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16 September, 2013

Wholesome or Unwholesome Living!

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Excerpt from Forgiveness of Injuries 

by J. R. Miller

The word wholesome means whole, sound, having perfect health. It is applied usually to conditions. Thus we speak of a wholesome climate, meaning a climate that is healthful; or of wholesome food, meaning food that is nutritious. But the word may be used also of a person. Hawthorne speaks of a thoroughly wholesome heart, and of the purifying influence scattered throughout the atmosphere of the household, by the presence of one such heart.

There are wholesome people who indeed exert a purifying and healthful influence wherever they go. They are sound and whole in their make-up and in their condition. They are healthy, not in body only-but also in mind and in spirit. Such people are blessings wherever they are found-full of life and of inspiration. Even unconsciously they diffuse strength, cheer, hope and courage-by the mere influence of their presence.

But there are also unwholesome people, whose influence is not toward the things that are beautiful and good. Their unwholesomeness may be physical, or it may be in their mental, or or social, or spiritual conditions.

A common form is what in general we call morbidness. Whatever its cause, it is the result of over-sensitiveness. Morbid people are easily disturbed in their feelings. They yield readily to depression of spirits. The smallest cause makes them gloomy. Their imagination plays a mischievous part in creating unhappiness for them. 

They imagine slights when none were intended or even dreamed of. They are apt to be very exacting toward their friends, continually demanding renewed assertions of faithfulness and constancy, and often expressing fears and doubts, and raising questions. Thus they make friendship hard, even for those who love them best.

These morbid people see all life and all the world through tinted glasses-tinted with the unhealthy hue of their own mental condition. They see their neighbor's faults-but not the excellences of his character. They have an eye for the blemishes and the unlovely peculiarities of others, and for the disagreeable things of life. They fret and chafe at the smallest discomforts in their lot, and fail to get happiness and pleasure from their many and great blessings. 

They are unhappy even in the most favorable circumstances, and discontented even in the kindliest conditions. The trouble is not in outside things-but in themselves. They are like a fever patient who tosses restlessly on his bed and complains of the heat of the room, while all the while the fever is in himself, not in his room. It is the unwholesomeness of his own spirit, that makes the world and all life around them, so full of discomfort for them.

There are many forms and phases of unwholesomeness in life. Some people are unwholesome in their religion. They find no happiness in it. It does not make them joy-givers. They are somber, gloomy Christians. They are lacking in the grace of cheerfulness and in heartiness. They are severe in their judgment of others, sometimes uncharitable and censorious. Their own religion is a burden to them-and they would make religion a burden to all who profess it. It vexes them to see a rejoicing Christian; for they suppose that joyousness is a sign of triviality of heart, and of the lack of a due consciousness of life's gravity and seriousness. They think of religion as always severe, stern, solemn, sad.

Some people are unwholesome in their affections, giving way to envy, jealousy, and suspicion, unmistakable symptoms of unhealthiness. Some are unwholesome in their temper, lacking the power of self-control, permitting anger to dominate them and lead them to unseemly outbreaks......