Sunshine and Temperance

By Ray


Sunlight is one of the most healing and one of the most attractive and pleasant of the eight true remedies. Temperance is one of the least appreciated and least attractive of the eight true remedies. Temperance means self-control. The natural heart wants to indulge self not deny it! The denial of self is the most unattractive aspects of temperance. So the two natural remedies that we are discussing today are at polar ends of the pleasure spectrum.

Let's talk of the unpleasant and undesirable true remedy of self-control first. Without self control, even sunbathing can end up with a very unpleasant solar burn.

Q1. What is self control?

Paradoxically self-control is not exactly what it sounds like. We are not on a level playing filed in this life. It is just as well that we recognize this. If we think we are on a level playing field, and that whatever we decide to do we can do, we are set up for some major defeats in our life that we may never fully recover from.

Q2. What do you mean by a "level playing field"?

The term a level playing field comes from ball games. If the field is sloped, the team running down the slope is at an advantage over the team that has to get the ball uphill to score a point. In our lives we start out with a strong desire and tendency to do our own thing. It is popular to "do your own thing"! The reality is that we have lost the power of self-control to a great extent. So called "self-made-men" have indeed worked hard and accomplished much. We admire them for that. However, the other side of the coin is also true as stated by the great apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12-13 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].   Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

If there were no such thing as the Devil, that would made the field more level. However that is not true. We have our own depraved nature and the Devil combined against doing what is for our own best good. This is what makes self-control on our own without God's help wishful thinking, but not reality.

Q3. Is what you are saying that the habitual couch potato, the coffee or tobacco or alcohol addict, or TV addict cannot free themselves from their addiction without Divine help?

That is exactly the truth. One of my favorite authors has expressed it this way:

" Feeling the terrible power of temptation, the drawing of desire that leads to indulgence, many a man cries in despair, "I cannot resist evil." Tell him that he can, that he must resist. He may have been overcome again and again, but it need not be always thus. He is weak in moral power, controlled by the habits of a life of sin. His promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. The knowledge of his broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens his confidence in his own sincerity and causes him to feel that God cannot accept him or work with his efforts. But he need not despair. {MH 174.6}

Those who put their trust in Christ are not to be enslaved by any hereditary or cultivated habit or tendency. Instead of being held in bondage to the lower nature, they are to rule every appetite and passion. God has not left us to battle with evil in our own finite strength. Whatever may be our inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong, we can overcome through the power that He is ready to impart. {MH 175.1}

Q4. That is a marvelous promise! Who is that favorite author, and where it that written?

That comes from a book that we would be willing to send anyone who would call us up and request it. The name of the book is Ministry of Healing. The author is a lady by the name of Ellen White. Give us a call or send us an email, and we will mail you a copy of this book.

Q5. In what areas of life should I be using self control?

When I go to bed, when I get up, what I eat and drink, what I think about or read or look at, whether I exercise or not, and how I choose to feel - my attitude - these are all areas of life that I should control.

Q6. That sounds like a very rigid, lack luster, no fun sort of life with no freedom of choice!

It is true that the homeless, the indigent, the folk who sleep under the bridge or in a shelter, have all the freedom to do whatever they want to whenever they want to! However the truth is that the less self-control you exercise over yourself by God's grace, the less freedom and the less choices you actually have in life! The more you control your self, the greater your freedom and the greater the number of choices open to you.

Q7. That is true! The more self-discipline, the greater the spectrum of choices and the greater the degree of joy in your life. Why is this true?

The reason this is true is that addiction limits you and narrows your choices to the vain attempts to satisfy the addiction that tends to dominate your whole horizon. Being an addict is being a slave. A slave has very limited options. The free person is the only one with a whole horizon full of options.

Q8. If we have largely lost our power of self-control what hope is there for us regaining it and how can we regain our power of self-control?

Outside of God and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, we have little hope of regaining self-control. Paradoxically, we gain all the horizon of choices back by following in the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus died to self at every step of the road to Calvary and then on the cross of Calvary died dead to self. It is we come to Jesus by faith, take hold of His merits, place our addiction, place ourselves on Jesus and on the cross that Jesus gives to each of us and die to self, that we can accept His life and regain our power of self-control.

Q9. I hear and understand the words that you are saying, but can you illustrate how coming to Jesus, taking hold of His merits, placing our will on Him, and accepting His will works?

The cross is two sticks or two pieces of wood that cross each other at right angles. The horizontal beam represents my will. The vertical beam represents God's will. They class. They are going in different directions 90 degrees from each other. As I submit my will, myself to God, His will is done in my life. That is how the blood of Jesus - the life of Jesus cleanses me from my unrighteousness and my sin which is doing my own will against the will of God. I do the will of God. This is cleansing me from doing my own thing. John the Beloved disciple said it this way:

1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Q10. What is my motivation to die to self and do God's rather than my own thing?

There is really only one motivation that will motivate a person to do God's will instead of his or her own will. It is true that doing your own thing progressively limits your choices. It is true that we are deceived to think that it is freedom to do our own thing. This knowledge is not enough. It is love and gratitude to God that is the motivation that will lead us to die rather than to go against God's will.

Q 11. How do I get that love and gratitude?

There is only one way and that is to ask for it. God has promised, ask, and it will be given you. Pray: Oh God, give me love and gratitude to you and give me the desire, for your sake, to deny self and do your will because I love it. God has promised that if we ask, we will receive. We can ask for wisdom. God has promised to give us wisdom. Wisdom is seeing things from the Divine viewpoint. Wisdom is seeing relationships as they are in reality. God will give us wisdom if we ask for it in faith believing that God does what He says.

Q 12. What is the importance of self-control?

It has been said that a person will give everything to regain their health. And that nothing is worth anything without health. It is not possible to be healthy for any long period of time without self-control. Uncontrolled excess in any area will lead to death. So self-control is a life and death matter.

Q 13. Any other thoughts on self-control? - Dr. S. Dr. F?

There are a couple of statements by one of my favorite authors, Mrs. E. G. White. The first is in her book Child guidance. "The object of discipline is the training of the child for self-government. He should be taught self-reliance and self-control. Therefore as soon as he is capable of understanding, his reason should be enlisted on the side of obedience. Let all dealing with him be such as to show obedience to be just and reasonable. Help him to see that all things are under law, and that disobedience leads, in the end, to disaster and suffering. When God says, "Thou shalt not," He in love warns us of the consequence of disobedience, in order to save us from harm and loss." {CG 223.1}

Another is in the book Ministry of Healing page 129. "One of the most deplorable effects of the original apostasy was the loss of man's power of self-control. Only as this power is regained, can there be real progress." {CD 73.4}

Q14. Lets go to the warm, fuzzy, sunlight healing true remedy. How important is sunlight?

There are a couple of observations that will underline the importance of sunlight. Light was the first thing that God created. Genesis 1:3 reads: " And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

1:4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

So we see that the first day of creation was involved with making light and separating it from the darkness. So what is done first is of prime importance.

Another consideration is that life on earth would not be possible without sunlight. All the energy we get on this planet and all the food and the water and rain cycles are all dependent on sunshine. So food and water is of prime importance.

Q 15 So sunlight is necessary for our food and water cycles that is true. How healing is sunlight?

Sunlight converts cholesterol in our skin into vitamin D that is essential for calcium absorption from our food and is essential for strong bones and prevents osteoporosis.

Q 16 Certainly to prevent hip fractures and vertebral fractures because of osteoporosis is pretty important. Does sunlight do anything else?

People living in New Mexico have 50 - 80% less colon cancers than do people in our state of Washington or than people living in Michigan or Connecticut.

Q 15. Why is that?

The researches who wrote the article believed it was due to the difference in sunshine levels that people experienced living in those different states. So sunshine helps prevent cancer. Research has shown the same thing for leukemia, lymphoma and also breast cancer. Sunshine helps prevent all of these cancers.

Q 16. What about skin cancer? Dosen't sunshine cause skin cancer?

This has been researched. 2,000 cancers were found to be sunshine related a year and 138,000 cancers prevented by sunshine each year. So the ratio of risk to benefit is 2:138. That is a very good risk to benefit ratio in favor of sunshine. The risk of skin cancer is related to the amount of fat in the diet. On a plant-based diet with little or no free fat, especially of animal origin, the risk of skin cancer is greatly diminished. In 30 years in Africa, the only skin cancers I saw were in Albinos who lack the protective melanin skin color.

Q17. Besides giving us strong bones and preventing cancer, are there any other benefits of sunlight?

There is a hormone in the body called melatonin. It is called the "fix and rejuvenate" hormone. Sunlight is very important to the production of this hormone. The production of melatonin in the body is made at night before midnight. The brighter the sunlight or any light that a person is exposed to during the day and the darker the night that sleep is enjoyed in - and the more time before midnight that a person sleeps, the more melatonin the body makes.

Q 18. So what does melatonin do for the body?

Melatonin is called the "fix and rejuvenate" hormone. It has to do with speed and completeness of repair functions in the body and also our energy level. If a person feels tired out all the time and just no ambition or energy. They are no doubt low on melatonin.

Q 19. What else does sunlight do for us?

Sunshine is the treatment for neonatal jaundice. Premature babies that get yellow from their liver being too immature to work well can be cured by sunlight. Sunlight help in the control of obesity. SAD or seasonal affective disorder is cured by sunlight in many people. The function of the immune system is enhanced by sunlight.

Q 20. So with that great list of benefits from sunlight - what prescription would you give a person in relation to sunshine?

Take your exercise out of doors. If you got about 1 hour outdoor activity during the day, no matter what the weather is, you would receive all the benefits from sunshine and if you are well clad, you would suffer none of the disadvantages. If you are an albino and have no skin pigment, you would be wise to use a barrier skin cream to protect your exposed skin. For people with normal skin pigment, that would not be necessary.

Q 21. Would you recommend the use of a full spectrum light in the house or the use of tanning salones to increase your sunlight exposure?

A full spectrum light at home would be useful in our climate. I cannot recommend tanning parlors. Outdoor exercise is recommended as beneficial but not tanning parlors.