Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2


Chapter 65—Indolence

Obligation to Develop Intellect to Its Maximum—God requires the training of the mental faculties. He designs that His servants shall possess more intelligence and clearer discernment than the worldling, and He is displeased with those who are too careless or too indolent to become efficient, well-informed workers. The Lord bids us love Him with all the heart and with all the soul and with all the strength and with all the mind. This lays upon us the obligation of developing the intellect to its fullest capacity, that with all the mind we may know and love our Creator.—Christ's Object Lessons, 333 (1900). 2MCP 602.1

Man Finds Happiness in Labor—Adam had themes for contemplation in the works of God in Eden, which was heaven in miniature. God did not form man merely to contemplate His glorious works; therefore, He gave him hands for labor as well as a mind and heart for contemplation. If the happiness of man consisted in doing nothing, the Creator would not have given Adam his appointed work. Man was to find happiness in labor as well as in meditation.—The Review and Herald, February 24, 1874. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 1:1082.) 2MCP 602.2

Idleness the Greatest Curse—The Bible gives no endorsement to idleness. It is the greatest curse that afflicts our world.—Christ's Object Lessons, 343 (1900). 2MCP 603.1

Do Cheerfully the Daily Tasks—Riches and idleness are thought by some to be blessings indeed; but those who are always busy and who cheerfully go about their daily tasks are the most happy and enjoy the best health. The healthful weariness which results from well-regulated labor secures to them the benefits of refreshing sleep. The sentence that man must toil for his daily bread and the promise of future happiness and glory—both came from the same throne, and both are blessings.—The Youth's Instructor, December 5, 1901. (My Life Today, 168.) 2MCP 603.2

Happiness in Fulfilling Appointed Duties—Real happiness is found only in being good and doing good. The purest, highest enjoyment comes to those who faithfully fulfill their appointed duties.—The Youth's Instructor, December 5, 1901. (My Life Today, 168.) 2MCP 603.3

Leisure May Lead to Despondency—Despondent feelings are frequently the result of undue leisure. Idleness gives time to brood over imaginary sorrows. Many who have no real trials or hardships in the present are sure to borrow them from the future. If these persons would seek to lighten the burdens of others, they would forget their own. Energetic labor that would call into action both the mental and physical powers would prove an inestimable blessing to mind and body.—The Signs of the Times, June 15, 1882. 2MCP 603.4

Developing Character—Remember that in whatever position you may serve you are revealing motive, developing character. Whatever your work, do it with exactness, with diligence; overcome the inclination to seek an easy task.—The Ministry of Healing, 499 (1905). 2MCP 603.5

Mind to Be Trained Not to Look at Self—The mind should be trained to look away from self, to dwell upon themes which are elevated and ennobling. Let not the precious hours of life be wasted in dreaming of some great work to be performed in the future, while the little duties of the present are neglected.—The Signs of the Times, June 15, 1882. 2MCP 604.1

Inaction Detrimental to Health—Invalids should not allow themselves to sink down into a state of inaction. This is highly detrimental to health. The power of the will must be asserted; aversion to active exercise and the dread of all responsibility must be conquered. They can never recover health unless they shake off this listless, dreamy condition of mind and arouse themselves to action.—The Signs of the Times, June 15, 1882. 2MCP 604.2

Too Indolent to Exercise Faculties—Those who are too indolent to realize their responsibilities and exercise their faculties will fail of receiving the blessing of God, and the ability which they had will be taken away and given to the active, zealous workers who increase their talents by constant use.—Testimonies for the Church 4:458, 459 (1880). 2MCP 604.3

Well-regulated Labor Essential for Success—Some young men think if they could spend a life in doing nothing they would be supremely happy. They cultivate a hatred for useful labor. They envy the sons of pleasure who devote their lives to amusement and gaiety.... Unhappiness and heartaches are the result of such thoughts and conduct. Nothing to do has sunk many a young man in perdition. 2MCP 604.4

Well-regulated labor is essential for the success of every youth. God could not have inflicted a greater curse upon men and women than to doom them to live a life of inaction. Idleness will destroy soul and body. The heart, the moral character, and physical energies are enfeebled. The intellect suffers, and the heart is open to temptation as an open avenue to sink into every vice. The indolent man tempts the devil to tempt him.—Manuscript 2, 1871. (Our High Calling, 222.) 2MCP 604.5

Ravages of Indolent Habits (counsel to parents)—You have been blind to the power that the enemy had over your children. Household labor, even to weariness, would not have hurt them one-fiftieth part as much as indolent habits have done. They would have escaped many dangers had they been instructed at an earlier period to occupy their time with useful labor. They would not have contracted such a restless disposition, such a desire for change and to go into society. They would have escaped many temptations to vanity and to engage in unprofitable amusements, light reading, idle talking, and nonsense. Their time would have passed more to their satisfaction and without so great temptation to seek the society of the opposite sex and to excuse themselves in an evil way. Vanity and affection, uselessness and positive sin, have been the result of this indolence.—Testimonies for the Church 4:97, 98 (1876). 2MCP 605.1

To Strain Every Muscle—Man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life; he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, and the Spirit works in him to accomplish this. But man is no passive being, to be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle and exercise every faculty in the struggle for immortality; yet it is God that supplies the efficiency. 2MCP 605.2

No human being can be saved in indolence. The Lord bids us, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24). “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14).—Manuscript 16, 1896. 2MCP 605.3