We saw last month that an important part of that superior wisdom which is of a divine origin is meekness, lowliness, and the ability to be silent and not always speak one’s whole mind. This month I would like to share with you some more inspired comments that touch on this subject.
“He [Jesus] would have men appointed to deal with the erring who will be kind and considerate, and whose characters reveal the similitude of the divine,—men who will show the wisdom of Christ in dealing with matters that should be kept private, and who, when a work of correction and reproof must be done, will know how to keep silence before those whom it does not concern.” Review and Herald, November 14, 1907.
“You will have many perplexities to meet in your Christian life in connection with the church, but do not try too hard to mold your brethren. If you see that they do not meet the requirements of God’s Word, do not condemn; if they provoke, do not retaliate. When things are said that would exasperate, quietly keep your soul from fretting. . . . do what you can in humility and meekness, and put the tangled work, the complicated matters, into the hands of God. Follow the directions in His Word, and leave he outcome of the matter to His wisdom. Having done all you can to save your brother, cease worrying, and go calmly about other pressing duties. It is no longer your matter, but God’s” Testimonies, vol. 5, 347, 348.
“Many who profess to gather with Christ are scattering from Him. This is why the church is so weak. Many indulge freely in criticism and accusing. By giving expression to suspicion, jealousy, and discontent, they yield themselves as instruments to Satan. Before they realize what they are doing, the adversary has through them accomplished his purpose. The impression of evil has been made, the shadow has been cast, the arrows of Satan have found their mark. Distrust, unbelief, and downright infidelity have fastened upon those who otherwise might have accepted Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 340, 341.
“It has too often been the case that criticizing and denunciatory discourses have been given before a congregation. These do not encourage a spirit of love in the brethren. They do not tend to make them spiritually minded and lead them to holiness and heaven, but a spirit of bitterness is aroused in hearts. These very strong sermons that cut a man all to pieces are sometimes positively necessary to arouse, alarm, and convict. But unless they bear the especial marks of being dictated by the Spirit of God, they do far more injury than they can do good.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 508.
“It is wise to seek humility and meekness, and to carefully avoid raising a combative spirit, thus closing ears and hearts to the truth. Hold your mouth as with a bridle when the wicked are before you. When tempted to say sarcastic things, refrain. Censure no one; condemn no one. Let the life argue for Jesus, and the lips be opened with wisdom to defend the truth. The consistent life, the long forbearance, the spirit unruffled under provocation, is always the most conclusive argument and the most solemn appeal. We are often brought into positions that are trying, where human nature longs to break forth; but in such cases, be still, do not retaliate.” Review and Herald, July 22, 1884.
There are constant dangers besetting the pathway of God’s servants, and these dangers we may learn to avoid. At times, Elder Prescott, [Vice-President of the General Conference and editor of the Review and Herald in 1908.] you have come very near making shipwreck of your faith. Only the grace of God and the confidence you have had in the messages He has sent through the Spirit of Prophecy have held you back. I was shown that although you have had many years of experience in the cause of God, you are still in danger of making grave mistakes. You will be inclined to catch hold of some minor matter which you consider to be important, and place great weight upon it. At such times Satan is waiting and watching for an opportunity to influence your mind and through you to work upon many other minds, leading them to questioning and doubt. The Lord has not called you to such a work as this. Upon some questions silence will reveal a spirit of wisdom and discretion.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 361.