Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7


Chapter 38—Co-operation

In the establishment of institutions in new fields it is often necessary to place responsibilities upon persons not fully acquainted with the details of the work. These persons labor at great disadvantage, and, unless they and their fellow workers have an unselfish interest in the Lord's institution, there will result a condition of things that will hinder its prosperity. 7T 197.1

Many feel that the line of work they are doing belongs solely to them and that no one else should make any suggestions in regard to it. These very ones may be ignorant as to the best methods of conducting the work; yet, if one ventures to offer them advice, they are offended and become more determined to follow their independent judgment. Again, some of the workers are not willing to help or instruct their fellow workmen. Others who are inexperienced do not wish their ignorance to be known. They make mistakes, at a cost of much time and material, because they are too proud to ask counsel. 7T 197.2

The cause of the trouble it is not difficult to determine. The workers have been independent threads, when they should have regarded themselves as threads that must be woven together to help form the pattern. 7T 197.3

These things grieve the Holy Spirit. God desires us to learn of one another. Unsanctified independence places us where He cannot work with us. With such a state of things Satan is well pleased. 7T 197.4

There should be no secretiveness, no anxiety lest others gain a knowledge possessed by the few. Such a spirit gives rise to constant suspicion and restraint. Evil thinking and evil surmising are indulged, and brotherly love dies out of the heart. 7T 197.5

Every line of God's work has a connection with every other line. Exclusiveness cannot exist in an institution where God presides; for He is the Lord of all tact, all ingenuity; He is the foundation of all correct methods. It is He who imparts knowledge concerning them, and no man is to look upon this knowledge as exclusively his own. 7T 198.1

Each worker should feel an interest in every line of the work, and if God has given him foresight, capability, and knowledge that will help in any line, he should communicate that which he has received. 7T 198.2

All the ability that can be connected with the institution, through disinterested effort, should be brought in to make it a success, a living, working agent for God. Consecrated workers who possess talents and influence are the ones whom the publishing houses need. 7T 198.3

Every worker will be tested as to whether he is laboring for the advancement of the Lord's institution, or to serve his own interests. Those who have been converted will give daily evidence that they are not seeking to use for their personal benefit the advantages and knowledge they have gained. They realize that divine providence has given them these advantages, that, as the Lord's instrumentalities, they may serve His cause by doing superior work. 7T 198.4

None should work from love of praise, or ambition for supremacy. The true worker will do his best because in so doing he can glorify God. He will try to improve all his faculties. He will perform his duties as unto God. His one desire will be that Christ may receive homage and perfect service. 7T 198.5

Let the workers enlist all their energies in the effort to gain advantages for the Lord's work. In doing this they themselves will gain strength and efficiency. 7T 198.6