As a young man, James A. Garfield was given by a dear friend, the following guidelines for life:
Never be idle.
Make few promises.
Always speak the truth.
Live within your income.
Never speak evil of anyone.
Keep good company or none.
Live up to your engagements.
Never play games of chance.
Drink no intoxicating drinks.
Good character is above everything else.
Keep your own secrets if you have any.
Never borrow if you can possibly help it.
Do not marry until you are able to support a wife.
When you speak to a person, look into his eyes.
Save when you are young to spend when you are old.
Never run into debt unless you see your way out again.
Good company and good conversation are the sinews of virtue.
Your character cannot be essentially injured except by your own acts.
If anybody speaks evil of you, let your life be so that no one believes him.
When you retire at night, think over what you have done during the day.
If your hands cannot be employed usefully, attend to the culture of your mind.
Read the above carefully and thoughtfully at least once a week.
Character and discipline with commitment to work at life reflect the advice that young Garfield received. It is easily observed when God's people are determined to live and do right. Lord, give us a church full of men with the backbone to live and do right.
Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest minds God has given America , lived in the state of New York . He was a Christian and believed in Christian training. He married a girl of like character. From this union, men have studied 729 descendants. Of this number came 300 preachers, 65 college professors, 13 university presidents, 60 authors of good books, 3 United States congressmen, and one Vice President of the United States; and barring one grandson who married a questionable character, the family has not cost the state a single dollar.
Now, Max Jukes lived in the same state. He did not believe in Christian training. He married a girl of like character. From this union, men have studied 1,026 descendants. 300 of them died prematurely, 100 were sent to the penitentiary for an average of 13 years each, 190 were public prostitutes, and there were 100 drunkards. The family cost the state $1,200,000. They made no helpful contributions to society.
No rocket science here. Godliness is of great profit. We can be different and we can make a difference. Think about it!
Voice in the Wilderness, June 2006, page 10