Monday, March 26, 2012

Moderate, Moderation, Moderating

While on Skype this evening, I asked my friend Mark what I should blog about.  He suggested to rant on coffee, but there is nothing to really rant on.  So our conversation ended up at moderation.  Basically the moderation aspect of it stemmed from him trying to quit coffee and how his body reacted.  He doesn't see anything wrong with drinking it, but it's just learning to not drink a lot of it.  It's all about moderation and that is a good principle to live by.  Also that this would be a challenging and interesting issue to wrestle with.

Looking up moderation in the dictionary, I've found the definition of moderation which is spot on:

1. The state or an instance of being moderate; mildness; balance.
2. The act of moderating.
3. In moderation within moderate or reasonable limits.

Even though that definition of moderation is true, but what it actually looks like is different to all of us.  Some see moderation as what it is defined in the dictionary while others don't have or don't care to have a sense of moderation.  Sometimes having a sense of moderation is hard for people in various things they do.

There are two quotes that come to mind: 

The ancient Roman playwright Terrance says:
"Moderation in all things."
One of the United States founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin says:
"Do everything in moderation, including moderation."
It's easy for Terrance and Benjamin Franklin to say to do things in moderation.  But if you are an addict, it's not always easy to moderate the thing you are addicted too.  To some addicts, getting it under control and moderating it might seem like an illusion.  A drug addict or an alcoholic will do what they can to get their next fix or their next drink.  It's easy for people who don't have an addiction to moderate such things, but if you've ever been an addict, you will know how hard it is.  Once you are an addict, you have that mindset to always be an addict.  With a lot of alcoholics, they can't control it because once they fall off the bandwagon, they'd have to start on the road to sobriety again.  Plus with a lot of people the issue of relapse is always there.  As I said, the idea of moderation is an illusion to people with addictions.

I am think of the following Ernest Hemingway said:
"Live life to the fullest."
This is an interesting concept and words to live by.  Living life to the fullest can mean many different things to people.  But does that mean having to moderate the way you live your life?  You can live life to the fullest with moderation.  You just have to know what areas to moderate yourself in.  Some people may moderate themselves in one area that you wouldn't and vice versa.  It's all in a persons perception.  What sort of things should we moderate verses what sort of things we don't need to moderate?

In my life as a Christian, I've come to learn over the years that shouldn't be a moderate Christian.  Basically, you shouldn't be just a Christian that believes something and that is it.  You should strive to learn more and have the want to know more.  Christianity is something you shouldn't have to moderate because of how society looks upon it.  Don't let society be the moderation tool you use to in how much you want to know or be willing to learn about Christianity.  If you believe in it, why let society or what people think stop you?  If various people throughout history of Christianity were moderate about their faith, than we wouldn't have the great and notable figures like William Wilberforce, Martin Luther, etc..  They didn't sit around and just be moderate about it.  So why should we be?

I've seen in the western world that we have a lack of moderation when it comes to what we eat.  More specifically, junk food.  We have become a slave a to junk food.  I know this to be true because I've at various times have had a lack of moderation when it comes to junk food.  This lack of moderation is of epidemic proportions and it shows.  North America is the fattest continent in the world while the United States of America is the fattest country in the world.  The companies that manufacture and produce junk food know that we don't know how to moderate our consumption of it.  They use this to spend tens of billions of dollars in various forms of advertising, contests, and whatnot.  We need to learn to moderate with junk food or it will just get worse.  I know I need to put it into action after Lent, but it's something we all need to do for whatever reasons.  Moderation is not such a bad thing.

I've heard that moderation is key and in life that is true.  But what you choose to moderate is up to you.  You are not some mindless robot that can't think for itself.  So here is to moderation!  Good luck!

3 comments:

stone in the wall said...

Ecclesiastes Chapter 7:

15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:

the righteous perishing in their righteousness,
and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.[a]

Good points C.

Matthew said...

"In my life as a Christian, I've come to learn over the years that shouldn't be a moderate Christian. Basically, you shouldn't be just a Christian that believes something and that is it."

Totally agree. I think it even goes beyond learning more. To take it to the limit means you whole-heartedly give yourself to something greater, to God or Spirit.

If we really want to see our lives change in profound and significant ways we need to approach it with careless abandon, as you suggest, throwing all our moderation out the window...at least in this area;)

What do you think?

Mr. C.C. said...

There are people who would be out of their comfort zone if they were to go all out. They are too comfortable being a moderate Christian and it would be hard for them to be anything but.