For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3.
Jesus wants you to be happy, but you cannot be happy in having your own way and following the impulses of your own heart…. Our notions, our peculiarities, are wholly human and must not be humored or indulged. Self is to be crucified, not now and then but daily, and the physical, mental, and spiritual must be subordinate to the will of God. The glory of God, the perfection of Christian character, is to be the aim, the purpose, of our life. Christ’s followers must imitate Christ in disposition…. Like Christ is the watchword, not like your father or your mother, but like Jesus Christ—hid in Christ, clothed with Christ’s righteousness, imbued with the Spirit of Christ. All the peculiarities given us as an inheritance or acquired by indulgence or through erroneous education must be thoroughly overcome, decidedly resisted. Love of esteem and pride of opinion, all must be brought to the sacrifice….
Jesus is our helper; in Him and through Him we must conquer…. The grace of Christ is waiting your demand upon it. He will give you grace and strength as you need it if you ask Him…. The religion of Christ will bind and restrain every unholy passion, will stimulate to energy, to self-discipline, and industry, even in the matters of homely, everyday life, leading us to learn economy, tact, and self-denial, and to endure even privation without a murmur. The Spirit of Christ in the heart will be revealed in the character, will develop noble qualities and powers. “My grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9) says Christ.43Letter 25, 1882.
God has done so much to make it possible for us to be free in Christ, free from the slavery of wrong habits and evil inclinations. Dear young friends, will you not strive to be free in Christ? You point to this and that professed Christian, saying, We have no confidence in them. If their lives are examples of Christianity, we want none of it. Look not at those around you. Look instead at the only perfect pattern, the man Christ Jesus. Beholding Him, you will be changed into the same image.44The Youth’s Instructor, August 21, 1902.