Mind, Character and Personality/Religion and the Mind
[See Chapter 43, “Mind and Spiritual Health.”]
The Love of Christ Vitalizes the Whole Being—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 aroused 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).
Christ’s Work Is to Heal the Brokenhearted—God’s healing power runs all through nature. If a tree is cut, if a human being is wounded or breaks a bone, nature begins at once to repair the injury. Even before the need exists, the healing agencies are in readiness; and as soon as a part is wounded, every energy is bent to the work of restoration. So it is in the spiritual realm. Before sin created the need, God had provided the remedy. Every soul that yields to temptation is wounded, bruised, by the adversary; but wherever there is sin, there is the (p.66) Saviour. It is Christ’s work “to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, ... to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).—Education, 113 (1903).
The Saviour’s Prescription for Mental and Spiritual Ills—Our Saviour’s words, “Come unto Me, ... and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28), are a prescription for the healing of physical, mental, and spiritual ills. Though men have brought suffering upon themselves by their own wrongdoing, He regards them with pity. In Him they may find help. He will do great things for those who trust in Him.—The Ministry of Healing, 115 (1905).
Gospel Versus Science and Literature—Science and literature cannot bring into the darkened mind of men the light which the glorious gospel of the Son of God can bring. The Son of God alone can do the great work of illuminating the soul. No wonder Paul exclaims, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). The gospel of Christ becomes personality in those who believe, and makes them living epistles, known and read of all men. In this way the leaven of Godliness passes into the multitude. The heavenly intelligences are able to discern the true elements of greatness in character, for only goodness is esteemed as efficiency with God.—The Review and Herald, December 15, 1891; (Fundamentals of Christian Education, 199, 200.)
Gospel Alone Can Cure Evils Cursing Society—The only remedy for the sins and sorrows of men is Christ. The gospel of His grace alone can cure the evils that curse society. The injustice of the rich toward the poor, the hatred of the poor toward the rich, alike have their root in selfishness, and this can be eradicated only through submission to Christ. He alone, for the selfish heart of sin, gives the new heart of love. Let the servants of Christ preach the gospel with the Spirit sent down from heaven and work as He did for the benefit of men. Then such results (p.67) will be manifest in the blessing and uplifting of mankind as are wholly impossible of accomplishment by human power.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 254 (1900).
Only Through Harmonious Development Can Perfection Be Attained—The improvement of the mind is a duty which we owe to ourselves, to society, and to God. But we should never devise means for the cultivation of the intellect at the expense of the moral and the spiritual. And it is only by the harmonious development of both the mental and the moral faculties that the highest perfection of either can be attained.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 541 (1913).
The Divine Leaven Changes the Mind—In the parable the woman placed the leaven in the meal. It was necessary to supply a want.... Thus the divine leaven does its work.... The mind is changed; the faculties are set to work. Man is not supplied with new faculties, but the faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience hitherto dead is aroused. But man cannot make this change himself. It can be made only by the Holy Spirit....
When our minds are controlled by the Spirit of God, we shall understand the lesson taught by the parable of the leaven. Those who open their hearts to receive the truth will realize that the Word of God is the great instrumentality in the transformation of character.—The Review and Herald, July 25, 1899.
Gospel Truth Provides Steadfast Purpose—Every one of us needs to have a deep insight into the teachings of the Word of God. Our minds must be prepared to stand every test and to resist every temptation, whether from without or from within. We must know why we believe as we do, why we are on the Lord’s side. The truth must keep watch in our hearts, ready to sound an alarm and summon us to action against every foe. The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly (p.68) treasure, and who have not cared to understand God’s dealings with His people will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.—The Review and Herald, April 29, 1884. (HC 332.)
Committing Ourselves to Christ Brings Peace—All our future rests with our individual action in opening our heart to receive the Prince of peace. Our minds can find quiet and rest in and through committing ourselves to Christ, in whom is efficiency of power. Having secured that peace, that comfort, that hope, which He offers to your soul, your heart will be rejoicing in God our Saviour for the great and wondrous hope presented to you as an individual who recognizes the Great Gift. Then you will be so thankful that you will praise God for the great love and grace bestowed upon you.
Behold your Helper, Jesus Christ. Welcome Him, and invite His gracious presence. Your mind may be renewed day by day, and it is your privilege to accept peace and rest, rise above worries, and praise God for your blessings. Do not erect barriers of objectionable things to keep Jesus away from your soul. Change your voice; repine not; let gratitude be expressed for the great love of Christ that has been and is still being shown toward you.— Letter 294, 1906
Dwelling Upon Christ Provides Stimulus—If we would permit our minds to dwell more upon Christ and the heavenly world, we should find a powerful stimulus and support in fighting the battles of the Lord. Pride and love of the world will lose their power as we contemplate the glories of that better land so soon to be our home. Beside the loveliness of Christ all earthly attractions will seem of little worth.—The Review and Herald, November 15, 1887.
Knowledge Strengthens Mind and Soul—What we need is knowledge that will strengthen mind and soul, that (p.69) will make us better men and women. Heart education is of far more importance than mere book learning. It is well, even essential, to have a knowledge of the world in which we live; but if we leave eternity out of our reckoning, we shall make a failure from which we can never recover.—The Ministry of Healing, 450 (1905).
The Mind and Spiritual Warfare—Our improvement in moral purity depends on right thinking and right acting. “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:11, 19, 20). Evil thoughts destroy the soul. The converting power of God changes the heart, refining and purifying the thoughts. Unless a determined effort is made to keep the thoughts centered on Christ, grace cannot reveal itself in the life. The mind must engage in the spiritual warfare. Every thought must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. All the habits must be brought under God’s control.— Letter 123, 1904
Preoccupation of Mind a Safeguard Against Evil—As a safeguard against evil, the preoccupation of the mind with good is worth more than unnumbered barriers of law and discipline.—Education, 213 (1903).
A Perverted Imagination Produces Darkness—If the eye of the mind beholds the excellence of the mystery of Godliness, the advantage of spiritual riches over worldly riches, the whole body will be full of light. If the imagination is perverted by the fascination of earthly pomp and splendor until gain seems Godliness, the whole body will be full of darkness. When the powers of the mind are concentrated upon the treasures of earth, they are debased and belittled.—.The Review and Herald, September 18, 1888. (p.70)
Mind Directed to Creator, Not Self-exaltation—Were this principle [working for God’s glory] given the attention which its importance demands, there would be a radical change in some of the current methods of education. Instead of appealing to pride and selfish ambition, kindling a spirit of emulation, teachers would endeavor to awaken the love for goodness and truth and beauty—to arouse the desire for excellence.... Instead of being directed to mere earthly standards or being actuated by the desire for self-exaltation, which in itself dwarfs and belittles, the mind would be directed to the Creator, to know Him and to become like Him.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 595, 596 (1890).
Living Water Versus Broken Cisterns—Jesus knew the wants of the soul. Pomp, riches, and honor cannot satisfy the heart. “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me.” The rich, the poor, the high, the low, are alike welcome. He promises to relieve the burdened mind, to comfort the sorrowing, and to give hope to the despondent.
Many of those who heard Jesus were mourners over disappointed hopes, many were nourishing a secret grief, many were seeking to satisfy their restless longing with the things of the world and the praise of men; but when all was gained, they found that they had toiled only to reach a broken cistern, from which they could not quench their thirst. Amid the glitter of the joyous scene they stood, dissatisfied and sad.
That sudden cry, “If any man thirst,” startled them from their sorrowful meditation, and as they listened to the words that followed, their minds kindled with a new hope. The Holy Spirit presented the symbol before them until they saw in it the offer of the priceless gift of salvation.—The Desire of Ages, 454 (1898).
Union of Divine and Human Endeavor Necessary—The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency—amid the unfriendliness of relatives, the hatred of the world, and the (p.71) realization of their own imperfections and mistakes. A union of divine and human endeavor, a close connection first, last, and ever, with God, the source of all strength—this is absolutely necessary.—The Review and Herald, May 19, 1904. (HC 151.)