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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 2

Chapter 87

Psychology and Theology

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Found in Holy Scriptures.-The true principles of psychology are found in the Holy Scriptures. Man knows not his own value. He acts according to his unconverted temperament of character because he does not look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of his faith. He who comes to Jesus, he who believes on Him and makes Him his Example, realizes the meaning of the words, "To them gave He power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12).

But when he takes his place at the feet of Jesus, he is enabled to see mirrored in his own wicked, sinful life the awful depths of depravity to which the unconverted human heart can sink. He catches a glimpse of the pure character of the Sinless One, a glimpse of the perfection that is given to the repentant, converted sinner. Clothed in the bright robe of his Redeemer's character, he sits together with Christ in heavenly places.-MS 121, 1902.

God Understands Exactly the Working of the Human Mind.-The Lord God is exact and infallible in His comprehension. He understands the working of the human mind, the active principles of the human agents He has formed, just how they will be moved upon by the objects that come before them, and in what manner they will act under every temptation that can try them, and in every circumstance in which they are placed.

"For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings" (Proverbs 5:21). "The eyes of the Lord are in every place" (Proverbs 15:3). "He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven" (Job 28:24). "The Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts" (1 Chronicles 28:9). He knows the things that come into our minds, every one of them. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13).-Lt 18, 1895.

God Knows All the Mysterious Workings of the Human Mind.-Will men and women consider how God regards the creatures He has made? He formed man's mind. We do not think one noble thought that does not come from Him. He knows all the mysterious workings of the human mind, for did He not make it? God sees that sin has debased and degraded man, but He looks upon him with pity and compassion; for He sees that Satan has him in his power.-MS 56, 1899. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 6:1105.)

Religion Brings Peace and Happiness.-The impressions left on minds have been that religion is injurious to health. This is erroneous and should not be entertained. Pure religion brings peace, happiness, contentment. Godliness is profitable to this life and the life to come.-Lt 1b, 1873.

To Sit at Jesus' Feet Versus Leaning on Human Understanding.-Christ must be blended with all our thoughts, our feelings, our affections. He must be exemplified in the minutest details of everyday service in the work that He has given us to do. When, in the place of leaning upon human understanding or conforming to worldly maxims, we sit at the feet of Jesus, eagerly drinking in His words, learning of Him, and saying, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" our natural independence, our self-confidence, our strong self-will, will be exchanged for a childlike, submissive, teachable spirit. When we are in right relation to God, we shall recognize Christ's authority to direct us and His claim to our unquestioning obedience.-Lt 186, 1902. (HC 99.)

Blend Science of True Godliness With Science of Mind Philosophy.-He has not given any additional light to take the place of His Word. This light is to bring confused minds to His Word, which, if eaten and digested, is as the lifeblood of the soul. Then good works will be seen as light shining in darkness.

If, while you have been studying the science of mind philosophy, you had diligently studied the science of true godliness, your Christian experience would be very different from what it is. Why have you turned from the pure streams of Lebanon to drink of the murky waters of the plain-the deceitfulness of human inventions? The heart needs a power that is found only in the Word of God. This power is the bread of life, which, if a man eat thereof, he shall live forever. He is not merely to taste occasionally of the bread which comes down from heaven. He is to live on the words which are spirit and life to the receiver. The earnest grasp of truth, the personal appropriation of the words of Christ, works a transformation in the character.-Lt 130, 1901.

The Holy Spirit Fills the Cleansed Mind.-We need to be constantly filling the mind with Christ and emptying it of selfishness and sin.... Just as surely as you empty your mind of vanity and frivolity, the vacuum will be supplied with that which God is waiting to give you-His Holy Spirit. Then out of the good treasure of the heart you will bring forth good things, rich gems of thought, and others will catch the words.... Your thoughts and affections will dwell upon Christ, and you will reflect upon others that which has shone upon you from the Sun of righteousness.-RH, Maranatha, 15, 1892. (HC 115.)

Principles Apply to Every Circumstance.-The Lord has uttered His voice in His Holy Word. Those blessed pages are full of instruction and life, harmonious with truth. They are a perfect rule of conduct. Instructions are given, principles are laid down, which apply to every circumstance in life, even though some particular case may not be stated. Nothing is left unrevealed which is essential to a complete system of faith and a correct line of practice. Every duty that God requires at our hands is made plain; and if anyone fails of eternal life, it will be because he was self-sufficient, self-confident, full of vain conceit, and did not rely solely upon the merits of the blood of Christ for salvation. None will err from the right path who meekly and honestly take the Bible as their guide, making it the man of their counsel.-Lt 34, 1891.

Truth Is a Working Principle.-Truth is an active, working principle, molding heart and life so that there is a constant upward movement.... In every step of climbing the will is obtaining a new spring of action. The moral tone is becoming more like the mind and character of Christ. The progressive Christian has grace and love which pass knowledge, for divine insight into the character of Christ takes a deep hold upon his affections. The glory of God revealed above the ladder can be appreciated only by the progressive climber, who is ever attracted higher, to nobler aims which Christ reveals. All the faculties of mind and body must be enlisted.-MS 13, 1884. (HC 68.)

A Positive Approach.-Heaven takes notice of the one who carries about with him an atmosphere of peace and love. Such a one will receive his reward. He will stand in the great day of the Lord.-MS 26, 1886. (HC 234.)

Counsel and Training Not to Preclude Individual Relationship With God.-But while education, training, and the counsel of those of experience are all essential, the workers should be taught that they are not to rely wholly upon any man's judgment. As God's free agents, all should ask wisdom of Him. When the learner depends wholly upon another's thoughts and goes no further than to accept his plans, he sees only through that man's eyes and is, so far, only an echo of another. God deals with men as responsible beings. He will work by His Spirit through the mind He has put in man, if man will only give Him a chance to work and will recognize His dealings. He designs that each shall use his mind and conscience for himself. He does not intend that one man shall become the shadow of another, uttering only another's sentiments.-Testimonies for the Church 5:724, 725 (1889).

God Sanctions the Highest Culture of the Mind.-The highest culture of the mind, if sanctified through the love and the fear of God, receives His fullest approval. The humble men chosen by Christ were with Him three years, subject to the refining influence of the Majesty of heaven. Christ was the greatest educator the world ever knew.-The Review and Herald, June 21, 1877. (Fundamentals of Christian Education, 47, 48.)

Mind the Source of All Actions, Good or Bad.-He has prepared this living habitation for the mind; it is "curiously wrought," a temple which the Lord Himself has fitted up for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind. It is the mind that worships God and allies us to heavenly beings. Yet many spend all their lives without becoming intelligent in regard to the ... [jewel case] that contains this treasure.-Special Testimonies On Education, May 11, 1896, p. 33. (Fundamentals of Christian Education, 426.)

Heaven-directed or Perverted.-Intellect, ennobled, purified, heaven-directed, is the universal power to build up the kingdom of God. Intellect perverted has exactly the opposite influence; it is a corrupting of the human power given in trust to be multiplied in earnest labor for good. It deceives and destroys.

God has given sufficient endowments to make men capable and wise to carry forward, and strongly and graciously to represent, the Lord's wonderful works to all those who love Him and obey His commandments. He would have man obey the commandments of God because it is for the health and life of all human beings.

Talents in trust are a sacred responsibility. No man need to covet talents unless through earnest prayer for that wisdom from above-which will ensure the right appropriation of all his God-given capabilities-he decides to honor and glorify God with the talents which are granted. To receive and to believe the sacred light God has given, and to impart to those who are in darkness of error, is a wonderful matter; for if it is unselfishly and interestedly imparted to help and bless and save perishing souls, it realizes to the faithful worker heavenly treasures which make him more than a millionaire in heaven. He is heir of God, joint heir with Jesus Christ, to a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.-MS 63, 1900.

Man Made for Noble Purposes.-It is the true elevation of the mind, not an affectation of superiority, that makes the man. The proper cultivation of the mental powers makes man all that he is. These ennobling faculties are given to aid in forming character for the future, immortal life. Man was created for a higher, holier state of enjoyment than this world can afford. He was made in the image of God for high and noble purposes, such as engage the attention of angels.-Testimonies for the Church 4:438 (1880).

Current of Thought Must Be Changed.-The minds of many take so low a level that God cannot work for them or with them. The current of thought must be changed, the moral sensibilities must be aroused to feel the claims of God. The sum and substance of true religion is to own and continually acknowledge-by words, by dress, by deportment-our relationship to God. Humility should take the place of pride; sobriety, of levity; and devotion, of irreligion and careless indifference.-Testimonies for the Church 4:582 (1881).

Mind Motivates Service.-I saw that through the past summer the prevailing spirit has been to grasp as much of this world as possible. The commandments of God have not been kept. With the mind we serve the law of God, but the minds of many have been serving the world. And while their minds were all occupied with things of earth and serving themselves, they could not serve the law of God.-Testimonies for the Church 1:150 (1857).

The Service God Accepts.-Many feel that their faults of character make it impossible for them to meet the standard that Christ has erected, but all that such ones have to do is to humble themselves at every step under the mighty hand of God. Christ does not estimate the man by the amount of work he does but by the spirit in which the work is performed.

When He sees men lifting the burdens, trying to carry them in lowliness of mind, with distrust of self and with reliance upon Him, He adds to their work His perfection and sufficiency, and it is accepted of the Father. We are accepted in the Beloved. The sinner's defects are covered by the perfection and fullness of the Lord our Righteousness. Those who with sincere will, with contrite heart, are putting forth humble efforts to live up to the requirements of God are looked upon by the Father with pitying tender love; He regards such as obedient children, and the righteousness of Christ is imputed unto them.-Lt 4, 1889.

Knowledge of Christ Brings Vigor to the Mind.-Christ is the wellspring of life. That which many need is to have a clearer knowledge of Him; they need to be patiently and kindly, yet earnestly, taught how the whole being may be thrown open to the healing agencies of heaven. When the sunlight of God's love illuminates the darkened chambers of the soul, restless weariness and dissatisfaction will cease, and satisfying joys will give vigor to the mind and health and energy to the body.-The Ministry of Healing, 247 (1905).

With Christ No Such Thing as Failure.-The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.-The Desire of Ages, 490 (1898).