Christian Leadership



What Moral Courage Cost Some Men—Anyone who has had courage—moral courage to call these things by their right name, and who has refused to be drawn into the net spread for the unwary, who would not be robbed without making a protest, were not looked upon with favor by those with whom they disagreed. Members of councils and boards who would not uphold exaction and double-dealing, but who took a firm stand for the right, were not invited to be present at the meetings where these plans were discussed.—Letter 4, 1896, pp. 13, 15, 16 (July 1, 1896 To Men in Responsible Positions). ChL 15.1

The Cost of Sharp Devising—Let us remember that variance and sharp dealing never serve the cause to enrich God's institutions. By His providences God takes away the money gained by sharp devices. Always by sharp practice dissatisfaction and disunion are created. Lack of confidence comes in. There is a constant impression that someone is trying to get the best of someone else in trade. There are those who try to make terms that are not just and righteous, because they think they can do this, and they will do it. Let the wrong principles which have been coming in for years now be cut out by the roots. Let brotherly love prevail. Those who think by sharp practice and worldly policy to get gain for the cause do not glorify God. He will not accept a jot or tittle of such offerings. God hates all such demonstrations.—Manuscript 16, 1901, p. 14 (February 25, 1901 Testimony to the Battle Creek Church). ChL 15.2

Position Does Not Make the Man—But the position does not make the man. It is the integrity of character, the spirit of Christ, that makes him thankful, unselfish, without partiality and without hypocrisy—it is this that is of value with God. To those whose life is hid with Christ in God, the Lord says, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.” ChL 15.3

For all in responsible positions I have a message spoken by the mouth of the Lord—the fifty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. Study this chapter, and let not any human being consider that he is above his fellow workers because greater responsibilities are involved in his branch of the work. If he is like Daniel, seeking for the power that comes alone from God, that he may represent, not himself, not his imperfections in selfish and fraudulent practices, but the truth in righteousness, he will not possess a vestige of pride or self-importance; but will be weighted with the spirit of wisdom from God.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 356, 357. ChL 15.4

Integrity Preserved at All Costs—In our business connection with the work of God, and in handling sacred things, we cannot be too careful, to guard against a spirit of irreverence; never, for an instant, should the work of God be used deceitfully, to carry a point which we are anxious to see succeed. Honor, integrity, and truth must be preserved at any cost to self. Our every thought, word, and action should be subject to the will of Christ.—Gospel Workers, 447. ChL 16.1

No Under-handed Dealings—Do nothing in an underhanded manner; be open as the day, true to your brethren and sisters, dealing with them as you wish Christ to deal with you. If you had the Spirit of Christ, you would not notice slights and make much of fancied injuries.—The Review and Herald, May 14, 1895. ChL 16.2

Moral Integrity Must be Firm—The work of God calls for men of high moral powers to engage in its promulgation. Men are wanted whose hearts are nerved with holy fervor, men of strong purpose who are not easily moved, who can lay down every selfish interest and give all for the cross and the crown. The cause of present truth is suffering for men who are loyal to a sense of right and duty, whose moral integrity is firm and whose energy is equal to the opening providence of God. Such qualifications as these are of more value than untold wealth invested in the work and cause of God. Energy, moral integrity, and strong purpose for the right are qualities that cannot be supplied with any amount of gold. Men possessing these qualifications will have influence everywhere. Their lives will be more powerful than lofty eloquence. God calls for men of heart, men of mind, men of moral integrity, whom He can make the depositories of His truth, and who will correctly represent its sacred principles in their daily life.—Testimonies for the Church 3:23. ChL 17.1

Unbending Integrity—An honest man, according to Christ's measurement, is one who will manifest unbending integrity. Deceitful weights and false balances, with which many seek to advance their interests in the world, are abomination in the sight of God. Yet many who profess to keep the commandments of God are dealing with false weights and false balances. When a man is indeed connected with God, and is keeping His law in truth, his life will reveal the fact; for all his actions will be in harmony with the teachings of Christ. He will not sell his honor for gain. His principles are built upon the sure foundation, and his conduct in worldly matters is a transcript of his principles. Firm integrity shines forth as gold amid the dross and rubbish of the world. Deceit, falsehood, and unfaithfulness may be glossed over and hidden from the eyes of man, but not from the eyes of God. The angels of God, who watch the development of character and weigh moral worth, record in the books of heaven these minor transactions which reveal character. If a workman in the daily vocations of life is unfaithful and slights his work, the world will not judge incorrectly if they estimate his standard in business.—Testimonies for the Church 4:310, 311. ChL 17.2