Mind, Character and Personality/Mind and Spiritual Health
The Fruitage of Spiritual Life—Spiritual life yields to its possessor that which all the world is seeking but which can never be obtained without an entire surrender to God.—Letter 121, 1904.
Body, Mind, and Soul Benefit From Communion With God—In a knowledge of God all true knowledge and real development have their source. Wherever we turn, in the physical, the mental, or the spiritual realm; in whatever we behold, apart from the blight of sin, this knowledge is revealed. Whatever line of investigation we pursue, with a sincere purpose to arrive at truth, we are brought in touch with the unseen, mighty Intelligence that is working in and through all. The mind of man is brought into communion with the mind of God, the finite with the Infinite. The effect of such communion on body and mind and soul is beyond estimate.—Education, 14 (1903). Love for God Essential for Health—God is the great caretaker of the human machinery. In the care of our bodies we must cooperate with Him. Love for God is essential for life and health.—Special Testimonies, Seria A 15:18, 3 aprilie, 1900. (Counsels on Health, 587.) (p.405)
Health of Body Important to Health of Soul—God would be recognized as the Author of our being. That life He has given us is not to be trifled with. Recklessness in the bodily habits reveals a recklessness of moral character. The health of the body is to be regarded as essential for the advancement of growth in grace, an even temper.—Manuscript 113, 1898.
Good Deeds Promote Health—Good deeds are twice a blessing, benefiting both the giver and the receiver of the kindness. The consciousness of rightdoing is one of the best medicines for diseased bodies and minds. When the mind is free and happy from a sense of duty well done and the satisfaction of giving happiness to others, the cheering, uplifting influence brings new life to the whole being.—The Ministry of Healing, 257 (1905).
Godliness in Harmony With Laws of Health—Those who walk in the path of wisdom and holiness find that “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). They are alive to the enjoyment of life’s real pleasures and are not troubled with vain regrets over misspent hours nor with gloomy forebodings, as the worldling too often is when not diverted by some exciting amusement. Godliness does not conflict with the laws of health but is in harmony with them. The fear of the Lord is the foundation of all real prosperity.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 14, 1890. (Counsels on Health, 29.)
Constant Struggle Against Evil Imaginings—Let everyone who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act. The soul must be kept from every stain, through faith in Him who (p.406) is able to keep you from falling.
We should meditate upon the Scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation. The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should seek to comprehend the meaning of the plan of salvation. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save His people from their sins. By constantly contemplating heavenly themes our faith and love will grow stronger.—The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888,
Injury to Health Weakens Moral Powers—Whatever injures the health not only lessens physical vigor but tends to weaken the mental and moral powers.—The Ministry of Healing, 128 (1905).
Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent upon physical strength and activity; whatever promotes physical health promotes the development of a strong mind and a well-balanced character.—Education, 195 (1903).
Body Medium for Mind and Soul—The body is a most important medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here often means the surrender of the whole being to evil. The tendencies of the physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death. The body is to be brought into subjection to the higher powers of the being. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in the life.
Intellectual power, physical stamina, and the length of (p.407) life depend upon immutable laws. Through obedience to these laws, man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers, of “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” and of “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).—Prophets and Kings, 488, 489 (1917).
Vital Energy Imparted to Mind Through Brain—The Lord would have our minds clear and sharp, able to see points in His word and service, doing His will, depending upon His grace, bringing into His work a clear conscience and a thankful mind. This kind of joy promotes the circulation of the blood. Vital energy is imparted to the mind through the brain; therefore the brain should never be dulled by the use of narcotics or excited by the use of stimulants. Brain, bone, and muscle are to be brought into harmonious action that all may work as well-regulated machines, each part acting in harmony, not one being overtaxed.—Letter 100, 1898.
Dyspepsia Makes Religious Life Uncertain—The principles of health reform should be brought into the life of every Christian. Men and women who disregard these principles cannot offer to God a pure, vigorous devotion; for a dyspeptic stomach or a torpid liver makes the religious life an uncertainty.
Eating the flesh of dead animals has an injurious effect upon spirituality. When meat is made the staple article of food, the higher faculties are overborne by the lower passions. These things are an offense to God and are the cause of a decline in spiritual life.—Letter 69, 1896.
Rightdoing Is Best Medicine—The consciousness of rightdoing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health.... There are those who do not feel that it is a religious (p.408) duty to discipline the mind to dwell upon cheerful subjects, that they may reflect light rather than darkness and gloom. This class of minds will either be engaged in seeking their own pleasure, in frivolous conversation, laughing and joking, and the mind continually elated with a round of amusements; or they will be depressed, having great trials and mental conflicts, which they think but few have ever experienced or can understand. These persons may profess Christianity, but they deceive their own souls. They have not the genuine article.—The Health Reformer, March, 1872.
To Labor for Soul as Well as Body—Our medical workers are to do all in their power to cure disease of the body and also disease of the mind. They are to watch and pray and work, bringing spiritual as well as physical advantages to those for whom they labor. The physician in one of our sanitariums who is a true servant of God has an intensely interesting work to do for every suffering human being with whom he is brought in contact. He is to lose no opportunity to point souls to Christ, the Great Healer of body and mind. Every physician should be a skillful worker in Christ’s lines. There is to be no lessening of the interest in spiritual things, else the power to fix the mind upon the Great Physician will be diverted.—Letter 223, 1905.
The Physician Who Deals With Distracted Minds and Hearts—The physician needs more than human wisdom and power that he may know how to minister to the many perplexing cases of disease of the mind and heart with which he is called to deal. If he is ignorant of the power of divine grace, he cannot help the afflicted one, but will aggravate the difficulty; but if he has a firm hold upon God, he will be able to help the diseased, distracted mind. He will be able to point his patients to Christ and teach them to carry all their cares and perplexities to the great Burden Bearer.—Testimonies for the Church 5:444 (1885). (p.409)
Christ Illumines the Mind—The physician is never to lead his patients to fix their attention on him. He is to teach them to grasp with the trembling hand of faith the outstretched hand of the Saviour. Then the mind will be illuminated with the light radiating from the Light of the world.—Letter 120, 1901.
Truth Has Soothing Power—The soothing power of pure truth seen, acted, and maintained in all its bearings is of a value no language can express to people who are suffering with disease. Keep ever before the suffering sick the compassion and tenderness of Christ, and awaken their conscience to a belief in His power to relieve suffering, and lead them to faith and trust in Him, the Great Healer, and you have gained a soul and ofttimes a life.—Letter 69, 1898. (Medical Ministry, 234, 235).
True Religion Aids Restoration to Health (words directed to sanitarium guests attending the local church service)—Christ is our Great Physician. Many men and women come to this medical institution [St. Helena Sanitarium] with the hope of receiving treatment that will prolong their lives. They take considerable pains to come here.
Why cannot everyone who comes to the sanitarium for physical help come to Christ for spiritual help? Why cannot you, my brother, my sister, entertain the hope that if you accept Christ, He will add His blessing to the agencies employed for your restoration to health? Why cannot you have faith to believe that He will cooperate with your efforts to recover, because He wants you to get well? He wants you to have a clear brain so that you can appreciate eternal realities; He wants you to have healthful sinews and muscles so that you can glorify His name by using your strength in His service.—Manuscript 80, 1903.
Counsel to One Prone to Melancholy Feelings—It is your duty to war against oppressive thoughts and (p.410) melancholy feelings, just as much as it is your duty to pray. It is your duty to counterwork the agencies of the enemy, to place a firm hold upon the bridle of your tongue as well as your thoughts. Of all the times in your life when you need a supply of grace, it is when the sensitive, inflamed digestive organs are at work and you are worried and tired out.
You may look surprised at this, but it is a species of swearing to be constantly irritated and irritating others by your faultfinding and gloomy reflections. These fits of indigestion are trying, but hold fast to the bridle that you will not swear to those who are your best friends or to those who are your enemies.—Letter 11, 1897.
Assurance of God’s Approval—The assurance of God’s approval will promote physical health. It fortifies the soul against doubt, perplexity, and excessive grief that so often sap the vital forces and induce nervous diseases of a most debilitating and distressing character. The Lord has pledged His unfailing word that His eye shall be over the righteous and His ear open to their prayer.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 270, 271 (1915).
Connection Between Sin and Disease—There is a divinely appointed connection between sin and disease. No physician can practice for a month without seeing this illustrated. He may ignore the fact; his mind may be so occupied with other matters that his attention will not be called to it; but if he will be observing and honest, he cannot help acknowledging that sin and disease bear to each other the relationship of cause and effect. The physician should be quick to see this and to act accordingly.
When he has gained the confidence of the afflicted by relieving their sufferings and bringing them back from the verge of the grave he may teach them that disease is the result of sin and that it is the fallen foe who seeks to allure them to health-and-soul-destroying practices. He may impress their minds with the necessity of denying (p.411) self and obeying the laws of life and health. In the minds of the young especially he may instill right principles.
God loves His creatures with a love that is both tender and strong. He has established the laws of nature, but His laws are not arbitrary exactions. Every “Thou shalt not,” whether in physical or moral law, contains or implies a promise. If it is obeyed, blessings will attend our steps; if it is disobeyed, the result is danger and unhappiness. The laws of God are designed to bring His people closer to Himself. He will save them from the evil and lead them to the good if they will be led, but force them He never will. We cannot discern God’s plans, but we must trust Him and show our faith by our works.—Testimonies for the Church 5:444, 445 (1885).
Gospel Is Cure for Sin-originated Maladies—When the gospel is received in its purity and power, it is a cure for the maladies that originated in sin. The Sun of righteousness arises “with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2). Not all that this world bestows can heal a broken heart, or impart peace of mind, or remove care, or banish disease. Fame, genius, talent—all are powerless to gladden the sorrowful heart or to restore the wasted life. The life of God in the soul is man’s only hope.—The Ministry of Healing, 115 (1905).
Heaven Is All Health—The view held by some that spirituality is a detriment to health is the sophistry of Satan. The religion of the Bible is not detrimental to the health of either body or mind. The influence of the Spirit of God is the very best medicine for disease. Heaven is all health; and the more deeply heavenly influences are realized, the more sure will be the recovery of the believing invalid. The true principles of Christianity open before all a source of inestimable happiness. Religion is a continual wellspring from which the Christian can drink at will and never exhaust the fountain.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 13, 1890. (Counsels on Health, 28.) (p.412)
Religion the True Science of Healing—Religion is a principle of the heart, not a magical word or a trick of the mind. Look to Jesus only. This is your only hope and your husband’s only hope of gaining eternal life. This is the true science of healing for body and soul. The mind must not be centered upon any human being, but upon God.—Letter 117, 1901.
Love for Redeemer Clears Away Miasma—The mind is befogged by sensual malaria. The thoughts need purifying. What might not men and women have been had they realized that the treatment of the body has everything to do with the vigor and purity of mind and heart. The true Christian obtains an experience which brings holiness. He is without a spot of guilt upon the conscience or a taint of corruption upon the soul. The spirituality of the law of God, with its limiting principles, is brought into his life. The light of truth irradiates his understanding. A glow of perfect love for the Redeemer clears away the miasma which has interposed between his soul and God. The will of God has become his will—pure, elevated, refined, and sanctified. His countenance reveals the light of heaven. His body is a fit temple for the Holy Spirit. Holiness adorns his character. God can commune with him, for soul and body are in harmony with God.—Letter 39, 1898. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:909.)
Christ’s Love a Vitalizing Power—The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part—the brain, the heart, the nerves—it touches with healing. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care, that crush the life forces. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul, joy that nothing earthly can destroy—joy in the Holy Spirit—health-giving, life-giving joy.—The Ministry of Healing, 115 (1905).