«Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything clean» (Judges 13:4).
Most people are clearly aware of what is harmful for their health and the substances, food or behavior they should steer clear of. Alcoholic and stimulating drinks, tobacco and drugs are harmful substances for our body, and whoever intends to enjoy overall health should completely refuse to use them. The problem does not lie in identifying the factors that are damaging for our health but in planning an efficient strategy to break free from them, because in many cases, they are connected to our inclinations mainly as a consequence of our bad habits. But how do habits form and how can we avoid them?
A popular proverb clearly expresses both the formation and the consequence of habits: «Sow a thought, and you reap an act. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.» Indeed, a habit is nothing more than a regularly repeated act which can have consequences that define success or failure in life. Thus, all those who want to be free of the bad habits need to be on guard to avoid that first act which opens the door to all the others. In psychotherapy, it is common to listen to those who lived in the world of drugs when they say: «It started as a simple curiosity.» Not long after that, the same person anxiously exclaims: «I’m not the one I used to be. I want to smile again. I wish this had never happened; my self-esteem has hit rock-bottom.»
Alcoholic and stimulating drinks, tobacco and drugs are all known as substances which harm physical health and which we should stay away from. Likewise, there are elements that harm our mental and spiritual health. If only they had not gotten involved in pornography or soap operas; if only they had never explored occultism or witchery . . . How much suffering we could have saved in the world and in the families! Sow an act, and reap a habit, and «once formed, habit is like an iron net. You may struggle desperately against it, but it will not break. Your only safe course is to build for time and for eternity» (Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 596).
Thus, we invite you today to seek God’s wisdom and strength, to abstain from everything that is harmful and to be temperate in all habits of life. Psalms 37:27 says,
«Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore.»