The power of habit!
(J.R. Miller, 1893)
A California stagecoach driver had held the leather reins for so many years, that when he began to grow old, his hands were crooked into hooks, and his fingers were so stiffened into that shape — that they could not be straightened out.
There is a similar process that goes on in men's minds and souls, when they continue to do the same things over and over. If you are trained, and train yourself, from childhood . . .
to be gentle and patient,
to control your temper,
to resist all wrong —
your life will grow into moral beauty, and the peacefulness of your heart will at length shine upon your very face.
If, on the other hand, you give way from childhood . . .
to all ugly tempers,
to resentful feelings,
to all bitterness and anger —
your life will grow into permanent moral disfigurement.
One who accustoms himself to think of pure and holy things, who sets his affections on things above, and strives to reach for things which are true, things which are honorable, things which are lovely — will grow heavenward toward the things which he loves and thinks upon.
But one who lets his mind turn habitually . . .
to debasing things,
to unholy things,
to impure things,
to earthly things —
will find his whole soul bending downward, and growing sinful, corrupt, and evil.
"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise!" Philippians 4:8