Health and Noble Thinking
beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts,
which war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11.
Many regard this text as a warning against licentiousness only; but it has
a broader meaning. It forbids every injurious gratification of appetite or
passion. Every perverted appetite becomes a warring lust. Appetite was given
us for a good purpose, not to become the minister of death by being perverted,
and thus degenerating into "lusts, which war against the soul."
Peter's admonition is a most direct and forcible warning against the use of
all stimulants and narcotics. These indulgences may well be classed among
the lusts that exert a pernicious influence upon moral character.
who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and
flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin and will not affect their spirituality.
A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard
of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits. Excessive eating
of the best of food will produce a morbid condition of the moral feelings.
And if the food is not the most healthful, the effects will be still more
injurious. Any habit which does not promote healthful action in the human
system degrades the higher and nobler faculties....Indulgence of appetite
strengthens the animal propensities, giving them the ascendancy over the mental
and spiritual powers.
of the temptation to indulge appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible
anguish of our Redeemer in that long fast in the wilderness. He knew that
the indulgence of perverted appetite would so deaden man's perceptions that
sacred things could not be discerned. . . . If the power of indulged appetite
was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold, the divine
Son of God, in man's behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what
a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome.
By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations
that Satan could invent, he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare
with evil, and at last may wear the victor's crown in the kingdom of God.
From Maranatha - Page 82