"Health reform" means to be right with God and man, with yourself and withal your habits. Most people are more careful of overworking than they are of killing themselves with overeating, and though they pretend to do this for the sake of their health, under observation this class of folk will be found to be reckless with their bodies in sinful pleasures and sacrificing their health by perverted appetite. Yes, they risk their health for a little sinful pleasure almost of any kind, and when reproved they are greatly disturbed and would rather, at any cost, continue with an unhealthful habit, prompted by indulging in some sinful pleasure, than to deny themselves of it by correcting their evil course. Consequently, their fear of overworking is a fear of the work cutting across their perverted desire, "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness." (Jude 4.) They are afraid of overworking but are not afraid of overdoing nothing, which ultimately results in losing their physical abilities -- becoming almost as weak as a straw, as stiff as a cucumber, and as infirm as a pancake.
There is nothing in God's creation that stands still -- everything is doing something all the time -- and whatever stops moving He takes it away. If the heart stops beating He takes away the life, and the substance of the body goes back to clay. If a tree quits growing, it dies. Water that stands still gets stagnant. God's "handiwork" is not only ceaselessly moving on its own course, but it neither falls behind nor goes ahead -- it forever keeps perfect time. If an airplane stops flying it falls to the ground. When an automobile quits running it becomes worthless to its owner. Anything that falls short of its set standard by its maker does not only become worthless but also a nuisance.
There are thousands who sacrifice their health and happiness for lack of exercise. Some excuse themselves from working to preserve the beauty of their hands, not realizing that they are wrecking the whole body by doing nothing! Others try to preserve their beauty by avoiding the rays of the sun though without which no one can live the full length of his time and long remain happy while he lives.
The bee that faithfully labors all summer, when winter comes has plenty to eat and some to spare for a hungry man that cannot manufacture his own honey, while the grasshopper by wasting his time singing all summer long is starving during the winter in the cold. The plant that is raised in the shade is weak and pale and if exposed to the sun too late, instead of receiving its natural beauty, it withers away. Those who are living wrongly, when they start correcting their habits they begin to feel the same effects, but instead of continuing in the right course they excuse themselves from reforming and go back treading in the same old crooked road.
"Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured." (Prov. 13:18.) "Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." (Prov. 31:25-28.)
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt.thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." (Prov. 6:6-11.) "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work." (Ex. 20:9.)
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground." (Gen. 3:19.)
Abraham became a friend of God because he did not only believe but because he faithfully performed his duties and that by arising "early in the morning" (Gen. 22:3), and by doing the things "in the selfsame day." (Gen. 17:26.)
When God selected the army by which Gideon was to defeat the Midianites, He commanded Gideon to separate those who were "fearful and afraid" and those who had plenty of time before starting to do something from those who, for haste, would not even stop long enough to take a drink, but who, scooping the water in their palms, drank as they ran through it. Jud. 7:2-7. If God's people do not awake now they never will, for the time is too short and the work is too great, and the best of us cannot be too skillful or too active to engage in the conflict which is confronting us.