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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 1

Chapter 2

The Christian and Psychology

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Laws of the Mind Ordained by God.-He who created the mind and ordained its laws, provided for its development in accordance with them. [Note: There is perfect harmony between the Bible and true science. Psychology is the science and study of the mind and human behavior.-Compilers.]-Education, 41 (1903).

True Principles of Psychology in 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." ...

Those who pass through the experience of true conversion will realize, with keenness of perception, their responsibility to God to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, their responsibility to make complete their recovery from the leprosy of sin. Such an experience will lead them humbly and trustfully to place their dependence upon God.-MS 121, 1902. (My Life Today, 176.)

Mind Devoted to God Develops Harmoniously.-God takes men as they are and educates them for His service if they will yield themselves to Him. The Spirit of God, received into the soul, quickens all its faculties. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the mind that is devoted unreservedly to God develops harmoniously, and is strengthened to comprehend and fulfill the requirements of God. The weak, vacillating character becomes changed to one of strength and steadfastness. Continual devotion establishes so close a relation between Jesus and His disciples that the Christian becomes like his master in character. He has clearer, broader views. His discernment is more penetrative, his judgment better balanced. So quickened is he by the life-giving power of the Sun of righteousness that he is enabled to bear much fruit to the glory of God.-Gospel Workers, 285, 286 (1915).

The Science of a Pure Christian Life.-The science of a pure, wholesome, consistent Christian life is obtained by studying the Word of the Lord. This is the highest education that any earthly being can obtain. These are the lessons that the students in our schools are to be taught, that they may come forth with pure thoughts and clean minds and hearts, prepared to ascend the ladder of progress and to practice the Christian virtues. This is why we wish our schools connected with our sanitariums and our sanitariums with our schools. These institutions are to be conducted in the simplicity of the gospel given in the Old Testament and in the New.-MS 86, 1905.

Surrounded With an Atmosphere of Peace.-All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God.... We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." ... Amid the hurrying throngs and the strain of life's intense activities he who is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength.-The Ministry of Healing, 58 (1905).

The Religion of Christ an Effectual Remedy.-Satan is the originator of disease; and the physician is warring against his work and power. Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere.... Infidels have made the most of these unfortunate cases [in which home troubles, remorse for sin, fear of an eternally burning hell, have unbalanced the mind], attributing insanity to religion; but this is a gross libel and one which they will not be pleased to meet by and by. The religion of Christ, so far from being the cause of insanity, is one of its most effectual remedies; for it is a potent soother of the nerves.-Testimonies for the Church 5:443, 444 (1885).

Entering the Region of Peace.-When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ's love and under His protecting care.... Entering into communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace.-The Ministry of Healing, 250 (1905).

All Undue Anxieties Dismissed.-When men go forth to their daily toil, as when they engage in prayer; when they lie down at night, and when they rise in the morning; when the rich man feasts in his palace, or when the poor man gathers his children about the scanty board, each is tenderly watched by the heavenly Father. No tears are shed that God does not notice. There is no smile that He does not mark.

If we would but fully believe this, all undue anxieties would be dismissed. Our lives would not be so filled with disappointment as now; for everything, whether great or small, would be left in the hands of God, who is not perplexed by the multiplicity of cares or overwhelmed by their weight. We should then enjoy a rest of soul to which many have long been strangers.-Steps to Christ, 86 (1892).

Training the Soul by Discipline.-Christians, is Christ revealed in us? We must labor to have sound bodies and strong minds that are not easily enfeebled, minds that look beyond self to the cause and result of every movement made. Then we are in a fair way to endure hardness as good soldiers. We need minds that can see difficulties and go through with them with the wisdom that comes from God, that can wrestle with hard problems and conquer them. The hardest problem is to crucify self, to endure hardness in spiritual experiences, training the soul by severe discipline. This will not, perhaps, bring the very best satisfaction at the first, but the aftereffect will be peace and happiness.-Lt 43, 1899.

Christ Has Power to Invigorate and Restore.-And while Christ opens heaven to man, the life which He imparts opens the heart of man to heaven. Sin not only shuts us away from God but destroys in the human soul both the desire and the capacity for knowing Him. All this work of evil it is Christ's mission to undo. The faculties of the soul, paralyzed by sin, the darkened mind, the perverted will, He has power to invigorate and to restore. He opens to us the riches of the universe, and by Him the power to discern and to appropriate these treasures is imparted.-Education, 28, 29 (1903).

Either God or Satan Controls.-Satan takes control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God.-Lt 57, 1895 (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 79).

Every Sin Cherished Weakens the Character.-And let none flatter themselves that sins cherished for a time can easily be given up by and by. This is not so. Every sin cherished weakens the character and strengthens habit; and physical, mental, and moral depravity is the result. You may repent of the wrong you have done, and set your feet in right paths; but the mold of your mind and your familiarity with evil will make it difficult for you to distinguish between right and wrong. Through the wrong habits formed, Satan will assail you again and again.-Christ's Object Lessons, 281 (1900).

The Teacher's Psychological Qualifications.-The habits and principles of a teacher should be considered of even greater importance than his literary qualifications. If he is a sincere Christian, he will feel the necessity of having an equal interest in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual education of his scholars.

In order to exert the right influence he should have perfect control over himself, and his own heart should be richly imbued with love for his pupils, which will be seen in his looks, words, and acts. He should have firmness of character, and then he can mold the minds of his pupils as well as instruct them in the sciences. The early education of youth generally shapes their characters for life. Those who deal with the young should be very careful to call out the qualities of the mind, that they may better know how to direct its powers so that they may be exercised to the very best account.-Testimonies for the Church 3:135 (1872).

Man to Become a New Creature.-Men are to become the subjects of Christ's kingdom. Through the divine power imputed to them they are to return to their allegiance. By laws and resources God has ordained a heavenly communication with man's spiritual life that in its action is as mysterious as the science and operation of the wind (John 3:7, 8). Christ declared, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). While it imprints its influence upon earthly governments, it cannot take the slightest imprint from them without marring the divine similitude.

So spiritual is the character of God's work upon the human heart that receives it that it makes every one a new creature without destroying or weakening any capability God has given to man. It purifies every attribute fit for connection with the divine nature. That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit, and when man is born from above, a heavenly peace pervades the soul.-MS 1, 1897. (SpTBC [No. 3] 8, 9.)

Right Excludes Wrong.-Parents, you are the ones to decide whether the minds of your children shall be filled with ennobling thoughts or with vicious sentiments. You cannot keep their active minds unoccupied, neither can you frown away evil. Only by the inculcation of right principles can you exclude wrong thoughts. Unless parents plant the seeds of truth in the hearts of their children, the enemy will sow tares. Good, sound instruction is the only preventive of the evil communications that corrupt good manners. Truth will protect the soul from the endless temptations that must be encountered.-Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 121 (1913).

Only One Day Is Mine.-Day by day we are all to be trained, disciplined, and educated for usefulness in this life. Only one day at a time-think of this. One day is mine. I will in this one day do my best. I will use my talent of speech to be a blessing to some other one, a helper, a comforter, an example which the Lord my Saviour shall approve. I will exercise myself in patience, kindness, forbearance, that the Christian virtues may be developed in me today.

Every morning dedicate yourself, soul, body, and spirit, to God. Establish habits of devotion and trust more and more in your Saviour. You may believe with all confidence that the Lord Jesus loves you and wishes you to grow up to His stature of character. He wishes you to grow in His love, to increase and strengthen in all the fullness of divine love. Then you will gain a knowledge of the highest value for time and for eternity.-Lt 36, 1901. (In Heavenly Places, 227.)

How Well-balanced Minds May Be Developed.-Labor is a blessing. It is impossible for us to enjoy health without labor. All the faculties should be called into use that they may be properly developed and that men and women may have well-balanced minds.-Testimonies for the Church 3:154, 155 (1872).

Knowledge and Science Must Be Vitalized by the Holy Spirit.-It is only when brought under the full control of the Spirit of God that the talents of an individual are rendered useful to the fullest extent. The precepts and principles of religion are the first steps in the acquisition of knowledge and lie at the very foundation of true education. Knowledge and science must be vitalized by the Spirit of God in order to serve the noblest purposes.

The Christian alone can make the right use of knowledge. Science, in order to be fully appreciated, must be viewed from a religious standpoint. Then all will worship the God of science. The heart which is ennobled by the grace of God can best comprehend the real value of education. The attributes of God as seen in His created works can be appreciated only as we have a knowledge of the Creator.

The teachers must be acquainted not only with the theory of the truth but must have an experimental knowledge of the way of holiness in order to lead the youth to the fountains of truth, to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. Knowledge is power for good only when united with true piety. A soul emptied of self will be noble. Christ abiding in the heart by faith will make us wise in God's sight.-MS 44, 1894.

Whole Being Open to Healing Agencies of Heaven.-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).

Graces Not Developed in a Moment.-The precious graces of the Holy Spirit are not developed in a moment. Courage, fortitude, meekness, faith, unwavering trust in God's power to save, are acquired by the experience of years. By a life of holy endeavor and firm adherence to the right the children of God are to seal their destiny.-The Ministry of Healing, 454 (1905).