Ellen G. White Writings

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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, Page 221

youth who attend our schools there will always be found two classes, those who seek to please God and to obey their teachers, and those who are filled with a spirit of lawlessness. If the youth go with the multitude to do evil, their influence will be cast on the side of the adversary of souls; they will mislead those who have not cherished principles of unswerving fidelity.

It has been truly said, “Show me your company, and I will show you your character.” The youth fail to realize how sensibly both their character and their reputation are affected by their choice of associates. One seeks the company of those whose tastes and habits and practices are congenial. He who prefers the society of the ignorant and vicious to that of the wise and good shows that his own character is defective. His tastes and habits may at first be altogether dissimilar to the tastes and habits of those whose company he seeks; but as he mingles with this class, his thoughts and feelings change; he sacrifices right principles and insensibly yet unavoidably sinks to the level of his companions. As a stream always partakes of the property of the soil through which it runs, so the principles and habits of youth invariably become tinctured with the character of the company in which they mingle.

Students should be taught to resist firmly the allurements to evil which come through association with other youth. Compassed as they are by temptation, an indwelling Christ is their only safeguard against evil. They must learn to look to Jesus continually, to study His virtues, to make Him their daily pattern. Then truth, brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, will sanctify the life.

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