“Only actions give life strength, only moderation gives it charm.” ~ Jean Paul Richter
I was reminded yesterday that much of our religious practice can be too much about our transgressions and not enough about our fundamental goodness. Sin is always easier to see than virtue. Seven virtues of goodness have been referenced in scriptures. Among these is temperance. It is discounted and not highly prized in our rather materialistic times. We enjoy excesses and the idea of restraint or moderation in action, thoughts, and feelings is not easily embraced. Temperance evokes mental images of sanctimonious, boring and judgmental people who are always looking down their noses at those who celebrate. But this is not an accurate picture really.
Temperance is about self-control and achieving balance in our affairs. There is freedom and joy to be found in this virtue. We do not have to be prisoners of over-working, over-consumption, and over-doing (or over-anything for that matter). We can suck the marrow out of life without being victims of a crushing lifestyle that results in poor health, lack of spiritual connection and a sense of never having enough. We are surrounded by rich blessings that can be appreciated fully only if we continually seek balance through moderation.
Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.
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Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast