Christian Leadership


Those Who Criticize Others—Those in responsible positions who have the least conscientious scruples in reference to their own course of action are the ones who watch most jealously for the mistakes of others. Position does not make the man. Only by a living connection with God is the Holy Spirit implanted in the heart. Those who have this connection are faithful and true and will not betray holy trust.—Letter 77, 1898, p. 4 (August 26, 1898, to Brother and Sister Waggoner). ChL 58.1

Sowing Seeds of Doubt and Unbelief-In past ages there have been those who have exercised their capabilities and powers in doing a work, by the help of the Holy Spirit, which constituted them laborers together with God. But there have also been those who have criticized their work, and rejected the messages which they bore. So it is today. There are those in responsible positions who, by their words and actions, sow seeds of doubt and unbelief. These seeds are called tares by our Lord; and those who sow it are under the guidance of evil angels. They are at work both openly and secretly, seeking to counteract the work which God has appointed his divine agencies to perform through human agencies. All who do this work see with defective and perverted eyesight. Their imagination is inspired by satanic agencies, and they see many things in a false light. Unless they repent, they will soon, like Esau, find no place for repentance, though they seek it carefully with tears.—Letter 87, 1896, p. 6 (August 25, 1896, to O. A. Olsen). ChL 58.2

Ridicule Debases the Soul—Caviling, ridicule, and misrepresentation can be indulged in only at the expense of the debasement of your own souls. The use of such weapons does not gain precious victories for you, but rather cheapens the mind, and separates the soul from God. Sacred things are brought down to the level of the common, and a condition of things is created that pleases the prince of darkness, and grieves away the Spirit of God. ChL 58.3

Caviling and criticism leave the soul as devoid of the dew of grace as the hills of Gilboa were destitute of rain. Confidence cannot be placed in the judgment of those who indulge in ridicule and misrepresentation. No weight can be attached to their advice or resolutions. You must bear the divine credentials before you make decided movements to shape the working of God's cause.—Life Sketches, 325. ChL 59.1

Criticism Invites Criticism—The work of judging his brother has not been placed upon any man. “Judge not,” the Saviour says, “that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” He who takes upon himself the work of judging and criticizing others, lays himself open to the same degree of judgment and criticism. Those who are ready to condemn their brethren, would do well to examine their own works and character. Such an examination, honestly made, will reveal the fact that they, too, have defects of character, and have made grave blunders in their work. If the great Judge should deal with men as they deal with their fellow workers, they would regard him as unkind and unmerciful. ChL 59.2

“Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye,” the Saviour asked, “but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”—The Review and Herald, September 14, 1905. ChL 59.3