Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

Atlantic Union Gleaner

January 6, 1904

Elements of Success

For a healthy young man, stern, severe exercise is strengthening to the whole system. And it is an essential preparation for the difficult work of the physician. Without such exercise the mind can not be kept in working order. It becomes inactive, unable to put forth the sharp, quick action that will give scope to its powers. Unless he changes, the youth with such a mind will never, never become what God designed he should be. He has established so many resting places that his mind has become like a stagnant pool. The atmosphere surrounding him is charged with moral miasma.

Study the Lord's plan in regard to Adam. He was created pure, holy, and healthy; and he was given something to do. He was placed in the garden of Eden “to dress and to keep it.” He was not to be idle; he must work.

God ordained that the beings he created should work. Upon this their happiness depends. Healthy young men and women have no need of cricket, ball-playing, or any kind of amusement just for the gratification of self to pass away the time. There are useful things to be done by every one of God's created intelligences. Some one needs from you something that will help him. No one in the Lord's great domain of creation was made to be a drone. Our happiness increases and our powers develop as we engage in useful employment.

Action gives power. Entire harmony pervades the universe of God. All the heavenly beings are in constant activity, and the Lord Jesus, in his life-work, has given an example for every one. He went about “doing good.” God has established the law of obedient action. Silent but ceaseless, the objects of his creation do their appointed work. The ocean is in constant motion. The springing grass, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, does its errand, clothing the fields with beauty. The leaves are stirred to motion, and yet no hand is seen to touch them. The sun, moon, and stars are useful and glorious in fulfilling their mission.

At all times the machinery of the body continues its work. Day by day the heart throbs, doing its regular, appointed task, unceasingly forcing its crimson current to all parts of the body. Action, action is seen pervading the whole living machinery. And man, his mind and body created in God's own similitude, must be active in order to fill his appointed place. He is not to be idle. Idleness is sin.

The young man who is seeking a preparation for usefulness needs to lay the foundation himself by acquiring through hard, diligent labor, the means for prosecuting his designs. If the young men around him have allowed their parents to carry the burden of their education, let him say, I will never do that. I will, by using my physical and mental powers combined, make of myself all that it is possible.

No man is properly prepared to enter upon a medical course until he has learned to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. When he can do this, he becomes self-reliant. If a youth has physical strength that he has not put to account in useful toil, it is a mistake for parents to give him money to use freely in taking a ministerial or a medical course.

No man is excusable for being without financial ability. Of many a man it may be said, he is kind, amiable, generous, a good man and a Christian, but he is not qualified to manage his own business. So far as the proper outlay of means is concerned, he is a mere child. He has not been educated by his parents to understand and practice the principles of self-support. Such a man is not fitted to become a minister or a physician. The churches everywhere are suffering through the neglect of parents to train their children to bear hard, stern responsibilities.

Let your motives and your aspirations be pure. In every business transaction be rigidly honest. However you may be tempted, never deceive or prevaricate. At times a natural impulse may tempt you to vary from the straightforward path of honesty, but do not yield to this impulse. If in any matter you make a statement as to what you will do, and afterward find that you have favored others to your own loss, do not vary one hair's breadth from principle. Carry out your agreement. By seeking to change your plans, you would show that you could not be depended on. And if you should draw back in small transactions, you would draw back in larger ones. Under such circumstances, some are tempted to deceive, saying, I was not understood. My words have been taken to mean more than I intended. But they meant just what they said, but lost the good impulse, and then wanted to draw back from their agreement, lest it prove a loss to them.

Let the youth set up well-defined landmarks, by which they may be governed in emergencies. When a crisis comes that demands active, well-governed physical powers and a clear, strong, practical mind; where difficult work is to be done, where every stroke must tell, where perplexities will arise which can be met only by wisdom from on high, then the youth who have learned to overcome difficulties by earnest labor can respond to the call for workers, saying, “Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8. Let the hearts of young men and young women be as clear as crystal. Let not their thoughts be trivial, but sanctified by virtue and holiness. If their thoughts are made pure by the sanctification of the Spirit, their lives will be elevated and ennobled.

Mrs. E. G. White

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»