Participants: Agatha Thrash, John Champen, Don Miller
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000136
00:01 Philippians 4:5, says that our moderation should be known
00:06 of all men.
00:07 This is a great part of the establishment of good life style
00:13 I'm Agatha Thrash from Uchee Pines Institute,
00:16 and at Uchee Pines, we deal quite a lot with life styles
00:20 and with moderation and with habit formation.
00:23 For the next half an hour, we'll be talking with you about
00:26 moderation and habits and how to establish them...
00:29 how to break them once they've been established.
00:31 Join us, won't you?
00:53 Welcome to "Help Yourself to Health" with Dr. Agatha Thrash
00:59 of Uchee Pines Institute, and now here is your host
01:00 Dr. Thrash.
01:04 As God created us, we had no difficulty in being moderate
01:10 in all of our habits.
01:11 Actually, where Philippians 4:5 speaks of moderation, it also
01:17 speaks of it in the context of the Lord is at hand...
01:21 And so, we can believe by that, that what is going to happen to
01:26 world right close to the second coming of the Lord may be
01:30 characterized a lot by immoderate behavior.
01:33 And so, we thought that a program on moderation would be
01:38 well-received and would be very beneficial.
01:39 And so, John Champen is here with me today.
01:43 He is one of my co-workers at Uchee Pines.
01:46 He is in administration and also does health education and
01:51 he will start us out by talking about some things having to do
01:56 with moderation... John Champen
01:58 Thank you, Dr. Thrash.
01:59 Moderation, few people think about moderation.
02:02 It's not something that comes to most people's minds.
02:05 They live a life that is responding to stimulus, their
02:10 habits, their desires...
02:11 And they go on like that and they're not aware that there is
02:14 any such thing that they need to comply with that would be
02:17 beneficial to them.
02:18 There is a law out there called "the law of diminishing returns"
02:22 Many feel that if one piece of pie is good, then 2 pieces
02:25 might be twice as good and 4 is 4 times as good.
02:29 But we know that as we increase our eating of something sweet or
02:35 whatever the thing might be, our satisfaction tends to
02:39 go down instead of going up as we suspect that it would.
02:42 But the problem is that because of this habit that many have
02:46 formed, they are no longer moderate...
02:49 Everything is done in great amounts and in excess.
02:54 The law of diminishing returns strikes home and then people
03:00 begin to become aware that something else needs to
03:03 take place... sickness comes in and problems in their families
03:08 and they don't know why that is so.
03:09 There is not moderation in drinking and in eating and in
03:16 looking and in time spent with others in social activity.
03:21 Eating and drinking... we know when that's in excess it leads
03:25 to obesity, it leads to drunkenness...
03:27 It leads to all kinds of problems.
03:28 And yet, it continues to go on.
03:32 Most people are in some way intemperate in this area.
03:36 Even in looking, we should look at those things which are good
03:42 and if you do watch television, then why not look at 3ABN?
03:48 That's a nice way to practice moderation there.
03:52 And working... the Scripture tells us that it is 12 hours a
03:56 day when man should be working.
03:59 Some people will put in 14, 18 hours a day.
04:04 And, of course, their body tells as a result of that...
04:07 excess, excess, excess.
04:10 You can't accomplish it all.
04:13 There's always more to be done.
04:14 So, moderation is needed there but many are not sure how to
04:18 get a hold on that or how to make a change.
04:21 Some feel that if I just had more leisure...
04:24 If I had some more time to myself...
04:26 I would do well, I'd feel better
04:28 I'd like to take a long vacation how about 6 months where I can
04:32 just lay on the beach, take it easy and just watch the waves
04:36 go by... and this will make me feel better.
04:41 Well, after a day or two of that, a certain amount of
04:44 restlessness comes in.
04:47 We recognize that moderation even in resting
04:50 is very important.
04:52 Another area is talking...
04:56 Yes, people talk too much.
04:58 They need to spend a little more time in listening.
05:02 Sometimes, we talk so much that the Lord can't even get to us.
05:08 He can't get our attention.
05:10 So we need to watch how much we talk...
05:14 and spend a little more time in listening.
05:17 And, of course, there are others who are not happy unless they
05:20 are in the society of others.
05:22 They have to be in a crowd continuously...
05:24 and, as such, they become immoderate.
05:28 Social interaction is very important but, as we are told in
05:34 Scripture, there is a time and place for everything.
05:36 There is also a time needed for reflection for searching
05:41 one's heart, for coming up higher.
05:44 Moderation is needed in all of these things.
05:47 Few people are aware that they need to spend time in getting
05:51 their lives together so that
05:53 moderation has its rightful place.
05:55 Let's turn to the screen now and take a look at
05:58 a couple of points here.
05:59 We are told that all health principles depend on moderation.
06:04 The maximum benefit of each health principle
06:05 requires moderation.
06:10 Water is good but you can drown from water.
06:11 A young lady, just the other day, took some ecstasy and got
06:18 very thirsty, and of course, it makes you thirsty and she drank
06:21 water, drank water and drank water and she became water
06:24 intoxicated and she lost her life.
06:26 Even something good that God has provided for us can be
06:30 taken to excess.
06:31 So, moderation is needed for every health principle.
06:34 And once it is established, it then is under the control
06:37 of our conscience.
06:38 Moderation is something that the Lord wants us to build
06:42 into our lifestyle.
06:43 It becomes a part of us and once it becomes a part of us,
06:47 then the conscience becomes tender to the voice of the Lord
06:50 speaking to us, and tapping us on the shoulder, as it were,
06:53 as if... well, you don't need that extra piece, that extra
06:57 glass, that extra plate, this is enough.
07:00 And we learn to respond to that as we make it a principle
07:03 a part of our lives.
07:05 We are told also that moderation means victory
07:10 over inclination.
07:11 We need to be victorious over our feelings.
07:15 This is an area that we struggle with...
07:18 but moderation will help us.
07:20 As we learn the principles of moderation and why we want to
07:24 be moderate so that we can please the Lord and to live a
07:27 healthful life so that we can serve Him according to his will
07:30 And then, that victory is ours.
07:33 And it can remain ours day, after day, after day...
07:36 problem, after problem, after problem.
07:39 And finally, moderation is a heavenly principle.
07:44 It comes from the Lord.
07:45 Let all things be done in moderation.
07:49 This is God's way for us and I'm glad that it is.
07:52 Aren't you Dr. Thrash?
07:53 Yes I am, you know it protects us.
07:55 Moderation protects us from so many things.
07:57 So many diseases like diabetes, and obesity and hypertension.
08:02 We are protected from emotional and mental problems
08:07 and physical illness.
08:09 In the beginning, it was not as it is now.
08:12 Now, we see people overdoing on everything that we can
08:17 possibly do.
08:18 If we are going to reprove somebody, we overdo it
08:21 and parents will overdo their reproof to the point
08:24 of child abuse.
08:25 And, also we know that people who are working...
08:29 they overwork to the point that every muscle aches.
08:32 Women will be cleaning their houses and they will just
08:35 keep on working, and working, and working until
08:37 they are ready to drop and every muscle aches.
08:41 So we need to recognize that God did not create this world
08:45 in that way.
08:46 He does not intend that we should have that kind of problem
08:49 Even the grasses and the shrubs did not overgrow
08:54 in the Garden of Eden.
08:56 The Lord had set the trees with clear grass under them.
09:00 And the trees actually had an enzyme that would inhibit
09:05 the growth of things close up to them.
09:08 That was the moderation the God built into this earth.
09:12 Even in the natural world and our experiment with sin has
09:16 caused even the natural world to overflow its bounds...
09:20 so that now we have a bramble patch and we have a thicket
09:26 instead of a nice forest but God wants us to be moderate
09:29 in all things.
09:32 And with me now is Don Miller and Don Miller is going to talk
09:35 with you about some things having to do with habits
09:37 and moderation.
09:39 Don Miller.
09:40 You know, we all have habits and we need to look at how
09:43 our habits form.
09:44 Just what makes them a habit in the first place.
09:46 I'm not going to go into the neurology and pathways and
09:50 neurons and all these things in the brain.
09:52 But what do we do... what is it in our stimulus, in our
09:56 surroundings that make things become habitual.
09:59 Why do we learn to do things?
10:00 Now we have to, at the very beginning of this thing, realize
10:03 that there are good habits and there are bad habits.
10:06 There are things that we want to learn, or other people want us
10:09 to learn... like correct behavior.
10:11 I remember years ago...
10:12 now I want go just give parents, if there are any parents out
10:15 there with young children...
10:17 The best way to form, for me, a good habit.
10:21 We were at another family's home
10:26 My family was at another family's home and my father
10:30 did something in that environment that he was
10:33 accustomed to doing but that my mother considered
10:37 antisocial-type of behavior.
10:39 And I remember her saying to me...
10:41 "Donny, never do that in public. "
10:45 And you know something, I never have.
10:48 That one word from my mother spoken solemnly and spoken
10:52 directly to me, made an impact that has never gone away.
10:55 But I want us to look at some of the factors in the building
10:59 of habits in our experiences.
11:02 One of the first ones... and what we are going to do is
11:05 we are going to build the word "habit" here.
11:08 The "H" word... that is how often do we get the stimulus
11:17 that causes the thing to happen to us, or to build up the habit.
11:21 I remember as a child, one of my favorite radio programs in
11:25 Cincinnati had a commercial for an airline called
11:28 "Northwest Orient Airlines. "
11:30 And the jingle went "Northwest Orient.. BONG.. Airlines"
11:36 And that very jingle, hearing it every morning by "Stan Matlock"
11:40 on the radio, put something in my mind that I grew up loving
11:45 the thought of going to the Orient.
11:46 I love the Orient today.
11:48 I've lived there.
11:49 I love Oriental food.
11:50 And I believe it was all because of that one little jingle.
11:53 Jingles and advertizing slogans...
11:56 You see advertisers understand this principle.
12:00 How often this frequency of a stimulus with the reward of
12:05 a good feeling... pretty soon these things become household
12:08 words and we become habituated to whatever the thing is.
12:13 All right, the second thing that is going to cause us
12:19 to form habits... we are going to have to put a big "A" here...
12:23 is the amount of reward.
12:25 How much reward do we get for what we're putting into
12:29 our efforts.
12:30 I remember in boot camp, the military, they make you do
12:34 certain things and normally it was negative response or
12:37 negative rewards... if you don't do it, we're going to do this
12:40 to you but sometimes, if you do this, you're going to get
12:43 this nice thing.
12:44 And the more the reward was, the amount of the reward,
12:49 the more likely we are to say "yes that's what I want from
12:53 my experience. "
12:54 But now we have to be very, very careful in recognizing...
12:57 Do we recognize the response as a reward?
13:02 We may have a child in our home
13:05 and the child... they do a behavior, and we think
13:08 to reward them, we are going to do this thing...
13:12 but to them, that's not a reward that's a punishment.
13:15 We have to make sure the recipient recognizes the reward
13:19 as truly that... a reward.
13:21 The third one, I have sort of characterized or named the
13:26 "bother factor. "
13:30 And this is a pretty important one, the "bother factor. "
13:31 It's how much resistance is there to receiving the reward.
13:41 You have to do an action to receive the reward.
13:45 I feel like this is the main one in what we call "peer pressure"
13:49 Children don't have to do much to make their peers happy.
13:52 They can do any silly, stupid thing sometimes to make
13:55 everybody happy.
13:56 It's a little bit tougher to do what mama and daddy says.
14:00 It's a little bit tougher to do what society, the policeman,
14:04 the teacher says...
14:05 but the easy way out is sometimes the way that our
14:08 habits will take.
14:09 What is the easiest way?
14:12 Basically, humans work on that response level.
14:15 Whatever is easiest, that's what we want.
14:17 The fourth one is "isolation. "
14:22 That is a very interesting habit-former.
14:27 And, we can see this one in, let's say, communist countries
14:32 before the Iron Curtain fell, when they only had that one
14:35 newspaper, the "Pravda. "
14:36 And it put out just its storyline...
14:39 And they got no other news.
14:41 As a matter of fact, I was in Ukraine a few years ago
14:44 talking to a gentleman in the military there, the
14:47 Ukrainian Army, and he said...
14:50 As a matter of fact, the person I was staying with said the same
14:53 thing... he said that before communism fell, they perceived
14:57 Americans as being ugly, 2- headed monsters.
15:01 And what did we think about them
15:04 I've been there now...
15:05 They're wonderful, lovely people
15:07 But it's that isolation of the truth or the isolation of
15:13 If you receive just one stimulus
15:15 that's where you're going to go with your response.
15:17 And so, as we receive that one thing over and over
15:20 and over again without any other stimulus,
15:23 that will be what will become habituated too.
15:26 And the last one is the "time delay. "
15:30 How much time is there between the stimulus and our reward.
15:37 And we find these... as a matter of fact, every one of these
15:40 things will be tied up within the paradigm of our senses.
15:45 "I want something quick. "
15:48 I remember one time I was at someone's home and
15:49 the woman's daughter was sort of lounging on the couch
15:50 and her head was hanging off and one arm and one leg
15:55 was on the back of the couch
15:57 and she says, "entertain me mom, I'm bored. "
16:00 She wanted some instant gratification.
16:03 She wanted somebody to do something for her.
16:05 And so there is time delay.
16:07 If we can get that response right away, we are more apt to
16:10 become habituated to it.
16:12 I think this might be the big one for cocaine.
16:15 They say that people who take cocaine, that first hit is
16:18 like an unbelievable experience.
16:21 And they are always going back looking for that first response.
16:24 There was no time delay and it was an instant response.
16:27 And, in having this instant response, they formed a habit.
16:33 These habits that we form in our lives are pretty strong habits
16:37 I want to mention one more social studier... a man who
16:41 was into studying the formation of habits
16:46 and this was a habit called, or basically a form of habits
16:50 "conditioned response. "
16:51 You've all heard about the man, his name was "Pavlov. "
16:54 He was a Russian social scientist...
16:56 And what he would do, is every time he would feed the
17:00 dog, he'd ring a bell.
17:01 Feed the dog, ring a bell. Feed the dog, ring a bell.
17:03 Feed the dog, ring a bell. Ring a bell.
17:05 Well, when he would just ring the bell after that dog got used
17:09 to connecting the food with the bell, he would find that
17:13 the dogs all salivated.
17:15 The saliva started flowing because they heard the bell.
17:18 We get ourselves habituated to things by the repetition,
17:22 by their intensity, by their time delay, by their reward,
17:26 by isolation...
17:27 All these things will give us a strong habit.
17:30 We need to make sure we are forming good habits because
17:33 they are formed the very same way... Dr. Thrash.
17:35 Yes they are, and habits can be a blessing to us or they can
17:40 be really a curse, as you just mentioned.
17:42 Now with habits, Merriam- Webster has a definition here
17:48 of habit and I'd like just to read this...
17:50 "A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition. "
17:54 Well that helps us to know that a habit can be
17:55 broken in the same way.
17:58 You can break a habit by frequently repeating not doing
18:02 that thing in the way that you had been doing it that made
18:05 you have the habit.
18:06 You can change any behavior that you have developed yourself
18:11 Now, you may need the help of others and there are some
18:15 people whose habits are so firmly entrenched,
18:17 that they cannot break it by themselves.
18:20 Drug addicts are of this kind...
18:21 but many people who are addicted to food will have the same
18:25 kind of problem.
18:26 They cannot break that habit without some human help.
18:30 And so, we can say, let the tempted one who is struggling
18:33 with some habit, go to a trusted friend and say...
18:37 "Keep me with you, I am powerless from the snare to go.
18:41 Do not let me out of your sight until I am strong enough to
18:44 stand alone. "
18:45 Now I wish that were my quote but Ellen White did that quote
18:48 and I am happy to have it because it lets us know
18:52 that there are some people who should not feel embarrassed
18:57 at all to ask someone to be with them until they break a habit.
19:01 And, of course, we've probably had experiences along those
19:05 lines where somebody in our circle of friends used us as
19:11 the person who would be with them or that they would
19:14 "hang out with" until they had broken the habit.
19:15 It's a good way and you should feel that a very sacred duty
19:21 when someone comes to you and asks you to do that very thing.
19:25 Then another thing is that the tempted person can pray.
19:29 If you have a habit that you don't want to have
19:31 and you would like to see it broken, then pray about that.
19:35 And God has told us that if we will FLEE, if we will RUN from
19:42 the temptation, that this will often give us the victory.
19:46 We also know that if we CRY OUT to the Lord, that
19:50 that that will often give us the victory.
19:51 So those two things, to FLEE, to leave the scene...
19:54 and the second, to CRY OUT...
19:56 And another is, if you can't cry out and you can't leave,
20:00 you can still resist...
20:02 And the Bible tells us that if we RESIST temptation,
20:05 the devil will flee from us.
20:07 So, these three things can be used very nicely to break a
20:13 habit and to resist temptation and to be victorious over those
20:17 things that we want to change.
20:19 Now the Bible tells us that "The prudent man foreseeth evil
20:24 and hideth himself. "
20:25 Now what that means is this...
20:26 Let us say you are a young person and you are tempted with
20:30 tobacco, or you are tempted with some drug,
20:33 or you are tempted with alcohol
20:35 or with a sexual experience,
20:37 whatever it may be...
20:39 The wise person will think... "That will lead down a road that
20:44 I don't want to go. "
20:45 And so, you should resist that.
20:48 Wise man foresees evil, hides himself from it... do that.
20:54 If you see a habit forming in yourself, or even the threat
21:00 of it forming in yourself,
21:01 foresee the evil and hide yourself from it.
21:05 It will do very much for you.
21:07 Now, at the same time that you are changing a habit,
21:10 do some other change as well.
21:12 It's good to change a comfortable chair where you sit.
21:17 It's good to change some other things in your program at
21:21 that same time.
21:22 Maybe you should change your diet and go on an all
21:24 raw diet for a few days.
21:26 Or an all fruit diet for a few days.
21:29 And many of these things can be a help.
21:32 Now Don Miller is going to develop this theme a
21:35 little further, of breaking the habit.
21:37 Don Miller.
21:39 You know, we all form habits in various ways in our lifetimes
21:43 and I've formed some pretty strong habits in my life and
21:45 there are certain experiences and I always hearken back to my
21:50 military experience because in the military, you learn habits
21:53 really strongly.
21:54 I still lace my shoes left over right.
21:57 I still, even when I get dressed as a civilian, I make sure
22:01 my shirt is lined up with my belt which is lined up
22:04 with my fly.
22:05 Everything is perfectly lined up because that's how I was taught.
22:08 It was drilled into me.
22:10 I can still not chew gum because Marines don't chew gum.
22:14 There are things that I learned which I don't
22:15 think are bad habits.
22:17 There are things though, that I learned in my military
22:20 experience, that were not the best habits in the world.
22:23 And so, I tried. I tried so hard to get these things out of my
22:30 habit experience and what I finally had to do because
22:33 whereas I was out of the military...
22:35 the military was not yet out of me.
22:38 So what I had to do one day, I made a nice funeral pyre
22:42 and I brought all my uniforms...
22:45 If there are any ex-marines, I'm sorry...
22:46 I brought my blues, I brought my whites, I brought my greens
22:50 I brought my white shoes.
22:52 I brought my accoutrements.
22:53 I brought everything!
22:55 Laid them on that thing, doused them with gasoline...
22:57 WOOF... and set them on fire.
22:59 And it was amazing the difference that made in my
23:02 experience... to see a thousand dollars worth of uniforms
23:05 going up in smoke... it seemed to help.
23:07 But there is something else I want to do.
23:09 I want to go back to the acronym basically, we made it an acronym
23:11 on the board here and talk about what happens once we've got a
23:13 habit formed... how do we get out of this habit.
23:21 The first thing we've got to do ... we talked about how often
23:25 do we get rewarded by this habit.
23:28 First of all, we have to break the frequency.
23:30 So let's say we break the frequency of our habit.
23:33 So, we can erase the "H."
23:35 But what's left?
23:37 Well, there is still a bit of it there.
23:40 And so we've got to take the next step in our experience.
23:43 The amount of the reward.
23:45 We've got to sit there and say, "well, I've got to quit taking
23:49 so much. "
23:50 I've got to first get away from it and I've got to...
23:53 the amount of the reward somehow within my mind...
23:56 we can convenience ourselves that this is not good.
23:59 We've got to tell in our minds.
24:00 We say "no, this is not good for me... this is not the
24:03 right thing to do. "
24:05 We can also replace a bad habit with a good habit.
24:08 But still, a bit of the habit is still left.
24:11 And so we go a little bit further.
24:13 And we get rid of the "B."
24:15 That's the "bother factor. "
24:17 That's the easy way out.
24:19 And as I mentioned, that's where peer pressure normally comes in.
24:22 What we have to do at least for a period of time is change
24:26 our group of friends.
24:28 Change our associations.
24:30 Change our surroundings because if this group of friends is
24:33 always going to go out and smoke cigarettes and drink beer,
24:36 and you're trying to quit, it stands to reason that we're
24:39 not going to be with this group of people right now.
24:41 Let's get with another group of people until we are so strong
24:44 in the other direction, that we will never go back
24:47 to that experience.
24:48 But, "it" is still there.
24:51 So, we do a little bit more.
24:53 The isolation factor.
24:55 Let's get rid of the isolation factor.
24:57 All right, we're done with the isolation factor.
24:59 How do we do that?
25:00 We've got to then allow other stimulus's to come into
25:04 our experience.
25:05 We've just been listening to one train...
25:07 Let's talk about a person who's into rock music.
25:09 Listening to the wrong type of music.
25:11 The best thing to do is start listening to the right
25:12 type of music.
25:14 Open up our experiences to the right type of music and we'll
25:18 find some experiences that will be good there.
25:20 But what happens? The "T" is still there.
25:23 There's still a tittle... still a jot left.
25:26 So, by God's grace, we can get rid of that time element.
25:31 That time between the stimulus and the response.
25:34 And now it no longer finds a hearkening voice within me.
25:39 But you may not be able to see it but on this board, I can
25:43 still see the word "habit" lightly written because
25:47 even with the eraser, basically once you have formed a habit
25:51 that habit is with you for the rest of your days.
25:54 And so my recommendation is what we need to do is make sure
25:58 that our habits are not forming in the wrong direction.
26:03 Form good habits now while you're young and you will find
26:07 many, many rewards, or you will be fighting that habit
26:09 for the rest of your days until Jesus comes in the clouds
26:12 of glory and everything is blotted out.
26:14 And I'm looking forward to that day because I still have things
26:17 siren calls in the back of my mind... I will not respond but
26:21 still the call is there.
26:22 I don't want to hear that call any more, Dr. Thrash.
26:25 Yes, we can be thankful to the Lord that He has made it so that
26:30 we can change.
26:31 We can make big changes in our lives.
26:33 In fact, we can make such changes that our whole
26:38 life style is different.
26:41 I remember the time when I changed from a 3-meal-a-day plan
26:46 to a 2-meal-a-day plan.
26:47 I had always prided myself in having 3 square meals a day.
26:51 That may be a Southern expression.
26:52 We certainly use it a lot and believe in it.
26:55 So when I realized that the physiologic way to have a meal
26:59 pattern was 2 meals a day, I wanted to change to that.
27:03 But, it was not so easy as just wanting to change.
27:06 It required quite an effort and it was a challenge.
27:08 And so I began to work on it and finally, little by little
27:12 the Lord helped me so that more and more time was put between
27:16 the time when I had eaten 3 meals and the time I was now
27:20 eating 2 and it was a great blessing to me to have that
27:23 2- meal-a-day pattern.
27:25 I'd like to read to you a prayer from Psalm 63, verses 1 and 2.
27:30 "Oh God, You are my God;
27:33 Earnestly I seek you;
27:35 My soul thirsts for You; My body longs for You
27:39 In a dry and weary land
27:42 Where there is no water.
27:44 Because Your love is better than life,
27:46 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods,
27:51 with singing on my lips. "
27:53 May God bless you richly.