The Youth’s Instructor


February 19, 1903



“Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” YI February 19, 1903, par. 1

The formation of character is the work of a lifetime, and it is for eternity. If all could realize this, if they would awake to the thought that we are individually deciding our own destiny for eternal life or eternal ruin, what a change would take place! How differently would this probationary time be occupied and what different characters would fill our world! YI February 19, 1903, par. 2

In character-building it is of the greatest importance that we dig deep, removing all the rubbish, and building on the immovable, solid Rock, Christ Jesus. The foundation firmly laid, we need wisdom to know how to build. When Moses was about to erect the sanctuary in the wilderness, he was cautioned, “See ... that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” In his law God has given us a pattern, and it is after this pattern that we are to build. The law is the great standard of righteousness. It represents the character of God, and is the test of our loyalty to his government. YI February 19, 1903, par. 3

Thoroughness is necessary to success in character-building. There must be an earnest desire to carry out the plans of the Master-builder. The timbers used must be solid; no careless, unreliable work can be accepted; it would ruin the building. YI February 19, 1903, par. 4

The whole being is to be put into this work. It demands strength and energy; there is no reserve to be wasted in unimportant matters. There must be determined human force put into the work, in co-operation with the divine Worker. There must be earnest, persevering effort to break away from the customs and maxims and associations of the world. Deep thought, earnest purpose, steadfast integrity, are essential. YI February 19, 1903, par. 5

There must be no idleness. Life is a sacred trust; and every moment should be wisely improved. Its results will be seen in eternity. God requires each one to do all the good possible. We are to make the most of the talents he has intrusted to our keeping. He has placed them in our hands to be used to his name's glory and in the interests of our fellow men. YI February 19, 1903, par. 6

The Lord has a precious reward in this life for those who keep his law. He says, “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” YI February 19, 1903, par. 7

But a better than earthly reward awaits those who, basing their work on the solid rock, have built up symmetrical characters, in accordance with the living word. For them is prepared “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Its streets are paved with gold. It is in the paradise of God, watered by the river of life, which proceeds from the throne. “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” YI February 19, 1903, par. 8

Remember that you are building for eternity. See that your foundation is sure; then build firmly, and with persistent effort, but in gentleness, meekness, and love. So shall your house stand unshaken, not only when the storms of temptation come, but when the overwhelming flood of God's wrath shall sweep over the world. Then every house built upon the sand shall fall, and great shall be the fall of it; for the ruin is for eternity. YI February 19, 1903, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White