Ellen G. White Writings

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Child Guidance, Page 199

Chapter 37—The Power of Habit

How Habits Are Established—Any one act, either good or evil, does not form the character; but thoughts and feelings indulged prepare the way for acts and deeds of the same kind.1The Youth's Instructor, December 15, 1886.

It is ... by a repetition of acts that habits are established and character confirmed.2The Signs of the Times, August 6, 1912.

The Time to Establish Good Habits—The character is formed, to a great extent, in early years. The habits then established have more influence than any natural endowment, in making men either giants or dwarfs in intellect; for the very best talents may, through wrong habits, become warped and enfeebled. The earlier in life one contracts hurtful habits, the more firmly will they hold their victim in slavery, and the more certainly will they lower his standard of spirituality. On the other hand, if correct and virtuous habits are formed in youth, they will generally mark the course of the possessor through life. In most cases, it will be found that those who in later life reverence God and honor the right learned that lesson before there was time for the world to stamp its images of sin upon the soul. Those of mature age are generally as insensible to new impressions as is the hardened rock, but youth is impressible.3Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 45.

Habits May Be Modified, but Seldom Changed—What the child sees and hears is drawing deep lines upon the tender mind, which no after circumstances in life can entirely efface. The intellect is now taking shape, and the affections receiving direction and strength. Repeated

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