A Regenerate man is very careful of his own soul.
He endeavours not only to keep clear of sin—but also to keep clear of everything which may lead to it. He is careful about the company he keeps. He feels that evil communications corrupt the heart, and that evil is far more catching than good, just as disease is more infectious than health. He is careful about the employment of his time—his chief desire about it is to spend it profitably. He is careful about the books he reads—he fears getting his mind poisoned by mischievous writings. He is careful about the friendships he forms—it is not enough for him that people are kind, and amiable, and good-natured—all this is very well—but will they do good to his soul?
He is careful over his own daily habits and behaviour—he tries to recollect that his own heart is deceitful, and that the world is full of wickedness, that the devil is always labouring to do him harm, and therefore he would sincerely be always on his guard. He desires to live like a soldier in an enemy’s country, to wear his armour continually, and to be prepared for temptation. He finds by experience that his soul is ever among enemies, and he studies to be a watchful, humble, prayerful man.
Reader, I place this mark also before you. What would the Apostle say of you? Are you born of God?
~ J.C. Ryle
Regeneration, [Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus, 2003], 38, 39.