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Healthy Self Denial Part 3


In this third installment of Healthy Self Denial we will continue to examine temperance. As you recall this is the definition we are scrutinizing: Temperance in its modern use is defined as moderation or voluntary self-restraint.[1] It is typically described in terms of what an individual voluntarily refrains from doing.[2] This includes restraint from revenge by practicing non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance by practicing humility and modesty, restraint from excesses such as extravagant luxury or splurging, and restraint from rage or craving by practicing calmness and self-control. (my emphasis supplied)

This week we examine restraint from excesses such as extravagant luxury or splurging. Have you ever said "lets splurge a little" or "lets go all out". Though you may have, I highly doubt that you have purchased anything like the picture above. But what about this?

This picture comes from a website called the Pursuitist that divulges the 5 most expensive meals or luxurious splurges. You would not believe how extravagant they are!! The average person could never afford it.

The least expensive is $7000 for the Pink Bite Burger which was created by Pink Caravan at Galleries Lafayette in Dubai Mall to help raise funds for breast cancer awareness. Which may be a good cause but a bit extravagant as the most expensive burger every sold!

The most expensive is Strawberries Arnaud with a price of ........ $3.95 million! The is extremely extravagant luxury even though it comes with a 7.09 carat pink diamond ring.

Does having a price like that mean it will taste that much better? If we had the means (money), would we choose to put our God given finances into something like that? I certainly hope that we would practice some very healthy self denial and opt for much healthier, cheaper options. Especially since there are so many hungry people in this world. It is unfathomable that someone would pay that much money for such a small dish and a ring when people are starving everyday.

Remember Daniel? He is one of the most memorable prophets for his self denial. He was offered the most extravagant food available in his day by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Yet Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile his body with the food the king offered because he knew that food would not glorify God or help him keep his mind clear to meditate on the things of a spiritual nature. Therefore he denied himself that extravagant luxury and endangered not only his own life and that of his three friends, but also the life of Melzar the man given charge of them by the Ashpenaz the master of the eunuchs. He did this by requesting a test that can be found in Daniel 1:12:

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

And the Biblical record shows in Daniel 1:15:

And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.

In the book Sanctified Life a bit more detail is given to us:

At the end of the ten days the result was found to be quite the opposite of Melzar’s expectations. Not only in personal appearance, but in physical activity and mental vigor, those who had been temperate in their habits exhibited a marked superiority over their companions who had indulged appetite. As a result of this trial, Daniel and his associates were permitted to continue their simple diet during the whole course of their training for the duties of the kingdom. {SL 22.2}

The Lord regarded with approval the firmness and self-denial of these Hebrew youth, and His blessing attended them. He “gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17). At the expiration of the three years of training, when their ability and acquirements were tested by the king, he “found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm” (verse 20). {SL 22.3}

The author of Sanctified life posed a question and answered it:

What if Daniel and his companions had made a compromise with those heathen officers and had yielded to the pressure of the occasion by eating and drinking as was customary with the Babylonians? That single instance of departure from principle would have weakened their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong. Indulgence of appetite would have involved the sacrifice of physical vigor, clearness of intellect, and spiritual power. One wrong step would probably have led to others, until, their connection with Heaven being severed, they would have been swept away by temptation. {SL 23.2}

Pulse was the alternative to the extravagant food from the King's table. What is pulse, you ask?

It is a group of food made up of the edible seeds of pod bearing plants like lentils, black or pinto beans and chickpeas. These are all part of the legume family. But legume refers to the whole plant, and the name pulses specifically refers to the seeds.

These high in fiber, complex carbohydrates and protein foods are superior in helping you feel full and satisfied longer, therefore helping you to eat less and it can help maintain your blood sugar at a safe level more consistently.

I found this information on a website called The.Ismaili Nutrition Center where was posted an article called Pump Up the Pulses which shows the benefits of pulses especially at gaining long term control of blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. But not only that, the article stated that, those who eat less extravagantly and eat more healthfully,

have a greater chance of delaying onset of diabetes and a 50% greater chance of preventing the progression of diabetes:

Clearly, it is well worth doing everything you can to avoid developing diabetes. Studies show that over 50 per cent of those with pre-diabetes who eat healthier and are more active can delay or even prevent the progression. What's even more exciting is that for many, by losing just 10 per cent of their body weight, there can be a significant impact on quality of life and a decrease in the chances of developing the disease.

Dr. Axe has an article about pulses entitled Pulses: Are They the Most Undervalued Superfoods?, in which he divulges the following:

2016: The United Nations declared it was the International Year of Pulses, with a mission to get people around the world to eat more of the edible seeds.

Why? These superfoods are nutritious, inexpensive and beneficial to the environment. That’s a win-win-win.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive plant-based source of fiber, protein and micronutrients, check out the many varieties of pulses that are easy to find in grocery stores.

On average pulses cost approximately $2.00 lb. which is very cost effective for nutrient rich foods (this might be a bit higher now with the recent inflation we are currently experiencing).

Knowing that you can have this big of an impact on your own health and wellbeing (and wallet) wouldn't you want to take control of your own destiny and practice some healthy self denial by living less extravagantly? And when we are healthy in body and mind we are happier and more readily able to comprehend things of a spiritual nature.

It stands to reason then that making wiser choices in what we eat, practicing healthy self denial, is a win-win or wise investment in your health!

**These are beneficial health suggestions. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This is not a substitute for speaking with your health professional.

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