Ellen White Topics
Every act of our lives affects others for good or evil. Our influence is tending upward or downward; it is felt, acted upon, and to a greater or less degree reproduced by others. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same beneficial influence upon others, and thus hundreds and thousands are affected by our unconscious influence. If we by acts strengthen or force into activity the evil powers possessed by those around us, we share their sin, and will have to render an account for the good we might have done them and did not do, because we made not God our strength, our guide, our counsellor. 2T 133

It is the privilege of every true Christian to exert an influence for good over every one with whom he associates. 2T 231

If you form too high an opinion of yourself, you will think that your labours are of more real consequence than they are, and you will plead individual independence which borders on arrogance. If you go to the other extreme and form too low an opinion of yourself, you will feel inferior and will leave an impression of inferiority which will greatly limit the influence that you might have for good. You should avoid either extreme. Feeling should not control you; circumstances should not affect you. You may form a correct estimate of yourself, one which will prove a safeguard from both extremes. You may be dignified without vain self-confidence; you may be condescending and yielding without sacrificing self-respect or individual independence, and your life may be of great influence with those in the higher as well as the lower walks of life. 3T 506

The influence of a thoughtless word may affect a soul's eternal destiny. Every person is exerting an influence upon the lives of others. We must either be as a light to brighten and cheer their path, or as a desolating tempest to destroy. We are either leading our associates upward to happiness and immortal life, or downward to sorrow and eternal ruin. No man will perish alone in his iniquity. However contracted may be one's sphere of influence, it is exerted either for good or for evil. 4T 654

Young persons who are thrown into one another's society may make their associations a blessing or a curse. They may edify, bless, and strengthen one another, improving in deportment, in disposition, in knowledge; or, by permitting themselves to become careless and unfaithful, they may exert only a demoralising influence. 4T 655

The influence of every man's thoughts and actions surrounds him like an invisible atmosphere, which is unconsciously breathed in by all who come in contact with him. This atmosphere is frequently charged with poisonous influences, and when these are inhaled, moral-degeneracy is the sure result. 5T 111

You may aid them (your children) to develop characters that will not be swayed or influenced to do evil, but will sway and influence others to do right. By your fervent prayers of faith you can move the arm that moves the world. AH 264

But never should it be forgotten that influence is no less a power for evil. To lose one's own soul is a terrible thing; but to cause the loss of other souls is still more terrible. That our influence should be a savour of death unto death is a fearful thought; yet this is possible. Many who profess to gather with Christ are scattering from Him. This is why the church is so weak. Many indulge freely in criticism and accusing. By giving expression to suspicion, jealousy, and discontent, they yield themselves as instruments to Satan. Before they realise what they are doing, the adversary has through them accomplished his purpose. The impression of evil has been made, the shadow has been cast, the arrows of Satan have found their mark. Distrust, unbelief, and downright infidelity have fastened upon those who otherwise might have accepted Christ. Meanwhile the workers for Satan look complacently upon those whom they have driven to scepticism, and who are now hardened against reproof and entreaty. They flatter themselves that in comparison with these souls they are virtuous and righteous. They do not realise that these sad wrecks of character are the work of their own unbridled tongues and rebellious hearts. It is through their influence that these tempted ones have fallen. COL 340

"Ye are the salt of the earth," Jesus said. Do not withdraw yourselves from the world in order to escape persecution. You are to abide among men, that the savour of the divine love may be as salt to preserve the world from corruption. DA 306

Closely connected with Christ's warning in regard to the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words. The words are an indication of that which is in the heart. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." But the words are more than an indication of character; they have power to react on the character. Men are influenced by their own words. Often under a momentary impulse, prompted by Satan, they give utterance to jealousy or evil surmising, expressing that which they do not really believe; but the expression reacts on the thoughts. They are deceived by their words, and come to believe that true which was spoken at Satan's instigation. Having once expressed an opinion or decision, they are often too proud to retract it, and try to prove themselves in the right, until they come to believe that they are. It is dangerous to utter a word of doubt, dangerous to question and criticise divine light. The habit of careless and irrelevant criticism reacts upon the character, in fostering irreverence and unbelief. Many a man indulging this habit has gone on unconscious of danger, until he was ready to criticise and reject the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of Judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." DA 323

There all who have wrought with unselfish spirit will behold the fruit of their labours. The outworking of every right principle and noble deed will be seen. Something of this we see here. But how little of the result of the world's noblest work is in this life manifest to the doer! How many toil unselfishly and unweariedly for those who pass beyond their reach and knowledge! Parents and teachers lie down in their last sleep, their lifework seeming to have been wrought in vain; they know not that their faithfulness has unsealed springs of blessing that can never cease to flow; only by faith they see the children they have trained become a benediction and an inspiration to their fellow men, and the influence repeat itself a thousandfold. Many a worker sends out into the world messages of strength and hope and courage, words that carry blessing to hearts in every land; but of the results he, toiling in loneliness and obscurity, knows little. So gifts are bestowed, burdens are borne, labour is done. Men sow the seed from which, above their graves, others reap blessed harvests. They plant trees, that others may eat the fruit. They are content here to know that they have set in motion agencies for good. In the hereafter the action and reaction of all these will be seen. ED 305

He who seeks to transform humanity must himself understand humanity. Only through sympathy, faith, and love can men be reached and uplifted. Here Christ stands revealed as the Master Teacher; of all that ever dwelt on the earth, He alone has perfect understanding of the human soul. ED 78

It does not become anyone to drop a word of doubt here and there that shall work like poison in other minds, shaking their confidence in the messages which God has given, which have aided in laying the foundation of this work, and have attended it to the present day, in reproofs, warnings, corrections, and encouragements. To all who have stood in the way of the Testimonies, I would say, God has given a message to His people, and His voice will be heard, whether you hear or forbear. Your opposition has not injured me; but you must give an account to the God of heaven, who has sent these warnings and instructions to keep His people in the right way. You will have to answer to Him for your blindness, for being a stumbling block in the way of sinners. GCDB APR.13,1891 (1SM 43)

The elevation or deterioration of the future of society will be determined by the manners and morals of the youth growing up around us. As the youth are educated, and as their characters are moulded in their childhood to virtuous habits, self-control, and temperance, so will their influence be upon society. If they are left unenlightened and uncontrolled, and as the result become self-willed, intemperate in appetite and passion, so will be their future influence in moulding society. The company which the young now keep, the habits they now form, and the principles they now adopt are the index to the state of society for years to come. HR JUN.01,1877

It is of little use to try to reform others by attacking what we may regard as wrong habits. Such efforts often result in more harm than good.

MH 156

You are, I was shown, connected in family relationship with those who are under the special controlling influence of the devil. Their feet take hold of hell. They are swift messengers of Satan. Any connection with even the mother that gave you birth, or other of your relations who are fastened in an evil course, will be corrupting to you. If you desire to be a Christian now is your time; now is the golden opportunity. You can only walk in purity by looking and beholding, praying and believing in Jesus moment by moment. You have been living in adultery so long that sin does not appear heinous to you. You love sin. If now you want to leave sin, you must forever renounce it. If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. You must not hide or excuse your sins, but you must arise and make haste to confess your sins and save your soul by seeking the forgiveness of your sins. MR448 13

They would resist temptation to indulge self, and would show that they do not enjoy the frivolous pleasure of the world more than the privilege of meeting with Christ in the social meeting. They would have a decided influence upon others, and lead them to follow their example. Actions speak louder than words, and those who are lovers of pleasure do not appreciate the rich blessings of being in the assembly of the people of God. They do not appreciate the privilege of influencing their associates to go with them, hoping that their hearts will be touched by the Spirit of the Lord. Who goes with them into these worldly gatherings? Jesus is not there to bless those assembled. PH048 17

You may never know the result of your influence from day to day, but be sure that it is exerted for good or evil. Many who have a kind heart and good impulses, permit their attention to be absorbed in worldly business or pleasure, while the souls that look to them for guidance drift on to hopeless wreck. Such persons may make a high profession, and may stand well in the opinion of men, even as Christians, but in the day of God, when our works shall be compared with the divine law, then it will be found that they have not come up to the standard. Others who saw their course fell a little below them; and still others fell below the latter class, and thus the work of degeneracy went on. PH048 7

The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitous life of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast; it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honourable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged. To the soul that is struggling in secret against some giant temptation, trembling upon the very verge of the precipice, such an example is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. He who, endowed with high conceptions of life and truth and honour, does yet wilfully transgress one precept of God's holy law, has perverted his noble gifts into a lure to sin. Genius, talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may become decoys of Satan to entice other souls over the precipice of ruin for this life and the life to come. PH048 8

Take heed lest by your example you place other souls in peril. It is a terrible thing to lose your own soul, but to pursue a course which will cause the loss of other souls is still more terrible. That our influence should result in a savour of death unto death is a terrible thought, and yet it is possible. With what holy jealousy, then, should we keep guard over our thoughts, our words, our habits, our dispositions, and our characters. God requires more deep, personal holiness on our part. Only by revealing his character can we co-operate with him in the work of saving souls. PH048 9

Let your influence be persuasive, binding people to your hearts because you love Jesus. These precious souls are his purchased possession. This is a great work! If, by your Christlike words and actions, you make impression that will kindle in their hearts a hungering and thirsting after righteousness and truth, you are co-labourers with Christ. Purity of thought must be cherished as indispensable to the work of influencing others. PH048 9

Every uttered word exerts an influence, every action involves a train of responsibility. No one can live to himself in this world, even if he would. Each one forms a part of the great web of humanity, and through our individual threads of influence we are linked to the universe. Christ used his influence to draw men to God, and he left us an example of the way in which we should speak and act. A person who is moulded by the Spirit of God will know how to speak a "word in season to him that is weary," and will realise the highest human blessedness,-- the joy of imparting to others the precious treasures of the wisdom and grace of Christ. But those who permit themselves to be controlled by the enemy of all good will speak words which should never be uttered. RH FEB.16,1897

All who come within the sphere of his influence perceive the beauty and fragrance of his Christian life, while he himself is unconscious of it, for it is in harmony with his habits and inclinations. He prays for divine light, and loves to walk in that light. It is his meat and drink to do the will of his Heavenly Father. His life is hid with Christ in God; yet he does not boast of this, nor seem conscious of it. God smiles upon the humble and lowly ones who follow closely in the footsteps of the Master. Angels are attracted to them, and love to linger about their path. They may be passed by as unworthy of notice by those who claim exalted attainments, and who delight in making prominent their good works; but heavenly angels bend lovingly over them, and are as a wall of fire roundabout them. RH JAN.18,1881

Throw a pebble into the lake, and a wave is formed, and another, and another; and as they increase, the circle widens until they reach the very shore. Thus our influence, though apparently insignificant, may continue to extend far beyond our knowledge or control. RH JAN.24,1882

There is great need for close watchfulness and most earnest prayer, lest we make a mistake and grieve the Holy Spirit of God by questioning and criticism, and so lose the force of the precious message. It is the truth we need in the heart to sanctify the soul. Satan plants his seeds of unbelief, of picking flaws, and of finding fault, when you should be diligently listening to the message which God is addressing to every one of you. He wants you to hear and obey, and so escape the snares which Satan has set for your feet. By cherishing doubts in thoughts, and expressing criticism, you can start a train of thought which will make the truth of God of none effect in the minds of those who have a constant struggle to cherish humility and faith, and they will give your words place in their heart, and thus lose the benefit of the message God has sent them. Anything like pride and wisdom of learning or science that you place between your soul and the words of truth spoken to you, will effectually close the door to the humble religion of Jesus Christ. The truth is a sanctifier of the life and character. RH JUL.19,1887

Every Christian family should illustrate to the world the power and excellence of Christian influence. . . . Parents should realise their accountability to keep their homes free from every taint of moral evil. RH OCT. 9,1900

The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others. They may not realise that they are doing any special good, but by their unconscious influence they may start waves of blessing that will widen and deepen, and the blessed results they may never know until the day of final reward. They do not feel or know they are doing anything great. They are not required to weary themselves with anxiety about success. They have only to go forward quietly, doing faithfully the work that God's providence assigns, and their life will not be in vain. Their own souls will be growing more and more into the likeness of Christ; they are workers together with God in this life, and are thus fitting for the higher work and the unshadowed joy of the life to come. SC 83

Those who labour at the institute are there for the purpose of promoting the intellectual welfare of those under their care. They must make their work a matter of earnest prayer and study, that they may know how to accomplish the object before them. Their first work is to carefully scrutinise their own habits, as they must meet the Bible standard of Christianity. Then when they are compelled to deal with those who are nearly ruined, either because of their own vicious habits or because of the intemperance or lasciviousness of men, they will know what words to speak to them, what attitude to assume toward them. They must be chaste and so free from the trait of defilement that they can correct these evils and bring the poor souls up to the Bible standard of purity. The only safety for men and women, married or unmarried, is to shun love-sick sentimentalism, and all undue familiarity. These things have produced great evil in the world. SPTB16 4