Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2


Chapter 44—The Unruly Member

Dear Sister S,

Some things have been shown me in reference to you. You have not a sense of your true state. You need a deep and thorough work of grace in your heart. You need to set your heart and your house in order. Your example in your family is not worthy of imitation. You come up to a low standard, but fail to reach the standard elevated by our divine Lord. You love to visit and talk, and you say many things unbecoming a Christian. Your statements are exaggerated and frequently come far from the truth. Your words and acts will judge you in the last day. By them you will be justified or by them condemned. Your education has not been of an ennobling character, therefore there is the greatest necessity of your now training and educating yourself to purity of thought and action. Train your thoughts so that it will be easy for them to dwell upon pure and holy things. Cultivate a love for spirituality and true godliness. 2T 314.3

Your conversation is often of a low order. You are deceiving your own soul, and this delusion will prove fatal unless you arouse to see yourself as you are and turn unto God with true humbleness of mind. You are inclined to be deceptive. Your son has not an experimental knowledge of God or of the sacred claims of truth. He is flattered by his parents that he is a Christian, but he is a most miserable representative of Sabbathkeeping Christians. God forbid that we acknowledge such as being Christlike. You do not discipline your boy. He is self-willed and bigoted. He has but very little sense of true courtesy or even common politeness. He is rough and uncultivated, unloving and unlovable. You represent to others that he is a Christian, and by so doing you disgrace the cause of Christ. This boy is in a fair way of becoming an educated hypocrite. He has no control over himself, yet you flatter him that he is a Christian. 2T 315.1

The work of reform must commence with you. You should become chaste in conversation, and a keeper at home, loving home duties, loving your husband and child. You should study to economize your time so as not to overtax your strength. The light burden of home duties which you have to perform you can bear without overtaxation if you exercise perseverance and proper diligence. But you have a work to do to control the tongue. It is a little member and boasteth great things, but it needs the bridle of grace and the bit of self-control to keep it from running at random. Your conversation is of a low order, and you indulge in much cheap talk. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” 2T 315.2

May the Lord convict you of these things as you read these lines. I entreat of you to put on the meek dignity of a wife and mother. There is a responsibility resting upon the father. Your efforts should be united to control your son, who is fast traveling the road to perdition. You should earnestly seek for the inward adorning, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. With patience, grace, and sweet humility you can teach your poor, deceived boy the first principles of Christianity, and true politeness, or Christian courtesy. You are frequently hasty and boisterous. Oh, how important that you see the work to be done for you, before it shall be forever too late! Now Jesus invites you to come to Him, and to learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart. The promise He has given you is sure, that you will find rest in Him. You have a great work to do. Deceive not your own souls, but examine yourselves as in the light of eternity. It is impossible for you to be saved as you are. 2T 316.1

Sister S, your husband might be of some use in the church if your influence were what it ought to be. But your example and influence disqualify him to exert a sanctifying influence in the church. Home influences more than counteract his efforts for good. You are wholly unqualified to be the wife of an elder of the church. God calls upon you to reform. Your husband has a work to do to set his heart and house in order. When he is converted, then can he strengthen his brethren. 2T 316.2

As a family, you need to be sanctified through the truth. Dear sister, will you see the work to be done for you and take hold of it without delay, that your influence may be saving? Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 2T 317.1

There are enough profitable subjects upon which to meditate and converse. The conversation of the Christian should be in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour. Meditation upon heavenly things is profitable, and will ever be accompanied with the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Our calling is holy, our profession exalted. God is purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He is sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver. When the dross and tin are removed, then His image will be perfectly reflected in us. Then the prayer of Christ for His disciples will be answered in us: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” When the truth has a sanctifying influence upon our hearts and lives, we can render to God acceptable service and can glorify Him upon the earth, being partakers of the divine nature and having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2T 317.2

Oh, how many will be found unready when the Master shall come to reckon with His servants! Many have meager ideas of what constitutes a Christian. Self-righteousness will then be of no avail. Only those can stand the test who shall be found having on the righteousness of Christ, who are imbued with His spirit, and walk even as He walked, in purity of heart and life. The conversation must be holy, and then the words will be seasoned with grace. 2T 317.3

May the Lord help you as a family to get right, to be elevated in life, and in all your acts to honor your profession. 2T 318.1