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Principles of the Sda Health Message sample essay

The Seventh Day Adventist religion has certain guidelines and principles on the health of their bodies and minds. The main focus of these principles can be broken into 8 main areas; The blessing of Exercise, The blessing of Water, The blessing of Sunlight, The blessing of Fresh Air, The blessing of Temperate, Drug-free, Stimulant-free Living, The blessing of Rest, The blessing of Nutritious Food and Trust in Divine Power. Each of these areas has separate ideas and guidelines on how to truly nurture your body and mind. Although these principles were introduced a long time ago most of them are still relevant for today’s lifestyles but like most things they do have weaknesses.

The blessing of Exercise states that exercise is not merely an option, it is essential to maintaining both physical and mental health. Regular exercise has the benefits of increased energy, stress relief, healthier skin, more self-confidence, effective weight control, reduced depression and the risk of heart disease and cancer. Our bodies are designed to be active yet in today’s society we are moving less. Society’s lazy lifestyle has resulted in a rise in many medical conditions. Some conditions that result from inactivity include: heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, ‘metabolic disorder’, and certain cancers.

Proverbs 6:6-13 says “How long is the lazy man going to lie around? When is he ever going to get up? I’ll just take a short nap, he says; I’ll fold my hands and rest a while. But while he sleeps, poverty will attack him like an armed robber.” This verse is saying that useful activity tends to prosperity while inactivity and laziness tend to adversity. Christ himself set an example of physical activity. For most of his life he was engaged in manual labour and during his ministry he walked the roads of Palestine. Christians partake in exercise to keep their bodies healthy and reach their full potential as a creation of God, to serve him efficiently. In today’s society there are no weaknesses with the idea of exercise, it is still beneficial to our bodies to partake in exercise.

Water is a vital fluid which without we would die. The human body is 75% water but it is constantly being lost through exhaling and perspiration. Drinking 6 – 8 glasses of pure water a day will aid in maintaining efficient, happy wellbeing. Water is often linked with purity. We use water to clean our bodies, cleanse our insides and to clean our conscience. Water is also used during Baptism in Christian religions because of its purity. A clean body inside and out and a clean conscience will lead to total health.

The principle, The Blessing of Water is based not only on our body’s physical need for water but also the use of water to clean our body, soul, conscience and mind this is a key to full health. So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water (Hebrews 10:22 GNT). This quote focuses on the use of water for cleanliness of the physical body and the heart and conscience.

Light is essential to life (Gen. 1:3). It powers the process that produces the nutrients that nourish and energize our bodies and that releases the oxygen we must have to live. Sunshine promotes health and healing. Every living thing in our world is dependent on sunlight. There are many proven health benefits one will receive from being exposed to regular sunlight. Some health benefits that sunlight can give us include lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, lowers cholesterol by converting it to vitamin D, increases red and white blood cells in the body, strengthens the immune system, helps calm nerves and increases adrenaline, destroys germs on the skin, increases circulation, helps eliminate pesticides and other chemicals from the body. The sun is an essential part of our life and that has not changed and will never change as we depend on it to live and keep us healthy. Sunlight does need to be in moderation especially in today’s society where skin cancer is very high.

The most essential element to sustain life is oxygen. Without it we would die in a few minutes. Fresh air helps the immune system fight disease, rids the body of impurities and helps prevent problems such as fevers, colds and disease. An environment with impure air causes blood to carry less oxygen than is required for optimal function of cells. This tends to make a person less alert and responsive. Adults spend about 8-10 hours indoors at work and children 5-6 hours indoors at school instead of being outdoors in the fresh air. Dust collects on every surface and even as we get rid of it, the dust swirls around and makes its way into our respiratory system. As we cook food, occasionally we burn a meal or two and those fumes get inhaled also. Companies try to sell us products to ‘clean’ the air in our homes, but they add to the indoor air pollution.

There is no substitute for fresh air. People living in small towns experience air which is fresher than those living in cities and therefore the benefits are even greater for them. This is because the air in large cities is polluted with smoke from factories and vehicles. More oxygen to the muscles reduces that lactic acid build-up in the muscles which leads to cramping. Ellen White once said “The stomach, liver, lungs and brain are suffering for want of deep, full inspirations of air which would electrify the blood and impart to it a bright, lively colour, and which alone can keep it pure, and give tone and vigour to every part of the living machinery.”. The only weakness of this idea in today’s society is the amount of air pollution we are faced with. We are not able to gain the full potential of this idea because of this pollution.

The Blessing of a Temperate, Drug-free, Stimulant-free Living includes the use of any drugs even caffeine and alcohol as well as things that overstimulate our bodies like most technologies. The wise Christian will abstain from all that is harmful, using in moderation only that which is good. Drugs have saturated our society because they offer stimulation and release from stress and pain. Christians are surrounded with seductive invitations to use drugs. Even many popular, innocent-appearing beverages contain drugs – coffee, tea and colas etc all contain caffeine. Tobacco is another drug that is popular in society but tobacco in any form is a slow poison that has a harmful effect on physical, mental and moral powers. At first it affects are hardly noticeable. It excites and then paralyses the nerve, weakening and clouding the brain.

Alcohol is a very popular drug in society today but some people do not understand that it is a drug and the effects it can have on the body. Since God communicates with us only through our minds, it is well to remember that alcohol adversely affects their every function. As the level of alcohol in the system rises, the drinker progresses through loss of coordination, confusion, disorientation, anaesthesia, coma and death. Drinking alcoholic beverages on a regular basis will eventually produce loss of memory, judgement and learning ability. Although the ideas behind this make sense and can improve health, in today’s busy society caffeine would have to be one of the highest used drugs.

Proper rest is essential for health of body and mind. Periods of rest provide much needed quietness for communion with God: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). God stressed our need for rest by setting aside the seventh day of the week as the day of rest (Ex 20:10). Rest is more than sleeping or ceasing our regular work. It involves the way we spend our leisure time. Weariness is not always caused by stress or by working too hard or too long. Our minds can be wearied by overstimulation though the media, sickness or various personal problems. Recreation is re-creation in the truest sense of the word. It strengthens, builds up and refreshes the mind and body. To life at its best, Christians should only pursue only those forms of recreation and entertainment that strengthen their bond with Christ and improve health. This is a much needed principle in today’s society but again it is unrealistic with such busy lifestyles.

The blessing of nutritious foods was given to the first couple by the Creator with the ideal diet. “I have provided all kinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat” (Gen 1:29 GN). The diet God planned for us consisted of grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. This diet offers the right nutritional ingredients to support optimum health. The Bible does not condemn the eating of clean animal products, but in the original diet God gave us did not include any flesh foods and this is why the Seventh Day Adventists try to follow a vegetarian diet. The vegetarian diet is the ideal, but sometimes we cannot always have the ideal. Those who wish to stay in optimum health will eat the best food they can obtain. The Seventh Day Adventist started the company Sanitarium which makes healthy, vegetarian food to help them to obtain the best foods they can. Another weakness of the original diet is that it can reduce the chance of your body to lack in proteins, calcium, vitamin B12, iron and Zinc.

Trusting in God means to rely on Him. You must surrender your will, your ideas, your desires and your future in to Gods hands. It takes a very special relationship to allow you to surrender so much. When we trust in god we look to Him for guidance, we look to Him when things go bad, we look to Him for help and we look at Him for love and strength. All God requires from us is to simply trust in Him. Trust in God can is the only way that we can overcome our fears and weakness.

To trust in God we put all confidence into His character, ability and strength. We depend and have faith in Him; we believe He is who He says He is. There are no weakness when trusting in God the only thing that comes when trusting God is the strength to let him into your life and replaces feelings of insecurity and fear with those of love and compassion. We can trust in many things. None, however, offer the protection, the long term security, or benefit that trusting in God offers.

Although these health messages are still spoken about and believed in they are not always, in today’s society, followed exactly. It is all well and good to think that these principles are a good idea but it is another thing to follow them. We have the mentality these days that yes something may be a good idea and you may believe in what it means and what it is doing but we still don’t do it. Times have changed and we are not ‘forced’ or expected to do things that people were once ‘scared’ of defying like attending church or following principles of their religion like these health principles. Although these messages are mainly still useful today they need to be put into practice to achieve any results.

References

Bible: Good News Translation. (1992). Ingleburn, NSW: The Bible society.

Chamberlain, M. (1997). Cooranbong first town in Lake Macquarie: 1826-1996. Cooranbong: Michael Chamberlain.

Health Systems Check,. (2012) Alcohol and Malnutrition. Health Effects of Alcohol Consumption. Retrieved on 25th May 2012 from http://www.healthchecksystems.com/alcohol.htm

Hopp, J. (1984). Light for living part 1. Journal of Adventist Education. 40(4). Retrieved on 26th May 2012 from http://circle.adventist.org/files/jae/en/jae198446041714.pdf

Parker, M. (2011). Christian Behaviour. Lecture presented to education students at Avondale College, Cooranbong, NSW.

Sun Safety Alliance. (n.d.). The facts about getting too much sun. Skin Cancer. Retrieved 28th May 2012 from http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org/bare_facts.html

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