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The Principles of Health
Education in health principles was never more needed than now. Notwithstanding the wonderful progress in so many lines relating to the comforts and conveniences of life, even to sanitary matters and to the treatment of disease, the decline in physical vigor and power of endurance is alarming. It demands the attention of all who have at heart the well-being of their fellow men.
Our artificial civilization is encouraging evils destructive of sound principles. Most are only concerned with their outward appearance instead of being concerned about the internal health of their body. Custom and fashion are at war with nature. The practices they enjoin, and the indulgences they foster, are steadily lessening both physical and mental strength, and bringing upon the race an intolerable burden. Intemperance and crime, disease and wretchedness, are everywhere. Many transgress the laws of health through ignorance, and they need instruction. But the greater number know better. They need to be impressed with the importance of making their knowledge a guide of life. They need to have imparted to them a knowledge of the principles of health, and then shown the importance of putting them in practice. By this instruction many evils can be corrected and much harm can be avoided.
Seven out of every ten diseases are life-style related. Everything we do, or choose not to do, will either bring us health or disease. And what makes it worse, is that when we do get sick, many will not take the trouble to search out the cause of their illness. Their chief anxiety is to rid themselves of the pain and inconvenience. So they go to the doctor for some pill to counteract the result of their misdoing, with little or no thought of making a change in their unhealthful habits. If immediate benefit is not realized, another medicine is tried, and then another.
The only hope of better things is educating the people to right health principles. People need to be taught that restorative power is in nature. Disease is an effort of nature to free the system from conditions that result from a violation of the laws of health. In case of sickness, the cause should be ascertained. Unhealthful conditions should be changed, wrong habits corrected. Then nature is to be assisted in her effort to expel impurities and to re-establish right conditions in the system.
There are 8 principles to good health. These simple healing principles of nature are found in pure air, sunlight, temperance, rest, exercise, proper nutrition, the use of water, trust in divine power--these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature's remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge.
The use of natural remedies requires an amount of care and effort that many are not willing to give. Nature's process of healing and upbuilding is gradual, and to the impatient it seems slow. The surrender of hurtful indulgences requires sacrifice. But in the end it will be found that nature, untrammeled, does her work wisely and well. Those who persevere in obedience to her laws will reap the reward in health of body and health of mind.
Too little attention is generally given to the preservation of health. It is far better to prevent disease than to know how to treat it when contracted. It is the duty of every person, for his own sake, and for the sake of humanity, to inform himself in regard to the laws of life and conscientiously to obey them. All need to become acquainted with that most wonderful of all organisms, the human body. They should understand the functions of the various organs and the dependence of one upon another for the healthy action of all. They should study the influence of the mind upon the body, and of the body upon the mind, and the laws by which they are governed.
We cannot be too often reminded that health does not depend on chance. It is a result of obedience to law. This is recognized by the contestants in athletic games and trials of strength. These men make the most careful preparation. They submit to thorough training and strict discipline. Every physical habit is carefully regulated. They know that neglect, excess, or carelessness, which weakens or cripples any organ or function of the body, would ensure defeat.
How much more important is such carefulness to ensure success in the conflict of life. It is not mimic battles in which we are engaged. We are waging a warfare upon which hang eternal results. We have unseen enemies to meet. Evil angels are striving for the dominion of every human being. Whatever injures the health, not only lessens physical vigor, but tends to weaken the mental and moral powers. Indulgence in any unhealthful practice makes it more difficult for one to discriminate between right and wrong, and hence more difficult to resist evil. It increases the danger of failure and defeat.
In the Bible, we find that God is concerned with how we treat our bodies. He states:
“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2.
This is because Christ died to redeem and save us from sin and death. Therefore we are not really free to do as we want with our bodies. Even though we have been given the freedom of choice, we are still not our own property, because we have been purchased by Christ and have become His possession.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Since our bodies are the possession of Christ, and are to be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, then if we should choose to disobey God’s will and misuse our bodies, then we alone must suffer the consequences. In fact, if we disregard any of these principles or laws of health that God has given to His people, then we actually commit sin because we failed to keep these laws of God!
But if we should choose to live up to and obey these God-given principles and laws of health, then we can expect the favor and blessings of God and health.
“If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26.
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes: keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22.
Dear ones, God does not desire that we should suffer from sickness and from other problems caused by bad health, but He desires us to prosper in health!
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 1:2.
And it is for this very cause -- that we prosper in health, that God has mercifully given us these 8 different principles of Health – Pure Air, Sunlight, Temperance, Rest, Exercise, Diet, Water, Trust. These principles of health can also be viewed as simple remedies which we can use to overcome sickness and disease and regain our health. To learn more on these principles, please click on each one in the sentence above.
For more information on health, please read the book The Ministry of Healing which is provided free on this web site.