The Youth’s Instructor


December 5, 1901

The Reward of Faithful Toil


Let the youth remember that the indolent forfeit the invaluable experience gained by a faithful performance of the daily duties of life. He who is indolent and willingly ignorant, places in his pathway that which will always be an obstruction. He refuses the culture that comes from honest toil. By failing to put forth a helping hand in behalf of humanity, he robs God. His career is very different from the career which God marked out for him; for to despise useful employment encourages the lower tastes, and effectually paralyzes the most useful energies of the being. YI December 5, 1901, par. 1

Not a few, but thousands, of human beings exist only to consume the benefits which God in his mercy bestows on them. They forget to bring the Lord gratitude offerings for the riches he has intrusted to them in giving them the fruit of the earth. They forget that God desires them, by trading wisely on the talents lent them, to be producers as well as consumers. If they had a realization of the work the Lord desires them to do as his helping hand, they would not feel it a privilege to shun all responsibility and be waited on. YI December 5, 1901, par. 2

Real happiness is found only in being good and doing good. The purest, highest enjoyment comes to those who faithfully fulfill their appointed duties. No honest work is degrading. It is ignoble sloth which leads human beings to look down on the simple, every-day duties of life. The refusal to perform these duties causes a mental and moral deficiency, which will one day be keenly felt. At some time in the life of the slothful his deformity will stand out clearly defined. Over his life-record is written the words, A consumer, but not a producer. YI December 5, 1901, par. 3

From all the vocations of life, useful spiritual lessons may be learned. Those who till the soil may, as they work, study the meaning of the words, “Ye are God's husbandry.” In the human heart the seeds of truth are to be sown, that the life may bear the beautiful fruit of the Spirit. God's impress on the mind is to mold it into graceful symmetry. The crude energies, both physical and mental, are to be trained for the Master's service. YI December 5, 1901, par. 4

The youth who is studying for a physician has before him the very highest example, even the example of him who left heaven to live on this earth a man among men. To all Christ has given the work of ministry. He is the King of glory, yet he declared, “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” He is the Majesty of heaven, yet he willingly consented to come to this earth to do the work laid upon him by his Father. He has ennobled labor. That he might set us an example of industry, he worked with his hands at the carpenter's trade. From a very early age, he acted his part in sustaining the family. He realized that he was a part of the family firm, and willingly bore his share of the burdens. YI December 5, 1901, par. 5

Children and youth should take pleasure in making lighter the cares of father and mother, showing an unselfish interest in the home. As they cheerfully lift the burdens that fall to their share, they are receiving a training which will fit them for positions of trust and usefulness. Each year they are to make steady advancement, gradually but surely laying aside the inexperience of boyhood and girlhood for the experience of manhood and womanhood. In the faithful performance of the simple duties of the home, boys and girls lay the foundation for mental, moral, and spiritual excellence. YI December 5, 1901, par. 6

Remember, dear young friends, that each day, each hour, each moment, you are weaving the web of your own destiny. Each time the shuttle is thrown, there is drawn into the web a thread which either mars or beautifies the pattern. If you are careless and indolent, you spoil the life which God designed should be bright and beautiful. If you choose to follow your own inclinations, unchristlike habits will bind you with bands of steel. And as you walk away from Christ, your example will be followed by many who, because of your wrong course, will never enjoy the glories of heaven. But if you make brave efforts to overcome selfishness, allowing no opportunity to pass for helping those around you, the light of your example will guide others to the cross. YI December 5, 1901, par. 7

Mrs. E. G. White