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A wise old tutor was once taking a stroll through a forest with a curious youth. The tutor suddenly stopped and pointed to four plants close by. The first was a tiny sprout, just coming out of the earth. The second had rooted itself quite firmly in the fertile soil. The third was a small shrub. The fourth had grown into a well-developed tree.

The teacher said to his young student, "Pull up this first plant." The youth pulled it up easily with his fingers.

"Now pull up the second." The boy obeyed, and with slight effort the plant came up, root and all.

"And now the third." The boy pulled with one hand, then the other, but it would not come. Then he took both hands, and the plant yielded to all his strength.

"And now," said the teacher, "try the fourth." The youth grasped the trunk with all his might, but hardly a leaf shook.

"I cannot move it," he said.

"Just so, my son, with all our bad habits. When they are young and small, we can cast them out, but when they are full grown, they cannot be uprooted."

(From a sermon by Christian Cheong, True Seekers - Character, 6/13/2010)

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