Mind, Character and Personality/Positive Influences on the Mind
Gratitude Promotes Health—Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings—as much a duty as it is to pray.—The Ministry of Healing, 251 (1905).
Owners of Mental and Physical Capabilities—How natural it is to regard ourselves as complete owners of ourselves! But the Inspired Word declares, “Ye are not your own.... Ye are bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).... In our relation to our fellowmen we are owners of our entrusted mental and physical capabilities. In our relation to God we are borrowers, stewards of His grace.—Lt 44, 1900. (HC 40.)
Aim to Reach a State of Unity—It is the will of God that union and brotherly love should exist among His people. The prayer of Christ just before His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one as He is one with the Father, that the world might believe that God had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word” (John 17:20). (p.798)
While we are not to sacrifice one principle of truth, it should be our constant aim to reach this state of unity. This is the evidence of our discipleship. Said Jesus, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). The apostle Peter exhorts the church, “Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren” (1 Peter 3:8).—Patriarchs and Prophets, 520 (1890).
Extract the Positive From Environment—You have all seen on the bosom of the lake the beautiful white lily. How anxious we have been, how we have wished and worked that we might get that blossom. No matter how much scum and debris and filth there is around it, yet that does not destroy your desire for the lily. We wonder how the lily can be so beautiful and white where there is so much filth.
Well, there is a stem that strikes down to the golden sands beneath and gathers nothing but the purest substance that feeds the lily until it develops into the pure and spotless flower, as we see it. Should not this teach us a lesson? It ought to. It shows that although there is iniquity all around us we should not approach it. Do not talk of the iniquity and wickedness that are in the world but elevate your minds and talk of your Saviour. When you see iniquity all around you, it makes you all the more glad that He is your Saviour and we are His children.
Then shall we look at the iniquity around us and dwell upon the dark side? You cannot cure it; then talk of something that is higher, better, and more noble. Talk of those things that will leave a good impression on the mind, and it will lift every soul up out of this iniquity into light beyond.—MS 7, 1888.
Counting One’s Blessings—If all the misdirected energies were devoted to the one great object—the rich provisions of the grace of God in this life—what testimonials we could hang in memory’s halls, recounting the (p.799) mercies and favors of God! ... Then the habit would be carried with us as an abiding principle to accumulate spiritual treasures as earnestly and perseveringly as the worldly aspirants labor for the earthly and temporal things.
You may well be dissatisfied with the present supply when the Lord has a heaven of blessedness and a treasure house of good and gracious things to supply the necessities of the soul. Today we want more grace, today we want a renewal of God’s love and tokens of His goodness, and He will not withhold these good and heavenly treasures from the true seeker.—MS 22, 1889. (HC 188.)
Returns to Correspond to Gifts—Every servant has some trust for which he is responsible, and the varied trusts are proportioned to our varied capabilities. In dispensing His gifts, God has not dealt with partiality. He has distributed the talents according to the known powers of His servants, and He expects corresponding returns.—Testimonies for the Church 2:282 (1869).
To Understand Proper Use of Mental and Physical Capabilities—Time is to be used judiciously, earnestly, and under the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. We are to understand just what is right and what is wrong to do with property and with mental and physical capabilities. God has a positive ownership of every power He has committed to the human agent. By His own wisdom He makes the terms of man’s use of every gift of God. He will bless the proper use of every power put forth for His own name’s glory.
The talent of speech, of memory, of property—all are to accumulate for the glory of God, to advance His kingdom. God has left us in charge of His goods in His absence. Each steward has his own special work to do in advancing God’s kingdom. Not one is excused.—Lt 44, 1900. (HC 40.) (p.800)
God Gives Talents, Man Cultivates the Mind—We are to cultivate the talents given us by God. They are His gifts and are to be used in their right relation to each other so as to make a perfect whole. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; man makes the character. The mind is the Lord’s garden, and man must cultivate it earnestly in order to form a character after the divine similitude.—Lt 73, 1899. (HC 106) Inability Produced by Inactivity—Many who excuse themselves from Christian effort plead their inability for the work. But did God make them so incapable? No, never. This inability has been produced by their own inactivity and perpetuated by their deliberate choice. Already, in their own characters, they are realizing the result of the sentence, “Take therefore the talent from him.”
The continual misuse of their talents will effectually quench for them the Holy Spirit, which is the only light. The sentence, “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness” (Matthew 25:30), sets Heaven’s seal to the choice which they themselves have made for eternity.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 365 (1900).
To Be a Blending of Diverse Elements—Unity in diversity is God’s plan. Among the followers of Christ there is to be the blending of diverse elements, one adapted to the other, and each to do its special work for God. Every individual has his place in the filling up of one great plan bearing the stamp of Christ’s image.... One is fitted to do a certain work, another has a different work for which he is adapted, another has a still different line; but each is to be the complement of the others. The Spirit of God, working in and through the diverse elements, will produce harmony of action.... There is to be only one master spirit—the Spirit of Him who is infinite in wisdom, and in whom all the diverse elements meet in beautiful, matchless unity.—Lt 78, 1894. (HC 169.) (p.801)
The Heart Revealed in the Character—Whatever we are at heart will be revealed in character and will have an influence on all those with whom we associate. Our words, our actions, are a savor of life or of death unto death. And in the judgment we shall be brought face-to-face with those whom we might have helped in right, safe paths by choice words, by counsel, if we had daily connection with God and a living, abiding interest in the saving of their souls.—Und MS 73. (HC 241.)
Electric Power on Other Minds (counsel to a lethargic man)—You should cultivate energy of character, for the example of an energetic man is far-reaching and compels imitation. He seems to have an electric power on other minds. The earnest men are few in our world. Obstacles and barriers will meet every worker for God. But men must have the push in them. The energetic, earnest worker will not allow his way to be hedged up. He will force down the barriers.
You want a steady, uniform, unyielding energy. You must discipline yourself. Make an entire change. Put forth exertions and overcome all childish feelings. You have pitied yourself too much. You should have a determination that life shall not pass with you in working at trifles. You should determine to accomplish something and do it. You have good resolutions. You are ever going to do something, but you do not get at it and do it. Much of your doing is in talk rather than action. You would have far better health if you would have more earnest energy and accomplish something in spite of obstacles.—Lt 33, 1886.
God’s Love Beyond Definition—The love of Christ is a golden chain that binds finite, human beings who believe in Jesus Christ to the infinite God. The love that the Lord has for His children passeth knowledge. No science can define or explain it. No human wisdom can fathom it. (p.802) The more we feel the influence of this love, the more meek and humble shall we be.—Lt 43, 1896. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 5:1141.)
Religion Molds Entire Being—Real religion has its seat in the heart; and as it is an abiding principle there, it works outwardly, molding the external conduct, until the entire being is conformed to the image of Christ; even the thoughts are brought into subjection to the mind of Christ. If the abiding principle is not in the heart, the mind will be molded after the deceiving similitude of Satan’s mind, working his will to the ruin of the soul. The atmosphere which surrounds such souls is deleterious to all around them, whether believers or unbelievers.—Lt 8, 1891.
Acquaintance With Nature Brings Health to Body, Mind, and Soul—The things of nature are God’s blessings, provided to give health to body, mind, and soul. They are given to the well to keep them well and to the sick to make them well. Connected with water treatment, they are more effective in restoring health than all the drug medication in the world.—Testimonies for the Church 7:76 (1902).
Obedience Produces Rest—There will be peace, constant peace, flowing into the soul, for the rest is found in perfect submission to Jesus Christ. Obedience to God’s will finds the rest. The disciple that treads in the meek and lowly steps of the Redeemer finds rest which the world cannot give and the world cannot take away. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3).—Lt 6, 1893. (HC 98.)
Meekness Tends to Peace—Lowliness and meekness of mind, which ever characterized the life of the divine Son of God, possessed by His true followers, bring contentment, peace, and happiness that elevate them above the slavery of artificial life.—The Health Reformer, December, 1871. (HC 98.) (p.803)
Pardon Means Rest to the Soul—What is the “rest” promised? It is the consciousness that God is true, that He never disappoints the one who comes to Him. His pardon is full and free, and His acceptance means rest to the soul, rest in His love.—The Review and Herald, April 25, 1899. (HC 97.)
Rest a Result of Self-surrender—Rest is found when all self-justification, all reasoning from a selfish standpoint, is put away. Entire self-surrender, an acceptance of His ways, is the secret of perfect rest in His love.... Do just what He has told you to do and be assured that God will do all that He has said He would do.... Have you come to Him, renouncing all your makeshifts, all your unbelief, all your self-righteousness? Come just as you are, weak, helpless, and ready to die.—The Review and Herald, April 25, 1899. (HC 97.)
Vital Interests in Your Keeping—Remember that temptation is not sin. Remember that however trying the circumstances in which a man may be placed, nothing can really weaken his soul so long as he does not yield to temptation but maintains his own integrity. The interests most vital to you individually are in your own keeping. No one can damage them without your consent. All the satanic legions cannot injure you unless you open your soul to the arts and arrows of Satan. Your ruin can never take place until your will consents. If there is not pollution of mind in yourself, all the surrounding pollution cannot taint or defile you.—Lt 14, 1885. (HC 94.)
Control the Feelings—We rejoice in hope, not in feeling. In the hope of the glory of God we know that tribulation worketh patience and experience hope. What does it mean? If we do not feel just as we want to, are we to fly into impatience, speaking those words that show that we have the attributes of Satan? We cannot afford to speak a harsh word or an unkind word, because we are standing right in view of the heavenly intelligences and (p.804) we are fighting the battle with all the heavenly universe looking upon us; and how we grieve the heart of God when we deny Him in any way! The marks of the crucifixion in the hands of Christ show that He has graven us upon the palms of His hands.—MS 16, 1894.
Encouragement Restores Body and Soul—Tell the suffering ones of a compassionate Saviour.... He looks with compassion upon those who regard their case as hopeless. While the soul is filled with fear and terror, the mind cannot see the tender compassion of Christ. Our sanitariums are to be an agency for bringing peace and rest to the troubled minds.
If you can inspire the despondent with hopeful, saving faith, contentment and cheerfulness will take the place of discouragement and unrest. Wonderful changes can then be wrought in their physical condition. Christ will restore both body and soul, and realizing His compassion and love, they will rest in Him. He is the bright and morning star, shining amid the moral darkness of this sinful, corrupt world. He is the light of the world, and all who give their hearts to Him will find peace, rest, and joy.—Letter 115, 1905. (Medical Ministry, 109).
Christian Not Passive But Active—A healthy, growing Christian will not be a passive recipient among his fellows. He must give as well as receive. Our graces are increased by exercise. Christian society will furnish us with pure air to breathe, and in breathing it we must be active. The Christian work performed, the sympathies, encouragements, and instructions given by us to those who need them, the self-restraint, love, patience, and forbearance which are needed, exercised in Christian work, will create in ourselves faith, obedience, hope, and love to God.... It is essential for spiritual muscle and strength that the soul have exercise. Work must be done by putting forth spiritual activity in improving opportunities to do (p.805) good....The more faithful one is in the discharge of Christian duties, the more soundness will he develop. Lt 1, 1882. (HC 260.)
Social Power to Be Improved—It is through the social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every man or woman who has received the divine illumination is to shed light on the dark pathway of those who are unacquainted with the better way. Social power, sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, must be improved in bringing souls to the Saviour. Christ is not to be hid away in the heart as a coveted treasure, sacred and sweet, to be enjoyed solely by the possessor. We are to have Christ in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life, refreshing all who come in contact with us.—The Ministry of Healing, 496 (1905).
Potentiality of Christianity—In the common walks of life there is many a man patiently treading the round of daily toil, unconscious that he possesses powers which, if called into action, would raise him to an equality with the world’s most honored men. The touch of a skillful hand is needed to arouse those dormant faculties. It was such men that Jesus called to be His colaborers, and He gave them the advantage of association with Himself. Never had the world’s great men such a teacher. When the disciples came forth from the Saviour’s training, they were no longer ignorant and uncultured. They had become like Him in mind and character, and men took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.—The Desire of Ages, 250 (1898).
The Need for Aims and Goals—Have an aim in life while you do live. Gather sunshine about you instead of clouds. Seek to be a fresh, beautiful flower in God’s garden, imparting fragrance to all around you. Do this, and you will not die a whit sooner; but you will surely shorten your days by unhappy complainings, making (p.806) your pains and ailments the theme of conversation.—The Health Reformer, June, 1871.
Living for a Purpose Makes One Truly Happy—Those who live for a purpose, seeking to benefit and bless their fellowmen and to honor and glorify their Redeemer, are the truly happy ones on the earth, while the man who is restless, discontented, and seeking this and testing that, hoping to find happiness, is always complaining of disappointment. He is always in want, never satisfied, because he lives for himself alone. Let it be your aim to do good, to act your part in life faithfully.—Lt 17, 1872. (HC 242.)
Stretching Every Nerve—We must put to the stretch every spiritual nerve and muscle.... God ... does not desire you to remain novices. He wants you to reach the very highest round of the ladder and then step from it into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.—MS 8, 1899. (HC 217.)