September 16, 2019 | Hope Channel Southeast Asia


Temperance or abstinence is not more than the denial of the self to consume moderately what is good. Also not to ingest anything that could be damaging to the organism. Moderation should be exercised in all aspects of life such as diet, work, rest, study, sleep, and dress. 1

Obtaining “Temperance” or “self-control”, however, is not purely psychological. It has been shown that it also attends to genetic conditions to the IQ itself and, of course, to the level of socialization. But what a research has demonstrated inescapably is that being possessed of “self-control” only brings social benefits in our lives, isolating us from negative and self-destructive activities such as drugs or alcohol, as well as committing criminal acts. 1

A balanced life

A simple definition of temperance is “moderation.” Good things are used intelligently and harmful things are not used at all. The goal of temperate life is maximum physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Temperance does not only involve alcohol, tobacco and drug use. It refers to all aspects of our lifestyles, whether it be overrating, overworking, paying too much or too little. Such unbalanced living deprives men and women of a rich, healthy and satisfying life. 2


Millions consume alcoholic beverages. Advertisements portray people who drink alcohol as being happy, nice and fun-loving. They fail to show the millions of people who are alcoholics. They fail to tell about all the accidents, assaults, sexual abuse, murders and suicides caused by people who have been under the influence of alcohol. 2

Every drink of alcohol irreparably destroys brain cells. Alcohol promotes high blood pressure and is directly toxic to heart muscle. Alcohol increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, stomach ulcers and cancer. One or two drinks can produce spasm of the coronary arteries, decreasing the oxygen supply to heart. Liver cirrhosis is common in alcohol users. Alcohol deprives the body of vitamins and minerals. 2


Despite all the education about illegal drugs, we continue seeing an increase in their use and abuse. Many begin using drugs out of curiosity, to please friends, to provide an escape from reality or to avoid dealing with problems. Repeated use of certain drugs can result in drug dependence, physical or psychological. Someone who is dependent on a drug uses it to avoid the illness and discomfort associated with stopping it. 2


One of the most addictive of all substances used by humans that kills lots of people every day. Besides lung cancer that everybody knows about, tobacco is also the cause of many other cancers. Its mixture of over 20 poisons leads to disease, emphysema, stomach ulcers, heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies; the list is endless. 2

When our lives are spinning out of control, temperance can help us regain direction. It is all about balance and control, remember? In our exceedingly digital world, most if not everyone could probably spend much of the day with our eyes glued to some form of screen. Where’s the life in that? Where’s the joy? Start practicing temperance with your attachment on technology and take a moment to collect your thoughts and simply breathe. Spend a little extra time with your friends and family and engage in a real conversation without a television blaring in the background. 3

It is interesting how the Bible also talks about temperance in a practical way. In Proverbs 23:31-32 we read: “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.” Without temperance, life gets into a constant free fall.

God wants to teach us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12) for our safety. But we may also remember that temperance is not acquired by our own means, It is a skill acquired by those who surrender themselves completely into His shaping hands. We should not despair over our evil tendencies, whether inherited or not, for the same hand that created us is always extended to give us strength and the courage we need to renounce all harmful habits.


1 theadventistdiet.com/seventh-day-adventist-health-principle-abstemiousness-temperance/

2 mwnation.com/temperance-the-secret-to-good-health/

3 lifeandhealth.org/healing/8-laws-of-health-temperance/08346.html