Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Proverbs 4:14.
Few realize the power of habit. Inspiration asks, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” and adds, “then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23. This is a solemn assertion…. But there is comfort and courage in the reflection that if evil habits acquire such force that it seems almost impossible to turn in the right direction, the power of good habits is equally strong. The results of each day’s work, whether the tendency be to elevate us in the scale of moral worth or to push us downward toward perdition, are influenced by the days that have preceded it. Defeat today prepares the way for still greater defeat tomorrow; victory today ensures an easier victory tomorrow. Then how careful we should be to see that the habits and characters we are forming are correct and virtuous….
Young friends, restrain your feet from all evil ways…. Men may discipline themselves to do right. Like Daniel they may have a Heaven-born purpose in their hearts that they will not defile soul or body, notwithstanding the degeneracy and corruption of the age. God gave Daniel “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom.” Daniel 1:17. His blessing attended the man who put forth human effort in accordance with the divine will. The same help will still be given to all who pursue a similar course, and with the glory of God in view practice abstinence and self-restraint. The same difference will be seen between them and the self-indulgent that there was between Daniel and his fellows and the other youth in the king’s court. There will be the clear eye and complexion, the firm tread, the strength and vigor of intellect, the keen perception of spiritual truth.50The Signs of the Times, January 1, 1885.
Let us remember that character is not the result of accident, but day by day it is forming for good or for evil. Great importance attaches to this work of character building; for it is far reaching in its results. We are builders for time and for eternity.51The Signs of the Times, January 1, 1885.