as white bread, white sugar, canned fruit, and vegetables, and pasteurized
milk when these are substituted in place of the natural products that God
intended as food.
Man's effort to improve upon God has failed. The more you intelligently
study the food question, the more you will realize this. So eat a balanced
diet of the natural foods that have not been perverted by the hand of man.
And learn to prepare all foods so as not to destroy their nutritional
Under the heading of diet, we should also consider the health value of water.
Pure drinking water - and plenty of it - is one of the greatest aids
to eliminating body poisons and keeping the entire system clean. It
is an aid in preventing or overcoming constipation - that source of so many
bodily ills. So drink 6 or 8 glasses of pure water every day - preferably
between meals, and never using it to wash your food down.
Greatly restricting one's diet is known as fasting. The practice of
fasting as a health measure is as old as the human race. Every animal
when sick, will refuse to eat. It loses all appetite. Governed
by its instincts, it fasts until it is well - a sure cure provided by nature.
But what about humans?
Doctors and dieticians agree that we humans are in the habit of eating far
more food than our bodies require. If food is used in excess of bodily
needs, it is bound to produce a clogging up of the vital processes, for if
it is not needed it is invariably harmful and becomes productive of causes
which lead to sickness and disease.
The greatest number of sicknesses are caused by the presence of a poison
in the bloodstream. Fasting enables the body to cleanse itself of the
accumulation of the products of an imperfect diet. As food intake is
retarded, elimination proceeds rapidly and the body is truly "house-cleaning"
For many many common sicknesses such as colds, headaches, fevers, and stomach
distress, fasting is a very effective and often the only natural cure.
In a strictly health fast water only should be taken, or in some cases
fruit juices may be taken to provide necessary strength.
Jesus Christ set us an example by fasting, and said that His disciples would
fast (Mark 2:18-20). Fasting is not only a good spiritual practice,
but it is a marvelous natural means of preserving health.
3) Cleanliness and Dress
It has been said that "Cleanliness in next to Godliness" and while this saying
didn't come directly from the Bible, the principle is certainly correct.
In order to teach ancient Israel the habit of cleanliness, God instituted
many regulations commanding the people to bathe or wash their clothes after
coming in contact with likely disease carriers (Lev.11:29-47). And
in the New Testament, we find a spiritual truth based on the physical principle
of cleanliness, for Christ gave himself for the Church, His body "That
He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Eph.5:26).
And if we expect to be in Christ's spiritual body, His Church, then
we should also keep our physical bodies clean.
Regular care of the skin, hair, nails, and teeth, and freedom from perspiration
odor are essential to cleanliness and contribute to health. Waste products
are eliminated through the pores of the skin, and regular bathing is always
Keeping your person, your clothes, and your living quarters clean will not
only aid in promoting vigorous health, but will tend to keep your thoughts
on a higher level and keep you closer to God.
Untold physical impairments are caused by the wearing of tight, ill-fitting,
or unsuitable clothing. Clothing should afford proper protection from
the weather, and should be loose fitting and comfortable. The wearing
of extremely tight girdles or corsets by women often results in the cramping
of vital organs, and the weakening of muscles and tissues in the abdominal
and pelvic areas - often causing physical distress in later life - and sometimes
resulting in inability to have children normally. It just doesn't pay.
Also, shoes that throw the whole body out of line often cause harm not only
to the feet, but to the entire body. Another common fault among women
is wearing unnecessarily tight-fitting shoes, which cause bunions, corns
and ingrown nails.
4) Sunshine and Fresh Air
Exposing a good portion of the body to the sun's rays is very beneficial.
The sun's rays which provide the greatest benefit to health are the
ultraviolet rays. These rays aid in the utilization of phosphorus and
calcium, and vitamin D is formed primarily through this influence.
Try to spend as much time out of doors in the open air and sunshine as you
can. Remember there is danger in sunlight if the body is exposed too
long before it is conditioned to the sun. So in acquiring a tan, you
should proceed cautiously.
At every opportunity, step outside and take a deep breath of pure fresh
air. After all breath is the stuff life itself is made of (Gen.2:7).
Breathe deeply to be healthy.
We breathe to get oxygen into our systems, for without oxygen we should quickly
die. Every vital process in the body depends on oxygen for its performance.
The more you breathe pure fresh air, the more pep you will have, the
brighter will be your color, the more alert you will be, and the better posture
you will have.
Most of us take in enough air to sustain life, but not enough to live it vigorously.
In this day of push-button gadgets and automobiles, millions of people are
only half the physical specimens they ought to be - because of a lack of
Notice a crowd of people some time. Observe the various sizes and shapes
- the fat people, the "pot-bellied" businessmen, and others who have no more
meat on their bones than a scarecrow. Are these people made in the
image of God? Basically yes. But they have degenerated from the
perfect physical specimen that Adam must been.
Am I talking about a need for huge bulging muscles?
No. Except in a very few cases, they are entirely unnecessary in modern
life - and constant expenditure of time and energy would be necessary to
keep them in that condition.
But nearly everyone today does need an intelligently planned program of exercise.
Exercise stimulates deep breathing and increased blood circulation;
it aids in the expelling poisons from the system, and tends to produce "normalcy"
in all bodily functions.
While work leaves one tired and sometimes enervated, proper exercise is of
remarkable assistance in building up energy. The body is often recharged
after systemic calisthenics, and this form of exercise can include all of
the muscle groups of the body - whereas regular work or games often neglect
many of these, while overtaxing others.
Especially for young people, games and sports naturally afford an enjoyable
opportunity to get needed exercise. But these should be supplemented
with calisthenics or some form of exercise at home as one grows past that
stage in life and tends to neglect physical exercise.
Walking and hiking are excellent forms of exercise for people of all ages
and occupations. But vigorous young people should supplement even these
with some form of activity which directly utilizes the arms, shoulders, and
Because of the tendency in the apostle Paul's day to glorify athletics and
idolize athletes, Paul wrote Timothy: "For bodily exercise profiteth little:
but godliness is profitable unto all things" (1Tim.4:8). Notice that
Paul did not condemn physical exercise, but merely showed that it does profit
a little, or for a little while, as compared with godliness which will profit
But few of us in this degenerate age are inclined to get too much exercise,
and we do need a proper amount to build the kind of abundant, radiant health
we should all enjoy.
Building a strong, supple, graceful body does require effort. But it
is eminently worthwhile - especially in this day when we are inclined to
let machines do everything while our own bodies stagnate.
6) Sleep and Rest
Many people, especially students, are inclined to delude themselves with
the idea that they can drive themselves on in work or play, then "catch up
on sleep" later on - and be none the worse for it. Nothing will take
the place of regular sleep and rest in its recuperative effect on the human
Man can go much longer without food than he can without sleep, and sleep
becomes unbelievably necessary after long periods of sleeplessness.
Sufficient regular sleep for most adults ranges from 7 to 9 hours each night.
This is definitely not wasted time. It will enable one to be
fully alive during his work and play, and to live a longer and fuller life
in the end.
However, too much sleep is not a benefit. Rather, it is depressing
and causes sluggishness and a state of lethargy. We are warned in Proverbs
against oversleeping and laziness (Prov.24:33-34).
In addition to regular sleep, many health authorities recommend one or more
short periods of rest throughout the day to recharge our worn nerve batteries.
When God said "Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work," He was giving
a law of health - as well as a spiritual principle - which will never grow
old. Both physically and mentally, we need to rest every 7th day -
and so God gave the Sabbath rest as a great blessing.
Thousands of years ago, God knew and enunciated what many men still haven't
found out - that in depriving yourself of sufficient sleep and rest, you
will accomplish not more but less in the end.
7) Avoid Bodily Injury
Accidents annually take a toll of 90,000 human lives and disable 9,000,000
in the United States alone! Think of the millions of dollars lost in
doctor and hospital bills, and of the countless work hours which were forfeited.
This is entirely unnecessary!
We have become a nation of reckless, careless people who defile and destroy
our bodies not only with perverted foods, drinks, cigarettes, and the like
- but by carelessly injuring them. God says if we defile the temple
of His Spirit, He will destroy us (1 Cor.3:17; 6:19).
We need to repent of abusing our God-given bodies!
There is abundant information available regarding the prevention of accidents.
The main thing is that you realize how seriously you should take this
problem - and resolve to quit taking physical risks in your work or play.
One such careless moment can easily undo and wreck the physical well-being
you may have nourished for years. It just doesn't pay.
You now know the seven basic laws of radiant health. Here they are summarized:
1) Quit worrying, arguing, bickering. Maintain a tranquil mind - a positive attitude.
2) Be sure you eat a balanced diet of natural foods. Learn the value
of drinking plenty of water, of fasting, and of avoiding constipation.
3) Remember that cleanliness is vital to good health, and that suitable clothing is also necessary.
4) Derive the maximum benefit from sunshine and fresh air.
5) Plan a program of regular sufficient exercise, and stick to it!
6) Let your body recuperate from work and play through proper sleep and rest as God intended.
7) Take care of the healthy body you are building. Don't wreck your
other efforts through carelessness. Avoid bodily injury.
Remember these 7 basic health laws; study them in detail; and most of all,
practise them! You must put them to work and live by these laws! It
will take some effort, but the reward of a strong, graceful, vigorous healthful
body will more than repay your efforts.
Of course, if you have already broken these laws most of your life, you will
not attain as great benefits as if you had started early. And in all
honesty we must realize one factor we have nothing to do with - our heredity,
and the fact that some of us have inherited certain weaknesses which may
never be fully overcome.
But nearly every physical condition can be greatly improved if the right
steps are taken. So put your shoulder to the wheel! Radiant health
is worth working for. And applying these physical laws is important
It is God's will. You are commanded: "Glorify God in your body."