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Ellen White in My Life?


How can I apply Ellen Whiteís writings to my daily life?

Steve Answers:

Iím glad you asked.

Most teens I know have sort of kissed Ellen White goodbye. I think thatís because somebody beat them over the head with her writings or what they claimed were her writings. Since she wrote more than 100,000 pages, it wouldnít be hard to find something to use or misuse. Because she wrote so much, you can figure that some of it can be very useful for you and your spiritual walk, too.

Before you get tunnel vision regarding the writings of Ellen White, let me remind you that the Bible is your first source for written input from God. Some people have found Ellen Whiteís writings to be a helpful supplement to that. But donít replace the Bible with Ellen Whiteís writings.

Now letís answer your question. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can apply the writings of Ellen White to your daily life:

1. Read what Ellen White wrote. Thatís right, read it for yourself! If somebody says, ďEllen White says . . .Ē be sure to ask for the reference (the name of the book and the page number). If they donít know or canít remember, donít take their statement or ďquotationĒ seriously. If you donít have the book that they refer to, ask to borrow theirs so you can read it for yourself at your leisure. If they donít have access to the book, that should be a red flag to you.

2. Check out the context. Picking one sentence out of anything written or spoken can lead people to misconstrue the message to-tally. In other words, taking things out of context is dangerous. There are two kinds of context that you need to consider.

One is the literary contextóthe sentences and paragraphs before and after what youíre reading. These will provide a framework to help you understand the portion that caught your attention.

Second is the historical contextósome things change with time and some things donít. Most people read things from their own perspective. How could it be any different? To understand what Ellen White wrote from Australia or Europe or the northeastern United States or from California might make a difference. If she were to write it today, parts of it would be different from what it was a century ago, and some of it would be the same. Anyway, you need to understand the perspective she had when she wrote it if you want to apply it to your life today.

3. Consider the bigger picture. Donít get caught up in the little stuff, such as how many buttons you should have on a shirt or the exact length of a dress. Step back from the details and look at the whole thing.

4. Prayerfully ask God to lead you to live out the ideals He has for you today. Once you understand the messages Ellen White wrote, and once you have the big picture for your life today, youíre ready for the Holy Spirit to lead you to convictions for living for Christ in the many details of your life.

Iíve found that such books as Steps to Christ and The Desire of Ages (or the paraphrase called Messiah) need very little from steps 2 and 3. Just read it, and ask Godís Spirit to convict you.On the other hand, Iíve found that itís essential to take steps 2 and 3 for books such as the nine-volume Testimonies for the Church series and compilations like Messages to Young People or Counsels on Diet and Foods.

By the way, just as God has preserved messages for you through the Bible and through the writings of Ellen White, are you open to messages He might send directly to you or even through you today? His spiritual gift of prophecy is still active, and weíre still in need and in hope of hearing from Him. Are you open to hearing from God?

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