Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


The Power of a Happy Disposition

Continual association with inferiors in age and mental training tends to make the teacher tenacious of his rights and opinions, and leads him to guard jealously his position and dignity. Such a spirit is opposed to the meekness and humility of Christ. A neglect to cherish these graces hinders advancement in the divine life. Many thus build barriers between themselves and Jesus, so that His love cannot flow into their hearts, and then they complain that they do not see the Sun of Righteousness. Let them forget self and live for Jesus, and the light of heaven will bring gladness to their souls. CT 232.3

No man or woman is fitted for the work of teaching who is fretful, impatient, arbitrary, or dictatorial. These traits of character work great harm in the schoolroom. Let not the teacher excuse his wrong course by the plea that he has naturally a hasty temper or that he has erred ignorantly. In his position he stands where ignorance or lack of self-control is sin. He is writing upon souls lessons that will be carried all through life, and he should train himself never to speak a hasty word, never to lose his self-control. CT 233.1

Above all others, he who has the training of the youth should beware of indulging a morose or gloomy disposition; for this will cut him off from sympathy with his students, and without sympathy he cannot hope to benefit them. We should not darken our own path or the path of others with the shadow of our trials. We have a Saviour to whom to go, into whose pitying ear we may pour every complaint. We may leave all our cares and burdens with Him, and then our labor will not seem hard or our trials severe. CT 233.2

“Rejoice in the Lord alway,” the apostle Paul exhorts, “and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4. Whatever your disposition may be, God is able so to mold it that it will be sweet and Christlike. By the exercise of living faith you can separate from everything that is not in accordance with the mind of God, and thus bring heaven into your life here below. Doing this, you will have sunshine at every step. When the enemy seeks to enshroud the soul with darkness, sing faith and talk faith, and you will find that you have sung and talked yourself into the light. CT 233.3

We open to ourselves the floodgates of woe or joy. If we permit our thoughts to be engrossed with the troubles and trifles of earth, our hearts will be filled with unbelief, gloom, and foreboding. If we set our affections on things above, the voice of Jesus will speak to our hearts, murmuring will cease, and vexing thoughts will be lost in praise to our Redeemer. Those who dwell upon God's great mercies and are not unmindful of His lesser gifts, will put on the girdle of gladness and make melody in their hearts to the Lord. Then they will enjoy their work. They will stand firm at their post of duty. They will have a placid temper, a trustful spirit. CT 234.1