The Youth’s Instructor


February 7, 1901

Idleness Is Sin

Part 2.


In the life-insurance plan given us in the first chapter of second Peter, a work of addition is presented. As in our character-building we add grace to grace, the great Giver will work for us on the plan of multiplication. Grace and peace will be multiplied to us. The young man who is seeking a preparation for usefulness needs to lay the foundation himself, by acquiring, through hard, diligent labor, the means to prosecute his designs. If the young men around him have allowed their parents to carry the burden of their education, let him say, I will never do that. I will, by using my physical and mental powers combined, make of myself all that it is possible. YI February 7, 1901, par. 1

No man is excusable for being without financial ability. Of many a man it may be said, He is kind, amiable, generous, a good man, and a Christian, but he is not qualified to manage his own business. As far as the proper outlay of money is concerned, he is a mere child. He has not been educated by his parents to understand and practice the principles of self-support. Such a man is not fitted to become a minister or a physician. The churches everywhere are suffering through the neglect of parents to train their children to bear hard, stern responsibilities. Too often the wicked love to do nothing but use the mind takes possession of children and youth. Then the enemy takes control, and makes the mind his workshop, using in his service the ability needed in the family and in the church. YI February 7, 1901, par. 2

Many are destitute of the stern virtues required to build up the church. They are not capable of devising methods and plans of a healthy, solid character. They are deficient in the qualifications necessary to the prosperity of the church. It is this kind of education that needs to be changed to an education that is sound and sensible, in harmony with Bible principles. YI February 7, 1901, par. 3

Let your aspirations and your motives be pure. In every business transaction be rigidly honest. However you may be tempted, never deceive nor prevaricate. At times a natural impulse may tempt you to vary from the straightforward path of honesty, but do not yield to this impulse. If in any matter you make a statement as to what you will do, and afterward find that you have favored others to your own loss, do not vary one hair's breadth from principle. Carry out your agreement. By seeking to change your plans, you would show that you could not be depended on. And if you should draw back in small transactions, you would draw back in larger ones. Under such circumstances, some are tempted to deceive, saying that they were not understood. They did mean what they said, but lost the good impulse, and then wanted to draw back from their agreement, lest it prove a loss to them. YI February 7, 1901, par. 4

Let the youth set up well-defined landmarks, by which they may be governed in emergencies. When a crisis comes that demands active, well-developed physical powers, and a clear, strong, practical mind; when difficult work is to be done, where every stroke must tell, where perplexities will arise which can be met only by wisdom from on high, then the youth who have learned how to overcome difficulties can respond, to the call for workers, “Here am I; send me.” Let the hearts of young men and women be as clear as crystal. Let not their thoughts be trivial, but sanctified by virtue and holiness. If their thoughts are made pure by the sanctification of the Spirit, their lives will be elevated and ennobled. YI February 7, 1901, par. 5

I repeat: It should be the fixed purpose of the youth to aim high in all their plans for their life-work. They should adopt for their government in all things the standard which God's word presents. This is the Christian's positive duty, and it should be also his positive pleasure. Cultivate respect for yourself because you are Christ's purchased possession. Success in the formation of rights habits, advancement in that which is noble and just, will give you an influence that all will appreciate and value. Live for something besides self. If your motives are pure and unselfish, if you are ever looking for work to do, if you are always on the alert to show kindly attentions and do courteous deeds, you are unconsciously building your own monument. This is the work God calls upon all children and youth to do. Do good, if you would be cherished in the memory of others. Live to be a blessing to all with whom you come in contact, wherever your lot may be cast. Let the children and youth awake to their opportunities. By kindness and love, by self-sacrificing deeds, let them write their names in the hearts of those with whom they associate. YI February 7, 1901, par. 6

Mrs. E. G. White