Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1


(C) Balance and Victory

(Words of Promise and Hope)

Sincere Repentance and Determined Effort Necessary—Those who corrupt their own bodies cannot enjoy the favor of God until they sincerely repent, make an entire reform, and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord.—An Appeal to Mothers, 29 (1864). 1MCP 233.2

The only hope for those who practice vile habits is to forever leave them if they place any value upon health here and salvation hereafter. When these habits have been indulged in for quite a length of time, it requires a determined effort to resist temptation and refuse the corrupt indulgence.—An Appeal to Mothers, 27 (1864). 1MCP 233.3

Control the Imagination—The imagination must be positively and persistently controlled if the passions and affections are made subject to reason, conscience, and character.—Testimonies for the Church 2:562 (1870). 1MCP 233.4

Subordinated to God's Will—All who have any true sense of what is embraced in being a Christian know that the followers of Christ are under obligation as His disciples to bring all their passions, their physical powers and mental faculties into perfect subordination to His will. Those who are controlled by their passions cannot be followers of Christ. They are too much devoted to the service of their master, the originator of every evil, to leave their corrupt habits and choose the service of Christ.—An Appeal to Mothers, 9, 10 (1864). (Child Guidance, 445, 446.) 1MCP 233.5

Thoughts a Crucial Factor—Impure thoughts lead to impure actions. If Christ be the theme of contemplation, the thoughts will be widely separated from every subject which will lead to impure acts. The mind will strengthen by dwelling upon elevating subjects. If trained to run in the channel of purity and holiness, it will become healthy and vigorous. If trained to dwell upon spiritual themes, it will naturally take that turn. But this attraction of the thoughts to heavenly things cannot be gained without the exercise of faith in God and an earnest, humble reliance upon Him for that strength and grace which will be sufficient for every emergency.—Testimonies for the Church 2:408 (1870). 1MCP 234.1

The Sin of Fantasying—You are responsible to God for your thoughts. If you indulge in vain imaginations, permitting your mind to dwell upon impure subjects, you are, in a degree, as guilty before God as if your thoughts were carried into action. All that prevents the action is the lack of opportunity.—Testimonies for the Church 2:561 (1870). 1MCP 234.2

Bring the Thoughts Under Control—You should control your thoughts. This will not be an easy task; you cannot accomplish it without close and even severe effort.... 1MCP 234.3

Not only does God require you to control your thoughts, but also your passions and affections. Your salvation depends upon your governing yourself in these things. Passion and affection are powerful agents. If misapplied, if set in operation through wrong motives, if misplaced, they are powerful to accomplish your ruin and leave you a miserable wreck, without God and without hope.—Testimonies for the Church 2:561 (1870). 1MCP 234.4

Harbored Thoughts Become Habit—Polluted thoughts harbored become habit, and the soul is scarred and defiled. Once do a wrong action and a blot is made which nothing can heal but the blood of Christ; and if the habit is not turned from with firm determination, the soul is corrupted, and the streams flowing from this defiling fountain corrupt others.—Letter 26d, 1887. (In Heavenly Places, 197.) 1MCP 235.1

Thoughts Rightly Controlled—We need to place a high value upon the right control of our thoughts, for such control prepares the mind and soul to labor harmoniously for the Master. It is necessary for our peace and happiness in this life that our thoughts center in Christ. As a man thinketh, so is he. Our improvement in moral purity depends on right thinking and right acting.... 1MCP 235.2

Evil thoughts destroy the soul. The converting power of God changes the heart, refining and purifying the thoughts. Unless a determined effort is made to keep the thoughts centered on Christ, grace cannot reveal itself in the life. The mind must engage in the spiritual warfare. Every thought must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. All the habits must be brought under God's control. 1MCP 235.3

We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts and the damaging influence of evil thoughts. Let us place our thoughts upon holy things. Let them be pure and true, for the only security for any soul is right thinking. We are to use every means that God has placed within our reach for the government and cultivation of our thoughts. We are to bring our minds into harmony with His mind. His truth will sanctify us, body and soul and spirit, and we shall be enabled to rise above temptations.—Letter 123, 1904 (In Heavenly Places, 164.) 1MCP 235.4

Diet an Important Factor—It cannot be too often repeated that whatever is taken into the stomach affects not only the body but ultimately the mind as well. Gross and stimulating food fevers the blood, excites the nervous system, and too often dulls the moral perceptions so that reason and conscience are overborne by the sensual impulses. It is difficult, and often well-nigh impossible, for one who is intemperate in diet to exercise patience and self-control.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 134, 1890. (Child Guidance, 461.) 1MCP 235.5

Meat Excites and Strengthens Lower Passions—Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease and in as natural a condition as possible should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health.—Testimonies for the Church 2:352 (1869). 1MCP 236.1

Put Temptation to Death—The lower passions have their seat in the body and work through it. The words flesh or fleshly or carnal lusts embrace the lower, corrupt nature; the flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God. We are commanded to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? No; but put to death the temptation to sin. 1MCP 236.2

The corrupt thought is to be expelled. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul. The love of God must reign supreme; Christ must occupy an undivided throne. Our bodies are to be regarded as His purchased possession. The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness.—Manuscript 1, 1888. (The Adventist Home, 127, 128.) 1MCP 236.3

Exchange Impure Suggestions for Pure, Elevating Thoughts—The mind must be kept meditating upon pure and holy subjects. An impure suggestion must be dismissed at once, and pure, elevating thoughts, holy contemplation, be entertained, thus obtaining more and more knowledge of God by training the mind in the contemplation of heavenly things. God has simple means open to every individual case, sufficient to secure the great end, the salvation of the soul. 1MCP 236.4

Resolve to reach a high and holy standard; make your mark high; act with earnest purpose, as did Daniel, steadily, perseveringly, and nothing that the enemy can do will hinder your improvement. Notwithstanding inconveniences, changes, perplexities, you may constantly advance in mental vigor and moral power.—Letter 26d, 1887. (In Heavenly Places, 197.) 1MCP 237.1

Don't Create an Emergency—Every unholy passion must be kept under the control of sanctified reason through the grace abundantly bestowed of God in every emergency. But let no arrangement be made to create an emergency, let there be no voluntary act to place one where he will be assailed with temptation or give the least occasion for others to think him guilty of indiscretion.—Letter 18, 1891. 1MCP 237.2

Keep Away From the Brink—Do not see how close you can walk upon the brink of a precipice and be safe. Avoid the first approach to danger. The soul's interests cannot be trifled with. Your capital is your character. Cherish it as you would a golden treasure. Moral purity, self-respect, a strong power of resistance, must be firmly and constantly cherished.... 1MCP 237.3

Let no one think he can overcome without the help of God. You must have the energy, the strength, the power, of an inner life developed within you. You will then bear fruit unto godliness and will have an intense loathing of vice. You need to constantly strive to work away from earthliness, from cheap conversation, from everything sensual, and aim for nobility of soul and a pure and unspotted character. Your name may be kept so pure that it cannot justly be connected with anything dishonest or unrighteous but will be respected by all the good and pure, and it may be written in the Lamb's book of life.—Manuscript 4a, 1885. (Medical Ministry, 143, 144.) 1MCP 237.4

Satan or Christ in Control—When the mind is not under the direct influence of the Spirit of God, Satan can mold it as he chooses. All the rational powers which he controls he will carnalize. He is directly opposed to God in his tastes, views, preferences, likes and dislikes, choice of things and pursuits; there is no relish for what God loves or approves but a delight in those things which He despises.... 1MCP 238.1

If Christ is abiding in the heart, He will be in all our thoughts. Our deepest thoughts will be of Him, His love, His purity. He will fill all the chambers of the mind. Our affections will center about Jesus. All our hopes and expectations will be associated with Him. To live the life we now live by faith in the Son of God, looking forward to and loving His appearing, will be the soul's highest joy. He will be the crown of our rejoicing.—Letter 8, 1891. (In Heavenly Places, 163.) 1MCP 238.2

A Lifelong Vigilance—As long as life shall last there is need of guarding the affections and the passions with a firm purpose. There is inward corruption, there are outward temptations, and wherever the work of God shall be advanced, Satan plans so to arrange circumstances that temptation shall come with overpowering force upon the soul. Not one moment can we be secure only as we are relying upon God, the life hid with Christ in God.—Letter 8b, 1891. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 2:1032.) 1MCP 238.3

God Is Preparing a People—God's people must not only know His will, but they must practice it. Many will be purged out from the numbers of those who know the truth because they are not sanctified by it. The truth must be brought into their hearts, sanctifying and cleansing them from all earthliness and sensuality in the most private life. The soul temple must be cleansed. Every secret act is as if we were in the presence of God and holy angels, as all things are open before God, and from Him nothing can be hid.... 1MCP 238.4

God is purifying a people to have clean hands and pure hearts to stand before Him in the judgment. The standard must be elevated, the imagination purified; the infatuation clustering around debasing practices must be given up, and the soul uplifted to pure thoughts, holy practices. All who will stand the test and trial just before us will be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped, not participated in, the corruptions that are in the world through lust.—The Review and Herald, May 24, 1887. 1MCP 239.1