Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5


Worldly Policy

The policy which worldly businessmen adopt is not the policy to be chosen and carried out by the men who are connected with our institutions. Selfish policy is not heaven-born, it is earthly. In this world the leading maxim is, “The end justifies the means;” and this may be traced in every department of business. It has a controlling influence in every class of society, in the grand councils of nations, and wherever the Spirit of Christ is not the ruling principle. Prudence and caution, tact and skill, should be cultivated by everyone who is connected with the office of publication and by those who serve in our college and sanitarium. But the laws of justice and righteousness must not be set aside, and the principle must not prevail that each one is to make his particular branch of the work a success, regardless of other branches. The interests of all should be closely guarded to see that no one's rights are invaded. In the world the God of traffic is too often the God of fraud, but it must not be thus with those who are dealing with the Lord's work. The worldly standard is not to be the standard of those who are connected with sacred things. 5T 561.2

When the scenes of the judgment were brought before me, the books in which are registered the deeds of men revealed the fact that the dealings of some of those professing godliness in our institutions were after the worldling's standard, not in strict accordance with God's great standard of righteousness. The relation of men in their deal with one another, especially those connected with the work of God, was opened to me quite fully. I saw that there should be no close, sharp deal between brethren who represent important institutions, different, perhaps, in character, but branches of the same work. A noble, generous, Christlike spirit should ever be maintained by them. The spirit of avarice should have no place in their transactions. God's cause could not be advanced by any action on their part contrary to the spirit and character of Christ. A selfish manner of dealing in one will provoke the same disposition in others, but the manifestation of liberality and true courtesy will awaken the same spirit in return and would please our heavenly Father. 5T 562.1

Worldly policy is not to be classed with sound discretion, although it is too often mistaken for it. It is a species of selfishness, in whatever cause it is exercised. Discretion and sound judgment are never narrow in their workings. The mind that is guided by them has comprehensive ideas and does not become narrowed down to one object. It looks at things from every point of view. But worldly policy has a short range of vision. It can see the object nearest at hand, but fails to discover those at a distance. It is ever watching for opportunities to gain advantage. Those who follow a course of worldly policy are building themselves up by pulling out the foundation from another man's building. Every structure must be built upon a right foundation, in order to stand. 5T 563.1