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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 2

Chapter 88

Negative Influences on the Mind

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Set Aside all Faultfinding.-We should be weeding out of our thoughts all complaining and faultfinding. Let us not continue to look upon any defects that we may see.... If we would get the right hold on God, we must keep beholding the great precious things-the purity, the glory, the power, the kindness, the affection, the love, that God bestows upon us. And thus beholding, our minds will become so fixed upon these things of eternal interest that we shall have no desire to find the flaws in others.-MS 153, 1907. (HC 232.)

We Tend to Remember the Negative.-We must learn to place the best possible construction upon doubtful conduct of others.... If we are ever suspecting evil, we are in danger of creating what we allow ourselves to suspect.... We cannot pass along without sometimes having our feelings hurt and our temper tried, but as Christians we must be just as patient, forbearing, humble, and meek as we desire others to be.

Oh, how many thousand good acts and deeds of kindness that we receive ... pass from the mind like dew before the sun, while imaginary or real injury leaves an impression which it is next to impossible to efface! The very best example to give to others is to be right ourselves, and then leave ourselves, our reputation, with God and not show too great anxiety to right every wrong impression and present our case in a favorable light.-Lt 25, 1870. (HC 237.)

The Image We Study Changes Our Lives.-Everything that causes us to see the weakness of humanity is in the Lord's purpose to help us to look to Him, and in no case put trust in man or make flesh our arm.... We become changed into the image of that upon which we dwell. Then how important to open our hearts to the things that are true and lovely and of good report!-Lt 63, 1893. (HC 248.)

Remember Human Frailty.-In dealing with our fellowmen we all are to consider that they are of like passions with ourselves, feeling the same weaknesses and suffering the same temptations. They, with us, have a struggle with life if they maintain their integrity.... True Christian courtesy unites and perfects both justice and politeness, and mercy and love make up the filling, giving the finest touches and most graceful charm to the character.-Lt 25, 1870. (HC 236.)

Erect No Barriers.-The Lord wants His people to follow other methods than that of condemning wrong, even though the condemnation is just. He wants us to do something more than to hurl at our adversaries charges that only drive them farther from the truth. The work which Christ came to do in our world was not to erect barriers and constantly thrust upon the people the fact that they were wrong. He who expects to enlighten a deceived people must come near to them and labor for them in love. He must become a center of holy influence.-Gospel Workers, 373 (1915).

Overcome Sensitiveness.-Many have a vivid, unsanctified sensitiveness which keeps them constantly on the alert for some word, some look, or some action which they can construe as a lack of respect and appreciation. All this must be overcome. Everyone should go forward in the fear of God, doing his best without being troubled by praise or offended by censure, serving God fervently and learning to place the most favorable interpretation upon whatever in others may seem offensive.-MS 24, 1887. (HC 240.)

Hunt Up No Grievances.-To judge our brethren, to allow feelings to be cherished against them, even if we feel they have not done exactly right toward us, will bring no blessing to our hearts and will not help the case at all. I dare not allow my feelings to run in the channel of hunting up all my grievances, telling them over and over, and dwelling in the atmosphere of distrust, enmity, and dissension.-Lt 74, 1888. (HC 239.)

Loss of Conscious Integrity.-When you lose your conscious integrity, your soul becomes a battlefield for Satan; you have doubts and fears enough to paralyze your energies and drive you to discouragement.-Lt 14, 1885. (HC 94.)

Special Work of Satan to Cause Dissension.-The neglect to cultivate tender consideration and forbearance for one another has caused dissension, distrust, faultfinding, and general disunion. God ... calls upon us to put away this great sin and to strive to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one, as He is one with the Father.... It is the special work of Satan to cause dissension ... that the world should be deprived of the most powerful testimony Christians can give it-that God has sent His Son to bring into harmony turbulent, proud, envious, jealous, bigoted minds.-Lt 25, 1870. (HC 237.)

Negative Emotional Forces Disorder the Whole Being.-Envy and jealousy are diseases which disorder all the faculties of the being. They originated with Satan in paradise.... Those who listen to his [Satan's] voice will demerit others and will misrepresent and falsify in order to build up themselves. But nothing that defiles can enter heaven, and unless those who cherish this spirit are changed, they can never enter there, for they would criticize the angels. They would envy another's crown. They would not know what to talk of unless they could bring up the imperfections and errors of others.-The Review and Herald, September 14, 1897. (HC 234.)

Unholy Temper Endangers Evangelist's Mind and Life.-Your exhibition of unholy temper, even in assemblies of God's people, is endangering to your mind and life. Ask yourself, Will it pay for me to go on as I have been going, in strife and contention?-Lt 21, 1901.

When the Power of God is Lost.-Men and women have been bought with a price, and what a price! Even the life of the Son of God. What a terrible thing it is for them to place themselves in a position where their physical, mental, and moral power is corrupted, where they lose their vigor and purity. Such men and women cannot offer an acceptable sacrifice to God.

Through the perversion of appetites and passions, man has lost the power of God and become the instrument of unrighteousness. The whole being is diseased-body, soul, and spirit. But a remedy has been provided for the sanctification of humanity. The unholy mind and body may be purified. A wonderful provision has been made whereby we may receive pardon and salvation.-Lt 139, 1898.

He who will observe simplicity in all his habits, restricting the appetite and controlling the passions, may preserve his mental powers strong, active, and vigorous, quick to perceive everything which demands thought or action, keen to discriminate between the holy and the unholy, and ready to engage in every enterprise for the glory of God and the benefit of humanity.-The Signs of the Times, September 29, 1881. (Sons and Daughters of God, 86.)

Those Who Fall Lack Healthy Mental Attitude.-Those taken in Satan's snare have not yet come to a healthy mental attitude. They are dazed, self-important, self-sufficient. Oh, with what sorrow the Lord looks upon them and hears their great swelling words of vanity. They are puffed up with pride. The enemy is looking on with surprise at their being taken captive so easily.-Lt 126, 1906.

Overconfidence the Enemy's Trap.-How vain is the help of man when Satan's power is exercised over a human being who has become self-exalted and who knows not that he is partaking of the science of Satan. In his self-confidence he walks right into the enemy's trap and is ensnared. He did not heed the warnings given and was taken as Satan's prey. If he had walked humbly with God, he would have run into the trysting place God had provided for him. Thus in times of danger he would have been safe, for God would have lifted for him a standard against the enemy.-Lt 126, 1906.

Heart Is Naturally Depraved.-We must remember that our hearts are naturally depraved, and we are unable of ourselves to pursue a right course. It is only by the grace of God, combined with the most earnest efforts on our part, that we can gain the victory.-The Review and Herald, January 4, 1881. (HC 111.)

Bad Habits Prevent Development.-Any habit or practice which will weaken the nerve and brain power or the physical strength disqualifies for the exercise of the next grace which comes in after temperance-patience.-MS 13, 1884. (HC 69.)

Lazy, Undisciplined Minds.-God does not want us to be content with lazy, undisciplined minds, dull thoughts, and loose memories.-Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 506 (1913).

Going Through Life at Cross-purposes With the World.-The majority of these ill-disciplined ones go through life at cross-purposes with the world, making a failure where they should have succeeded. They grow to feel that the world owes them a grudge because it does not flatter and caress them, and they take revenge by holding a grudge against the world and bidding it defiance. Circumstances sometimes oblige them to affect a humility they do not feel; but it does not fit them with a natural grace, and their true characters are sure to be exposed sooner or later.-Testimonies for the Church 4:202 (1876).

Review Every Habit and Practice.-Men and women must be taught to take a careful review of every habit and practice and at once put away those things that cause an unhealthy condition of the body and thus cast a dark shadow over the mind.-The Review and Herald, November 12, 1901. (Welfare Ministry, 127, 128.)

What to Do With Doubt.-Even Christians of long experience are often assaulted with the most terrible doubts and waverings.... You must not consider that for these temptations your case is hopeless.... Hope in God, trust in Him, and rest in His promises.-Lt 82, 1889 (HC 86.)

When the devil comes with his doubts and unbeliefs, shut the door of your heart. Shut your eyes so that you will not dwell upon his hellish shadow. Lift them up where they can behold the things which are eternal, and you will have strength every hour. The trial of your faith is much more precious than gold.... It makes you valiant to fight the battle of the Lord....

You cannot afford to let any doubts come into your mind. Do not please the devil enough to tell about the terrible burdens you are carrying. Every time you do it, Satan laughs that his soul can control you and that you have lost sight of Jesus Christ your Redeemer.-MS 17, 1894. (HC 86.)

Repetition Weakens Powers of Resistance.-No man can even once devote his God-given powers to the service of worldliness or pride without placing himself on the enemy's ground.... Every repetition of the sin weakens his power of resistance, blinds his eyes, and stifles conviction.-The Review and Herald, June 20, 1882. (HC 160.)

Encourage the Despondent.-In working for the victims of evil habits, instead of pointing them to the despair and ruin toward which they are hastening, turn their eyes away to Jesus. Fix them upon the glories of the heavenly. This will do more for the saving of body and soul than will all the terrors of the grave when kept before the helpless and apparently hopeless.-The Ministry of Healing, 62, 63 (1905).

Fruitless, Time-consuming Matters.-We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are so often given to comparatively insignificant things.

Accepting new theories does not in itself bring new life to the soul. Even an acquaintance with facts and theories important in themselves is of little value unless put to a practical use. We need to feel our responsibility to give our souls food that will nourish and stimulate spiritual life.-The Ministry of Healing, 456 (1905).

Live for a Purpose.-We should live for the next world. It is so wretched to live a haphazard, aimless life. We want an object in life-to live for a purpose. God help us all to be self-sacrificing, less self-caring, more forgetful of self and selfish interest, and to do good, not for the honor we expect to receive here but because this is the object of our life and will answer the end of our existence. Let our daily prayer go up to God that He will divest us of selfishness.-Lt 17, 1872. (HC 242.)