It's not natural to be sick! Youth 83 Editor-in-Chief Herbert W. Armstrong explains this and how health is related to success in his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success. In this series of studies we're backing up the material in that booklet with other useful information to help you achieve true and lasting success. The first of the laws that lead to success, as you will recall from the
A variety of foods in a well-balanced diet — a key to maintaining good health.
previous studies, is to set meaningful and worthwhile goals. Then you must prepare yourself to achieve them through proper education — the second law. But your degree of success also depends on how well you follow the third law of success — good health. In this study, you will learn vital guidelines for healthful living. Following them will help to ensure radiant health both now and in the future, enabling you to be much more successful in life. Before beginning this study, be sure to get your Bible, a pen or pencil and some paper. Reading and writing down the Bible verses that answer the questions asked in this study will help you to remember the important principles of health you will be studying. 1. Does God want us to enjoy life by being in good health? III John 2. God inspired the apostle John to show that He intends for people to live happy, healthy and successful lives. He wants us to be bubbling over with health, energy and enthusiasm — free from aches, pains and sicknesses of all kinds. But why are so many in our society today suffering from poor health? 2. Is there always a cause for every effect? Galatians 6:7. Did Solomon and Job show that the things we do now will affect us later? Proverbs 11:18, 22:8, Job 4:8. The principle revealed by these verses shows that our decisions and actions each day add up and can end up having a major effect on our futures. This is true in all areas of life — including health! Our bodies, consisting of many complex and interrelated systems (Psalm 139:14), are finely tuned and regulated by physical, natural laws that must be followed to achieve and maintain good health. The seemingly small decisions we make each day (such as the kinds and amounts of food we eat, and the amount of sleep and exercise we get) have a cumulative impact on our health and well-being. 3. Will following God's laws — including the laws of physical health — bring about long life, good health and happiness? Proverbs 3:1-2, 7-8, 4:20-22. Since God created the human body (Genesis 2:7), He knows what is best for it. He has revealed guidelines for healthful living in the pages of the Bible — His instruction book for mankind. Following the laws of health that God has set in motion will help you to maintain vibrant health and contribute to your overall success in life. 4. The prophet Daniel, who lived thousands of years ago, understood there were certain health laws he should follow. Was he careful about the foods he ate? Daniel 1:8-16, especially verses 12-15. To maintain good health we should try to eat a variety of foods every day including lean meat, whole grain cereals and breads, dairy products, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Such a well-balanced diet will provide the essential elements our bodies need to be healthy. Also, one should try to limit the intake of food that has little nutritional value (often called junk food) such as soft drinks, candy and pastries. 5. Should we strive for moderation and balance in all areas of life? I Corinthians 9:25. (Temperate means "marked by moderation; not extreme or excessive.") What does the Bible warn are the consequences of overeating and drunkenness? Proverbs 23:20-21. Not only is what you eat and drink important, so is the amount. God created food to be enjoyed (Psalms 103:5, 104:14-15). But He wants us to strive for moderation in our eating and drinking habits. 6. Does the Bible recommend exercise for good health? I Timothy 4:8. Correctly translated, this verse shows that bodily exercise profits "for a little while" that is, during this physical life. In other words, even though developing godly character is more important, exercise does help in maintaining good health. Take part in a variety of sports and develop a sensible exercise program that will keep you in good physical condition. Exercise not only will build up your resistance to disease, it will help you to look and feel better and be more alert and energetic. 7. Is there a connection between our state of mind — the way we think — and our physical health? Proverbs 11:17, 14:30. Good physical health involves good mental health and positive emotions as well. Your mind and body work together. The way you think can make you sick! Just as negative emotions — such as fear, worry, distress, anger and hostility can wear down the body, so positive emotions can build it up. Many do not realize this and end up suffering from various ailments. Good health, as the Bible reveals, depends to a large extent on peace of mind and contentment. 8. What does the Bible say we should think about? Philippians 4:8. What are the benefits of having a positive outlook on life? Proverbs 15:13, 16:24, 17:22. A person can definitely help maintain good health by having a positive, cheerful outlook on life — something so few seem to possess today. Another key to good health is doing your best to avoid accidental injury. To reduce your chances of having an accident, be careful! Think about what you are doing while you're doing it — whether driving a car, climbing a ladder or participating in sports. Think ahead about what could go wrong and how to prevent it. Many also seriously jeopardize their health and future success by smoking or experimenting with drugs. Much information is available on these subjects. Suffice it to say that if is best to avoid those things that can permanently damage one's health and potential for real success. 9. Another part of good health is getting sufficient sleep. How can you be sure to enjoy good, sound sleep? Proverbs 3:21, 24, Psalm 127:2, Ecclesiastes 5:12. But what can result from getting too much sleep? Proverbs 6:9-11, 24:33-34. Nothing can take the place of regular sleep in enabling your body to recuperate after an eventful day. Generally, getting seven to nine hours of sleep is best for most people. But just as too little sleep is bad for your health, so is too much sleep. Staying in bed too long can cause sluggishness and depression. And it will hinder you from accomplishing your goals. In this study we have covered the basic keys to good health. Strive to diligently apply these principles daily. The rewards of a strong, graceful, energetic and healthy body will more than repay your efforts! For additional information on how to enjoy a more healthful life both now and in the future, be sure to read our free booklet, Principles of Healthful Living. Remember: The extent to which you succeed in life is in large part determined by your health. Now is the time to begin applying this third law of success!