THE SEVEN LAWS OF RADIANT HEALTH
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
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 health.
Cause of IllnessPeople 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's WayGod 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 much!
1) Build a POSITIVE Mental AttitudeOne 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 17:22)
2) Food and FastingWe 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 value.
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" itself.
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 DressIt 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 important.
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 AirExposing 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.
5) ExcerciseIn 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 excercise.
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 torso.
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 through eternity.
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 RestMany 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 body.
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 InjuryAccidents 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.
Take ACTION!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 spiritual training.
It is God's will. You are commanded: "Glorify God in your body."