The Youth’s Instructor


December 6, 1900

In Meekness and Lowliness of Heart


God desires that meekness and gentleness, the distinguishing characteristics of Christ, shall be brought into the lives of his followers. The Saviour gives to all the invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” YI December 6, 1900, par. 1

In self-love, self-exaltation, and pride there is great weakness; but in humility there is strength. True dignity is not maintained when we think most of self, but when God is in all our thoughts, and when our hearts are all aglow with love for our Redeemer and for our fellow men. In pride and separation from God we are constantly seeking to exalt self, and we forget that lowliness of mind is power. Christ's power lay, not in sharp words that would pierce the soul, but in his gentleness. This made him a conqueror of hearts. We are invited to learn of him who was meek and lowly in heart. YI December 6, 1900, par. 2

The life of Christ is to be our pattern. His life and work in the world are a sample of what our life and work should be. “I receive not honor of men,” he said. In his service we need not expect ease of worldly honor; for the Majesty of heaven did not receive these things. “He was despised and rejected of men.” YI December 6, 1900, par. 3

The light reflected from the cross of Calvary will humble every proud thought. Those who seek God with all the heart, and accept the great salvation offered them, will open the door of the heart of Jesus. They will cease to ascribe glory to themselves. They will not pride themselves on their acquirements, or take credit to themselves for their capabilities, but will regard all their talents as God's gifts, to be used to his glory. Every intellectual ability they will regard as precious only as it can be used in the service of Christ. “If any man be in Christ,” the apostle says, “he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Everything in life or character that is unlike Christ is put away. An indwelling Christ purifies the soul from selfishness and iniquity. A new life enters the dry, sapless branch, and it becomes fruit-bearing. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, patience, faith, meekness, are revealed in the life. YI December 6, 1900, par. 4

True greatness never has a tendency to exalt self. Truly great men are invariably humble. Those who have stored their minds with useful knowledge, and who possess genuine attainments and refinement, will be the most willing to admit their own weakness. They are not self-confident nor boastful; but in view of the higher attainments to which they might rise, they seem to themselves to have only begun the ascent. YI December 6, 1900, par. 5

The enemy of God and man takes advantage of the weak points in the characters of men and women. If men are inclined to self-esteem and self-exaltation, he makes a special effort in that direction. If one is puffed up with vain conceit, Satan says: I will set my agents to work to surround that man with temptations. I will make him believe that he is of great consequence. I will work his ruin by extolling him and seconding all his efforts. Thus I will lead him to trust to himself, and walk in the sparks of the fire of his own kindling. For a time the world is stirred with an apparently deep interest in the man whom Satan is seeking to deceive and ruin; but when he has separated himself from God, and the object of the enemy is accomplished, the world no longer interests itself in him. It has led him into difficulties, but it does not lead him out again, and Satan rejoices in the ruin of his soul. YI December 6, 1900, par. 6

Salvation has been brought within the reach of man at an infinite cost. It is the free gift of God. Nothing can be added to it, nothing can be taken from it. It is complete, perfect. Christ does not say to any one of us, You are complete in yourself, in your own talents, your trusted endowments; but he does say, “Ye are complete in him.” “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” Not the possessions of a man determine his character, but the heart purity, the steadfast purpose. The character built with good and noble deeds is a monument that the angelic hosts respect,—the character which, when life has closed, lives in the memory, perpetuated by the good deeds done for others. YI December 6, 1900, par. 7

The true Christian will not think of himself more highly than he ought to think. He will not be ambitious for worldly honor and esteem. A learner in the school of Christ, he will be gentle, distrustful of self. His life will be characterized by a Christlike simplicity. Luxury, ease, and wealth have no attractions for him; for he looks to the one who for his sake became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, who was wounded for his transgressions, bruised for his iniquities, and by whose stripes he is healed. It is “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” The meek and quiet spirit will testify of itself in good works. This is that which distinguishes the people of God from worldlings. In their sympathy for others, their tenderness, their meekness and lowliness of heart, they reveal that they wear Christ's yoke, and are recipients of the gift of the Holy Spirit. YI December 6, 1900, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White