I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest
any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Isa. 27:3.
The mind of a man or a woman does not come down in a moment
from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time
to transform the human to the divine, or to degrade those formed in the image
of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. Though
formed in the image of his Maker, man can so educate his mind that sin which
he once loathed will become pleasant to him. As he ceases to watch and pray,
he ceases to guard the citadel, the heart....Constant war against the carnal
mind must be maintained; and we must be aided by the refining influence of
the grace of God, which will attract the mind upward and habituate it to meditate
upon pure and holy things.
Character does not come by chance. It is not determined by
one outburst of temper, one step in the wrong direction. It is the repetition
of the act that causes it to become habit, and molds the character either
for good or for evil. Right characters can be formed only by persevering,
untiring effort, by improving every entrusted talent and capability to the
glory of God.
God expects us to build characters in accordance with the
pattern set before us. We are to lay brick by brick, adding grace to grace,
finding our weak points and correcting them in accordance with the directions
God gives us strength, reasoning power, time, in order that
we may build characters on which He can place His stamp of approval. He desires
each child of His to build a noble character, by the doing of pure, noble
deeds, that in the end he may present a symmetrical structure, a fair temple,
honored by man and God....
He who would grow into a beautiful building for the Lord
must cultivate every power of the being. It is only by the right use of the
talents that the character can be developed harmoniously. Thus we bring to
the foundation that which is represented in the Word as gold, silver, precious
stones—material that will stand the test of God’s purifying fires.
Devotional: Our Father Cares, p. 213.