Do you remember the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he acts out the story of the tortoise and the hare? It is a classic – one of my favorites. Bugs doesn’t prepare at all for the race, then at the start of the race, he races ahead of the tortoise, leaving him in the dust, but then gets overconfident and stops and plays and then foolishly falls asleep, allowing the tortoise to win! They race again, and the tortoise wins again! Finally, Bugs goes to the tortoise’s house, in disguise, and asks the tortoise the secret of his victory, and the tortoise states simply, “Clean living, Bub!”
I happen to believe that “clean living” is a major key to good health. “Clean eating” has become popular lately, and most of us are trying to reduce the toxins that we put in our bodies. It has also been proven that keeping yourself sexually pure prevents a whole lot of diseases and health problems. I recently read an article “If We All Did These 4 Things, It Would Cut The Cancer Death Rate In Half!” (Click on this link to read it). Basically, it said that people in low-risk groups for cancer did 4 things: They didn’t smoke; they didn’t drink; they had a healthy BMI (were not overweight, or gluttonous); and they exercised regularly (weren’t lazy). So, I started thinking, if these four things are what makes us healthy, God made us and wants us to be healthy and live long on the earth, so He must address these issues in the Bible, Right? Right!
Proverbs 3: 7,8 “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”
Proverbs 4:10, “Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.”
Psalm 91:16 says, “With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”
Well, I believe that the Lord tells us the secret to a happy, healthy life – “Clean Living, Bub!” Let’s see if the Bible addresses those Four Things that the article talks about. In other words:
Don’t Smoke– There is not a Bible verse that directly tells us not to smoke, because tobacco use was not in practice in Biblical times. When we can’t find a specific reference to something, we have to apply a Biblical principle. Like, “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31), or, “…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?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). We all know that smoking is bad for you, the evidence is overwhelming that it hurts our bodies and shortens our lives. So, we know that it does NOT glorify God, and that it is NOT treating our body as the Temple of God when we suck smoke into our lungs. It is also an addiction that enslaves and puts us into bondage: “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:19). Proverbs 6:27 keeps coming to my mind, too:
“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”
Smoking is, literally, taking fire or smoke into our chest/lungs – and it affects our bodies negatively. So, I believe that God’s Word has the principle that we should not smoke, for our own good, and for His glory.
Don’t Drink – There are many verses in the scriptures that warn us against the hazards of alcohol. It deceives, it causes us to hurt our bodies, it causes us to err and stumble, it causes woe, it causes us to act in a wasteful, wanton, selfish way that does NOT bring glory to God. It affects the way we talk, walk, think, act, and conduct ourselves:
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.” (Proverbs 23:29,30)
“Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!” Isaiah 5:11
“Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink.” (Isaiah 5:22)
“But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment” (Isaiah 28:7).
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)
There is no doubt in my mind that God does not want His children to indulge in alcohol, or any intoxicants that affect our thoughts and behavior, causing us to lower our inhibitions and give in to our fleshly lusts, causing harm to ourselves and others.
Don’t Be A Glutton – The Bible actually has quite a lot to say about gluttony. It is another evidence of giving in to our flesh and lusts. Food is good for us and is needed for our survival, but too much of a good thing is not a good thing anymore, and, like many things, we can eat to excess. It is often linked with drunkenness and poverty, because self indulgence in our addictions taps our wallets.
“And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.” (Deuteronomy 21:20)
“Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags” (Proverbs 23:20,21).
“And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite” (Proverbs 23:2).
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Again, as God’s children we are to glorify God in our behaviors, and it is a bad testimony when God’s children show such a blatant lack of self control by giving in to our fleshly lust for food, glorious food, and more food!
Don’t Be Lazy – God’s Word tells us to be diligent workers, to use our time wisely, and not to be a sluggard (definition: habitually inactive and lazy). This includes exercising our bodies so that we are strong and healthy and able to serve the Lord to the best of our potential. Laziness stops us from doing all that God wants us to do, and it brings poverty, hunger, foolishness, and contention.
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11)
“As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him. The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” (Proverbs 10:26-27)
“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” (Proverbs 13:4)
“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4)
“The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.” (Proverbs 26:16)
“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:26,27)
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5;15-16)
Being lazy is not good for our bodies – “if you don’t use it, you lose it!” We can’t serve the Lord fully if our body is not healthy and strong. And, it is not good for our testimony – have you ever worked with a lazy person who does the least possible that they can get away with? Lazy people are irritating to those who work with them because others have to complete the job that the sluggard was supposed to do. There seems to be a declining work ethic in this country. As Christians, we should be using our time wisely, being a diligent worker, and being fit and healthy.
So, God’s Word tells us how to live long and prosper on this earth, and the world is just now figuring it out – How about that!!?
~Graced and Grateful Grammy
God’s way is the best way in so many ways!