1. DEVELOPING AN ORGANIZED MIND
a. What question, asked to God by Manoah, should guide our inborn quest for mental growth? Judges 13:8, 12.
“The mind, the soul, is built up by that upon which it feeds.”—Education, p. 126.
“It is right for the youth to feel that they must reach the highest development of their mental powers. We would not restrict the education to which God has set no limit. But our attainments will avail nothing if not put to use for the honor of God and the good of humanity. Unless our knowledge is a steppingstone to the accomplishment of the highest purposes, it is worthless. . . .
“Heart education is of more importance than the education gained from books. It is well, even essential, to obtain a knowledge of the world in which we live; but if we leave eternity out of our reckoning, we shall make a failure from which we can never recover.”—Child Guidance, p. 497.
“A ‘Thus saith the Lord’ should guide you in all your plans of education.”—Ibid., p. 69.
“The mind is to be disciplined, trained, educated; for the child of God is to do service for God in ways that are not natural, or in harmony with inborn inclination. Those who become the followers of Christ find that new motives of action are supplied, new thoughts arise, and new actions must result.”—Christian Education, p. 122.
2. SELF-DISCIPLINE FOR ETERNITY
a. In our pursuit of knowledge, of what should we beware in order to develop a sound mind? Ecclesiastes 12:12.
“If the physical powers are not taxed equally with the mental, too much strain is brought upon the latter. Unless every part of the human machinery performs its allotted tasks, the mental powers cannot be used to their highest capacity for any length of time.”—Christian Education, p. 211.
“Much is lost by a neglect to unite physical with mental taxation. The leisure hours of the student are often occupied with frivolous pleasures, which weaken physical, mental, and moral powers. Under the debasing power of sensual indulgence, or the untimely excitement of courtship and marriage, many students fail to reach that height of mental development which they might otherwise have attained.”—Ibid., pp. 36, 37.
“How prevalent is the habit of turning day into night, and night into day. Many youth sleep soundly in the morning, when they should be up with the early singing birds, and be stirring when all nature is awake. Let youth practise regularity in the hours for going to bed, and for rising and they will improve in health, in mind, in spirit, in disposition.”—The Youth’s Instructor, September 7, 1893.
b. What practical science should we also study? 1 Thessalonians 4:11.
“As far as possible, it is well to consider what is to be accomplished through the day. Make a memorandum of the different duties that await your attention, and set apart a certain time for the doing of each duty. Let everything be done with thoroughness, neatness, and dispatch.”—Ibid.
c. Of what value is an undisciplined mind? Proverbs 25:28.
“An ordinary mind, well disciplined, will accomplish more and higher work than will the most highly educated mind and the greatest talents without self-control.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 335.
3. INCREASING OUR WISDOM
a. Name some keys to overcoming inefficiency. Colossians 3:23, 24.
“Of one girl whom I employed, I was told that she would sit down in the midst of her unfinished work, when the dishes were not washed, or the beds made, and forget her duties while she read a book or a newspaper. In this way she would spend hours of time that should have been employed in doing the work for which she was paid. The house would be left in confusion for hours after it should have been in perfect order, because of this untidy habit.”—The Youth’s Instructor, September 7, 1893.
b. What contrast exists between the wise and the foolish? Proverbs 9:8; 15:31.
“Of another whom I thought of employing. I learned that she was disrespectful to those who employed her, unless she took a fancy to them. Those whom she fancied, she would serve to her utmost, and the friends whom she chose, who flattered and approved her course, received her affection and favors. But I reasoned, ‘If she is a Christian, she will certainly take counsel and advice.’ A sorrowful expression came over the face of the person to whom I was speaking, as she said, ‘I am afraid you will be disappointed. If you seek to show her where she is erring, she will insist that she is doing the best she knows how, and instead of correcting her faults, will take on the air of one who is much injured. She does not respect authority, and will keep up rebellion in her mind, which, if not expressed in words, will be plainly revealed in her countenance. She will not keep her opinions to herself, but will freely tell others what she thinks about those who seek to correct her errors.’ ”—Ibid.
c. Although reproof is not easy to bear, what must everyone learn who wants to grow and succeed in life? Proverbs 17:10; 6:23.
“The Lord sends us warning, counsel, and reproof, that we may have opportunity to correct our errors before they become second nature.”—Our High Calling, p. 160.
4. ORDER THAT HONORS GOD
a. In which ways should the body of Christ be orderly? For what purpose? 1 Corinthians 1:10; 14:40; 12:27, 28.
“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9.
b. Looking back in history, explain how Korah challenged the leaders appointed by God and the powerful way God stopped his rebellion. Numbers 16:1–3, 28–35. How did Korah use flattery to deceive the people?
“Korah and his company, who aspired to the priesthood in their self-confidence, even ventured to take the censers and to stand in the door of the tabernacle with Moses. Korah had cherished his envy and rebellion until he was self-deceived, and he really thought the congregation were righteous, and that Moses was a tyrannical ruler. The people, flattered by their rebellious leaders, had been led to believe that all their troubles originated with Moses, who was continually reminding them of their sins. They thought that if Korah could lead them, and encourage them, and dwell upon their righteous acts instead of reminding them of their failures, they would have a very peaceful, prosperous journey, and he would without doubt lead them, not back and forward in the wilderness, but into the promised land.”—The Signs of the Times, September 9, 1880.
c. How did God endorse Moses’ ministry of reproof? Numbers 17:1–10.
“This wonderful rod was preserved to be frequently shown to the people to remind them of the past, to prevent them from murmuring, and again calling in question to whom the priesthood rightfully belonged. After the children of Israel were fully convinced of their wrong, in unjustly accusing Moses and Aaron, as they had done, they saw their past rebellion in its true light, and they were terrified.”—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, pp. 35, 36.
5. REPROVING POPULAR SINS
a. Which item in the heavenly ark symbolizes God’s organized ministry of reproof? Hebrews 9:3, 4; 8:1, 2. How does this apply to us today?
“The Hebrews were not willing to submit to the directions and restrictions of the Lord. They were restless under restraint, and unwilling to receive reproof. This was the secret of their murmuring against Moses. Had they been left free to do as they pleased, there would have been fewer complaints against their leader. All through the history of the church God’s servants have had the same spirit to meet.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 404.
b. What character of ministry is needed in order to prepare God’s people to meet the Lord in peace? 2 Timothy 4:1–5; Titus 2:11–15.
“We do not consider that our dangers are any less than those of the Hebrews, but greater. There will be temptations to jealousies and murmurings, and there will be outspoken rebellion, as are recorded of ancient Israel. There will ever be a spirit to rise up against the reproof of sins and wrongs. But shall the voice of reproof be hushed because of this? If so, we shall be in no better situation than are the various denominations in our land who are afraid to touch the errors and prevailing sins of the people.
“Those whom God has set apart as ministers of righteousness have solemn responsibilities laid upon them to reprove the sins of the people.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 358, 359.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Name some points to remember about how our minds must be developed.
2. Why is temperance needed, even in intellectual pursuits?
3. Name some faulty work habits that should be overcome.
4. In what ways does the rebellion of Korah repeat itself today?
5. What solemn duty rests upon ministers and leaders at this hour?