Mind, Character and Personality/Emotional Needs
[See section V, “Life’s energizing force,” and section XI, “Emotional Problems”]
Reason for Existence—God’s law is the law of love. He has surrounded you with beauty to teach you that you are not placed on earth merely to delve for self, to dig and build, to toil and spin, but to make life bright and joyous and beautiful with the love of Christ—like the flowers, to gladden other lives by the ministry of love.—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 97 (1896).
Love Satisfies Inner Need—Love must be the principle of action. Love is the underlying principle of God’s government in heaven and earth, and it must be the foundation of the Christian’s character. This alone can make and keep him steadfast. This alone can enable him to withstand trial and temptation.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 49 (1900).
Cultivate Love—Love for God and love for one another is to be cultivated, for it is as precious as gold. We need now to make the very best representation of the character of pure and undefiled religion, which, both in its nature and its requirements, is the opposite of selfishness. (p.607) Love like that which Christ exemplified is incomparable; it is above gold or silver or precious stones in value. The love that Christ possessed is to be prayed for and sought for. The Christian who possesses it bears a character above all human infirmities.—Lt 335, 1905.
All Need Love—The reason there are so many hard-hearted men and women in our world is that true affection has been regarded as weakness and has been discouraged and repressed. The better part of the nature of persons of this class was perverted and dwarfed in childhood, and unless rays of divine light can melt away their coldness and hardhearted selfishness, the happiness of such is buried forever. If we would have tender hearts, such as Jesus had when He was upon the earth, and sanctified sympathy, such as the angels have for sinful mortals, we must cultivate the sympathies of childhood, which are simplicity itself.—Testimonies for the Church 3:539 (1875).
Heart a Wellspring of Love—Neither Brother nor Sister K has an experience in sacrificing for the truth, in being rich in good works, laying up their treasures in heaven. Their sympathy, care, and patience have not been called into exercise by dependent, loving children. They have consulted their own selfish convenience. Their hearts have not been a wellspring sending forth the living streams of tenderness and affection. In blessing others by kindly words of love and acts of mercy and benevolence they would realize a blessing themselves. They have been too narrow in their sphere of usefulness.—Testimonies for the Church 2:649, 650 (1871).
Love of Self Destroys Peace—It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart. We shall be deaf to reproach and blind to scorn and (p.608) insult. “Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, RV).—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 16 (1896).
Security Founded on Right Thinking—We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts. The only security for any soul is right thinking. As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). The power of self-restraint strengthens by exercise. That which at first seems difficult, by constant repetition grows easy, until right thoughts and actions become habitual. If we will we may turn away from all that is cheap and inferior and rise to a high standard; we may be respected by men and beloved of God.—The Ministry of Healing, 491 (1905).
Lack of Affection Depraves—The Lord presented before Israel the results of holding communion with evil spirits in the abominations of the Canaanites: they were without natural affection, idolaters, adulterers, murderers, and abominable by every corrupt thought and revolting practice.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 688 (1890).
Fruit of Malice Is Death [See chapter 57, “Hatred and Revenge.”]—The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan, and it led him to put to death the Son of God. Whoever cherishes malice or unkindness is cherishing the same spirit, and its fruit will be unto death. In the revengeful thought the evil deed lies enfolded, as the plant in the seed. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 56 (1896). (p.609)
The Need for Association—Many might be kept from sinful influences if they were surrounded with good associations and had words of kindness and love spoken to them.—Testimonies for the Church 4:364 (1879).
Natural to Seek Companionship—It is natural to seek companionship. Everyone will find companions or make them. And just in proportion to the strength of the friendship will be the amount of influence which friends will exert over one another for good or for evil. All will have associates and will influence and be influenced in their turn.
The link is a mysterious one which binds human hearts together so that the feelings, tastes, and principles of two individuals are closely blended. One catches the spirit and copies the ways and acts of the other. As wax retains the figure of the seal, so the mind retains the impression produced by intercourse and association. The influence may be unconscious, yet it is no less powerful.—Testimonies for the Church 4:587 (1881).
Man Formed for Companionship—The Lord formed man for companionship, and He designs that we shall be imbued with the kind, loving nature of Christ and shall through association be bound together in close relationship as children of God, doing work for time and for eternity.—Letter 26a, 1889. (Medical Ministry, 48, 49).
Pride Destroys Fellowship—They [Christ’s enemies] saw that the majesty and purity and beauty of the truth, with its deep and gentle influence, was taking firm hold upon many minds....He was tearing down the partition wall that had been so flattering to their pride and exclusiveness; and they feared that, if permitted, He would draw the people entirely away from them. Therefore they followed Him with determined hostility, hoping to find some occasion for bringing Him into disfavor with the multitudes and thus enabling the Sanhedrin to secure His condemnation and death.—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 47 (1896). (p.610)
Company and Character—It has been truly said, “Show me your company, and I will show you your character.” The youth fail to realize how sensibly both their character and their reputation are affected by their choice of associates. One seeks the company of those whose tastes and habits and practices are congenial.
He who prefers the society of the ignorant and vicious to that of the wise and good shows that his own character is defective. His tastes and habits may at first be altogether dissimilar to the tastes and habits of those whose company he seeks, but as he mingles with this class his thoughts and feelings change; he sacrifices right principles and insensibly yet unavoidably sinks to the level of his companions. As a stream always partakes of the property of the soil through which it runs, so the principles and habits of youth invariably become tinctured with the character of the company in which they mingle.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 221 (1913).
A Relationship Everyone Is Bound to Cherish—God has bound us together as members of one family, and this relationship everyone is bound to cherish. There are services due to others which we cannot ignore and yet keep the commandments of God. To live, think, and act for self only is to become useless as servants of God. High-sounding titles and great talents are not essential in order to be good citizens or exemplary Christians.—Testimonies for the Church 4:339, 340 (1879).
Bond of Union—The tenderest earthly tie is that between the mother and her child. The child is more readily impressed by the life and example of the mother than by that of the father; for a stronger and more tender bond of union unites them. Mothers have a heavy responsibility. If I could impress upon them the work which they can do in molding the minds of their children, I should be happy.—Testimonies for the Church 2:536 (1870). (p.611)
Christ the Greatest Friend—Great importance is attached to our associations. We may form many that are pleasant and helpful, but none are so precious as that by which finite man is brought into connection with the infinite God. When thus united, the words of Christ abide in us.... The result will be a purified heart, a circumspect life, and a faultless character. But it is only by acquaintance and association with Christ that we can become like Him, the one Faultless Example.—The Signs of the Times, September 10, 1885. (My Life Today, 190.)
Comfort for the Mind and Peace for the Soul—The physician who proves himself worthy of being placed as leading physician in a sanitarium will do a grand work. But his work in religious lines should ever be of such a nature that the divine antidote for the relief of sin-burdened souls will be presented before the patients. All physicians should understand that such work should be done with tenderness and wisdom. In our institutions where mental patients are brought for treatment, the comforting words of truth spoken to the afflicted one will often be the means of soothing the mind and restoring peace to the soul.—Lt 20, 1902. ()
A Gift of God—Every good impulse or aspiration is the gift of God; faith receives from God the life that alone can produce true growth and efficiency.—Education, 253 (1903).
The Inner Satisfaction of Being Right—Unselfishness, the principle of God’s kingdom, is the principle that Satan hates; its very existence he denies. From the beginning of the great controversy he has endeavored to prove God’s principles of action to be selfish, and he deals in the same way with all who serve God. To disprove Satan’s claim is the work of Christ and of all who bear His name.
It was to give in His own life an illustration of unselfishness that Jesus came in the form of humanity. And all (p.612) who accept this principle are to be workers together with Him in demonstrating it in practical life. To choose the right because it is right; to stand for truth at the cost of suffering and sacrifice—“this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).—Education, 154, 155 (1903).
For Confidence and Cooperation, World Is Indebted to Law of God—For all that makes confidence and cooperation possible, the world is indebted to the law of God, as given in His Word and as still traced in lines often obscure and well-nigh obliterated, in the hearts of men.—Education, 137 (1903).
Living Success Versus Money—As we bring ourselves into right relationship with God we shall have success wherever we go; and it is success that we want, not money—living success, and God will give it to us because He knows all about our self-denial. He knows every sacrifice that we make. You may think that your self-denial does not make any difference, that you ought to have more consideration and so on. But it makes a great difference with the Lord.
Over and over again I have been shown that when individuals begin to reach out after higher and still higher wages, something comes into their experience that places them where they stand no longer on vantage ground. But when they take the wage that carries on the face of it the fact that they are self-sacrificing, the Lord sees their self-denial and He gives them success and victory. This has been presented to me over and over again. The Lord that seeth in secret will reward openly for every sacrifice that His tried servants have been willing to make.—MS 12, 1913. (Selected Messages 2:179, 180.)
Security Not in Riches—Many think to find security in earthly riches. But Christ seeks to remove from their eye the mote that obscures the vision and thus enable (p.613) them to behold the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. They are mistaking phantoms for realities and have lost sight of the glories of the eternal world. Christ calls upon them to extend their view beyond the present and add eternity to their vision.—Lt 264, 1903. (Sons and Daughters of God, 247.)
Reliance on God Is True Security—Satan is well aware that the weakest soul who abides in Christ is more than a match for the hosts of darkness, and that, should he reveal himself openly, he would be met and resisted. Therefore he seeks to draw away the soldiers of the cross from their strong fortification, while he lies in ambush with his forces, ready to destroy all who venture upon his ground. Only in humble reliance upon God, and obedience to all His commandments, can we be secure.—The Great Controversy, 530 (1888).
God Offers Security—God desires us to choose the heavenly in place of the earthly. He opens before us the possibilities of a heavenly investment. He would give encouragement to our loftiest aims, security to our choicest treasure. He declares, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir” (Isaiah 13:12). When the riches that moth devours and rust corrupts shall be swept away, Christ’s followers can rejoice in their heavenly treasure, the riches that are imperishable.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 374 (1900).
The Sanctifying Influence of Truth—The only security for any soul is right thinking. We are to use every means that God has placed within our reach for the government and cultivation of our thoughts. We are to bring our minds into harmony with His mind. His truth will sanctify us, body and soul and spirit, and we shall be enabled to rise above temptation. The words that we speak will be wise words.—Lt 123, 1904. (p.614)
Truth Applied Improves Health—When men who have indulged in wrong habits and sinful practices yield to the power of divine truth, the application of that truth to the heart revives the moral powers, which had seemed to be paralyzed. The receiver possesses stronger, clearer understanding than before he riveted his soul to the Eternal Rock Even his physical health improves by the realization of his security in Christ. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is of itself health and strength.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 13, 1890. (Temperance, 108.)
Relief From Guilt—The paralytic found in Christ healing for both the soul and the body. He needed health of soul before he could appreciate health of body. Before the physical malady could be healed, Christ must bring relief to the mind and cleanse the soul from sin. This lesson should not be overlooked. There are today thousands suffering from physical disease who, like the paralytic, are longing for the message, “Thy sins are forgiven.” The burden of sin, with its unrest and unsatisfied desires, is the foundation of their maladies. They can find no relief until they come to the Healer of the soul. The peace which He alone can impart would restore vigor to the mind and health to the body.—The Ministry of Healing, 77 (1905).
Strength for Your Day—Angels, who will do for you what you cannot do for yourselves, are waiting for your cooperation. They are waiting for you to respond to the drawing of Christ. Draw nigh to God and to one another. By desire, by silent prayer, by resistance of satanic agencies, put your will on the side of God’s will. While you have one desire to resist the devil, and sincerely pray, Deliver me from temptation, you will have strength for your day.
It is the work of the heavenly angels to come close to the tried, the tempted, the suffering ones. They labor long and untiringly to save the souls for whom Christ has died.—The Review and Herald, July 4, 1899. (Sons and Daughters of God, 36.)