Scripture: Genesis 9:20-27; Proverbs 20:1, 23:31-35; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 10:31; 2 Peter 1:5-9.
Summer is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere. Many of us welcome the longer days of sunshine. To avoid the sun’s harmful effects, it is essential to plan ahead to protect ones skin from the ultraviolet (UV) radiation which can cause UVA and UVB sunburn.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million cases in two million people are diagnosed annually. About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.1
A debate about how much SPF (sun protection factor) is in order to obtain optimum protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays has led critics to challenge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s sunscreen guidelines that were drafted three decades ago. The lack of governing over the safety, efficacy and labeling of sunscreen has resulted in misleading claims on products.
The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group, slammed the 1,400 products it tested and recommends only 39 of 500 beach and sport sunscreens due to what they call “exaggerated SPF claims above 50”. They released a “Sunscreen Safety Guide” May 24, 2010 claiming that hats, clothing and shade are still the only completely reliable sun protection. Their website rates what they consider to be the best beach and sport sunscreens. The top-rated ones include “All Terrain, Badger, Beyond Coastal and California Baby”.2
May 25, Consumer Reports issues its sunscreen guide.
We’ve been given a Guide on how to achieve balance that will protect us from getting burned in other aspects of our life. Yet how many of us can claim we live a balanced life in harmony with the principles God has outlined for us in his Guide?
In a world of obesity, shopaholics, alcoholics, sexual abuse, workaholics, misuse of prescription drugs, and even religious addiction, to highlight a few, we have to make personal choices and not allow advertisers, friends and even family members to impose their life-style on us. Perhaps we need this week’s lesson to prayerfully take a look at ouyr day-to-day private world to evaluate whether or not we are being temperant in all things.
We are asked in our lesson some hard-to-look at questions: What are our work habits? Do we keep reasonable hours? Is there time for God, family, recreation, physical fitness and service to others? How much time do we spend sleeping? Is it too much or too little? What about our diet? Are we piling our plates too high? Or not eating enough of the foods that keep us healthy?
Just as we need to protect ourselves from the damaging rays of the sun, it is essential for us to protect ourselves physically and spiritually so that we are in alignment with the Son’s purposes and promises for enjoying a balanced life.