Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Setting a High Standard

What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. While religion should be the prevailing element in every school, it will not lead to a cheapening of the literary attainments. It will make all true Christians feel their need of thorough knowledge, that they may make the best use of the faculties bestowed upon them. While growing in grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, they will seek constantly to put to the stretch their powers of mind, that they may become intelligent Christians. CT 504.1

The Lord is dishonored by low ideas or designs on our part. He who does not perceive the binding claims of God's law, who neglects to keep its every requirement, violates the whole law. He who is content to meet only partially the standard of righteousness, and who does not triumph over every spiritual foe, will not fulfill the purpose of Christ. He cheapens the whole plan of his religious life and weakens his character. Under the force of temptation his defects of character gain the supremacy, and evil triumphs. CT 504.2

To meet the highest standard possible, we need to be persevering and determined. In many cases established habits and ideas must be overcome before we can make advancement in the religious life.... The essential work is to conform the tastes, the appetites, the passions, the motives, the desires, to the great standard of righteousness. The work must begin in the heart. Unless the heart is wholly conformed to Christ's will, some master passion, or some habit or defect, will become a power to destroy. CT 505.1

Piety and religious experience lie at the very foundation of true education. God wants the teachers in our schools to be efficient. If they advance in spiritual understanding, they will see how important it is that they should not be deficient in a knowledge of the sciences. While teachers need piety, they also need a thorough knowledge of the sciences.... CT 505.2

The Christian aims to reach the highest attainments for the purpose of doing others good. Knowledge harmoniously blended with a Christlike character will make a man a light in the world. God works with human efforts. Those who give all diligence to make their calling and election sure will feel that a superficial knowledge will not fit them for a position of usefulness. Education balanced by a solid religious experience fits the child of God to do his appointed work steadily, firmly, understandingly. He who is learning of the greatest Educator the world ever knew, will have not only a symmetrical Christian character, but a mind trained for effective labor.... CT 505.3

God does not want us to be content with lazy, undisciplined minds, dull thoughts, and loose memories. He wants every teacher to feel dissatisfied with simply a measure of success and to realize his need of constant diligence in acquiring knowledge. Our bodies and souls belong to God, for He has bought them. He has given us talents and has made it possible for us to acquire more, that we may be able to help ourselves and others in the way of life. It is the work of each one to develop and strengthen the gifts that God has lent him. If all realized this, what a vast difference we should see in our schools, in our churches, and in our missions! But the larger number are content with a meager knowledge, a few attainments, content just to be passable. The necessity of being men like Daniel, men of influence, men whose characters have become harmonious by working to bless humanity and glorify God—such a need few feel, and the result is that there are few fitted for the great want of the times. CT 506.1

God does not ignore ignorant men; but if such are connected with Christ, if they are sanctified through the truth, they will be constantly gathering knowledge. By exerting every power to glorify God, they will have increased power with which to glorify Him. Those who are willing to remain in a narrow sphere because God condescended to accept them when they were there, are very foolish. Yet there are hundreds and thousands who are doing this very thing. CT 506.2