(Minghui.org) Ancient Chinese people emphasized guiding one's behavior by following the heavenly principles and increasing one's virtue through improving moral character. Many scriptures prioritized accumulating virtue over doing kind deeds and credited discipline on lust as one of the best ways of accumulating virtue.

Lord Wen Chang's Tract of the Quiet Way says, “Those who indulge in lust and behave inappropriately tarnish their own kind nature and reputation. They act against heavenly principles and will be penalized accordingly. Disaster consequently sneaks up on sinners and karmic retribution rains down. If some people are unafraid of karmic retribution and continue inappropriate desires, punishment may strike at any time. Only those who cherish virtue and discipline themselves will be blessed.”

The ancient Chinese believed that those who could discipline themselves on lust would be blessed. Even if one hasn't acted, impure thoughts are equally unacceptable. Those who take the action of violating heavenly principles will bring about misfortune on themselves and their future generations. Many examples were recorded throughout history.

I. Blessing from Resisting Lust

Lin Maoxian lived in Jiangxi Province during the Northern Song Dynasty. He was academically inclined, but his family was poor. Thus, he spent most of his time alone reading books. A wife of a rich man found Mr. Lin peculiarly attractive and found an opportunity to visit him with intention.

Lin told her seriously, “Let's not stain our reputation and character by doing anything inappropriate. The gods are watching.” The woman was shamed into leaving.

The next year, Lin was appointed the highest-ranked scholarly official by the emperor. His four sons all became successful scholars, and his family prospered.

The ancient Chinese revered discipline, even when alone. “Fearing nothing” is usually used to describe people with inferior moral character.

Discipline requires two characteristics: respect and fear. Respect the heavenly principles, and if not, fear the consequences. The wise know nothing can escape higher beings; every thought and action leads to karmic retribution, good or bad.