The Youth’s Instructor


January 28, 1897

Faithfulness in Little Things


As the children of God, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are here on trial, and that we are ourselves deciding our own destiny, for everlasting happiness or for eternal death. We have everything to gain or to lose. We each have a work before us. We must co-operate with God in reaching the Bible standard, in conforming to his will. In these precious hours of probation, God desires that we shall form such characters as we shall wish we had perfected, when Christ shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation. YI January 28, 1897, par. 1

Christ has given himself for his church “that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” The apostle Paul says: “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is need to cultivate every grace that Jesus, through his sufferings and death, has brought within our reach; for that grace alone can remedy our defects; Christ alone can transform the character. And God would have us manifest this grace, so richly provided, in the little as well as the large things of life. YI January 28, 1897, par. 2

If you would skilfully cultivate and train your flowers, you must consult a gardener; for he understands the work, he trains them to grow how and where he will. He gives them plenty of water, sunshine, and air, and digs about their roots. Day by day he works, not by violent efforts, but by little acts constantly repeated, until he can train shrub and flower into perfect form and beauty. Thus the grace of Christ works upon the human mind and heart as an educator. The continued influence of his Spirit trains the soul, molding the character after the divine Model. YI January 28, 1897, par. 3

Our entire life is God's, and must be used to his glory. His grace will consecrate and improve every faculty. Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character; for if you come to this decision, you will certainly fail to obtain everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you cannot overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of unsanctified hearts, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God. YI January 28, 1897, par. 4

Some youth are much opposed to order and discipline. They do not respect the rules of the home by rising at a regular hour. They lie in bed some hours after daylight, when every one should be astir. They burn the midnight oil, depending upon artificial light to supply the place of the light that nature has provided at seasonable hours. In so doing they not only waste precious opportunities, but cause additional expense. But in almost every case the plea is made, “I cannot get through my work; I have something to do; I cannot retire early.” Thus they are sleeping soundly when they should be awake with nature and the early rising birds. The precious habits of order are broken; and the moments thus idled away in the early morning set things out of course for the whole day. YI January 28, 1897, par. 5

Our God is a God of order, and he desires that his children shall will to bring themselves into order, and under his discipline. Would it not be better, therefore, to break up this habit of turning night into day, and the fresh hours of the morning into night. If the youth would form habits of regularity and order, they would improve in health, in spirits, in memory, and in disposition. YI January 28, 1897, par. 6

It is the duty of all to observe strict rules in their habits of life. This is for your own good, dear youth, both physically and morally. When you rise in the morning, take into consideration, as far as possible, the work you must accomplish during the day. If necessary, have a small book in which to jot down the things that need to be done, and set yourself a time in which to do your work. If it is the work of the bedrooms, see that the rooms have a proper airing, that the bedclothes are separated, and that the entire room is freshened with air and sunshine. Allow yourself a certain time in which to perform this work. Do not sit down while it is yet unfinished, to read any paper or book that may interest you but say, I must do this work in the given time. YI January 28, 1897, par. 7

Your room may contain many little ornaments placed there for admiration; but if you would have an eye single to the glory of God, you would do well to pack away these little idols. In handling, dusting, and replacing them, many precious moments are spent that might be employed in needful work. But if these trinkets are not to be stored away, then you have another lesson to learn. Be expeditious. Do not dreamily take up every article, and keep it in your hand, as though loath to lay it down. It is the duty of those who are slow in their movements to improve in this respect. The Lord has said, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” In preparing the meals, make your calculations, giving yourself all the time that you know by experience you will require in order to cook the food thoroughly and place it upon the table at the proper time. But it is better to be ready five minutes before the time than to be five minutes late. In washing dishes, also, the work may be done with despatch, and yet with care and thoroughness. Slow, dilatory habits make much work out of very little. But if you will, you may overcome these fussy, lingering habits. The exercise of the will power will make the hands move deftly. YI January 28, 1897, par. 8

When I have been searching for a girl to help with my housework, certain young persons have been recommended to me. But when I inquired of those who had previously employed them, the reply was, concerning one: “She will not suit you; she is very slow. You will have to pay your money for having your work done in a slovenly manner, and you will feel that it is money wasted.” Of another it was said: “She has no method; she has not cultivated caretaking. She needs some one beside her; for she has not breadth of mind enough to comprehend the situation, to understand how one thing after another should be done, nor to use tact in her housekeeping.” I was warned against employing another because, while everything was in disorder, she would sit down in the midst of her unfinished work, and with newspaper or book in hand, forget all about her duties. Of still another who I thought would please me, I learned that she was untidy. Another was disrespectful. For persons to whom she took a violent fancy, she would show great consideration, going to any lengths in order to receive their approbation and flattery. But she had no reverence or even respect for any one else. “But,” I reasoned, “if she is a Christian, she will surely take counsel.” An expression of sorrow came over the countenance of my friend as she replied: “I am afraid you will be disappointed in her. If you insist upon having things done as you wish, if you plainly set before her the mistakes she is making, instead of correcting them, she will say that she does the best she can, and will take upon her the air of one who has been much injured. She does not respect those in authority, but will have a sneer in her mind, which, if not revealed to you in words, will be manifest in her expression. Her opinions, too, are not kept secret, but expressed freely to others. I have myself been compelled to live over this experience, to my sorrow.” Another will spend not only minutes, but hours of the day, in needless talk, and thus squanders much precious time. YI January 28, 1897, par. 9

These matters have been looked upon as little things, and almost unworthy of notice. But many are deceived as to the importance of these little things. They bear strongly upon the great whole. God does not regard anything as unimportant that pertains to the well-being of the human family. He gave his only begotten Son for the body as well as for the soul, and all is to be consecrated to him. YI January 28, 1897, par. 10

Let there be a determined purpose to overcome, and to cultivate those habits that are desirable. This work requires ceaseless watchfulness, and steady, persevering effort. But this adherence to right practises in little things is a discipline of self that will become less difficult in proportion as the heart is sanctified by the grace of God. Earnest, persevering effort will place you on the vantage-ground of victory. YI January 28, 1897, par. 11

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Can you, dear youth, look forward with joyful hope and expectation to the time when the Lord, your righteous Judge, shall confess your name before the Father and before the holy angels? The very best preparation you can have for Christ's second appearing is to rest with firm faith in the great salvation brought to us at his first coming. You must believe in Christ as a personal Saviour, and that he was once offered to bear the sins of many; that his love, abiding in your soul as a living, active agency to correct, refine, and purify your ways and practises, may save you from your errors. YI January 28, 1897, par. 12

The Lord is not pleased to have his children disorderly; to have their lives marred with defects, their religious experience crippled, and their growth in grace dwarfed by hereditary and cultivated deficiencies. These defects will be copied by others, and thus be reproduced and multiplied. Listen to the words of God, spoken through his servant John, coming down through the ages to our own time: “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Great truth can be brought into little things; practical religion must be carried into the lowly duties of daily life. And in the performance of these duties, you are forming characters that will stand the test of the Judgment. Then, in whatever position you may be placed, whatever your duties may be, do them nobly and faithfully, realizing that all heaven is beholding your work. YI January 28, 1897, par. 13

Mrs. E. G. White