“Order my steps in your word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133.
Strength of character consists of two things – power of will and power of self-control. Many youth mistake strong, uncontrolled passion for strength of character; but the truth is that he who is mastered by his passions is a weak man. The real greatness and nobility of the man is measured by the power of the feelings that he subdues, not by the power of the feelings that subdue him. The strongest man is he, who, while sensitive to abuse, will yet restrain passion and forgive his enemies. Such men are true heroes.
Many have such meagre ideas of what they may become that they will ever remain dwarfed and narrow, when, if they would improve the powers which God has given them, they might develop a noble character and exert an influence that would win souls to Christ. Knowledge is power; but intellectual ability, without goodness of heart, is a power for evil. –Testimony Treasures, vol. 1, p. 602.
Procure every advantage within your reach for strengthening the intellect. Let the study of books be combined with useful manual labour, and by faithful endeavour, watchfulness, and prayer secure the wisdom that is from above. This will give you an all-round education. Thus you may rise in character, and gain an influence over other minds, enabling you to lead them in the path of uprightness and holiness. –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 334.