Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2


Chapter 46—A Self-Caring, Dictatorial Spirit

Dear Brother U,

I was shown in the last vision that you would need to watch yourself with jealous care, or your peculiar temperament would control you. You erred while engaged in praying for Sister V, and took upon yourself the same dictatorial, overbearing spirit which has been the curse of your life. You bore down on Brother W when, considering your failures in the past, you should have been unassuming and modest. It will be very difficult for you to overcome the habit of watching others, and noticing little things, and speaking out in a decided, censuring manner. All this you have nothing to do with. Just as sure as you are overcome in a small degree in this direction, the door is open for a greater failure. There is no safety for you but in constantly controlling yourself and possessing your soul in patience. You cannot accomplish any great work, but, if right, may do a little good in the cause of God. But your influence need not injure; if you are guarded and sanctified to God, you may be able to speak a peaceful word of comfort and to bear testimony to the great riches of God and the undying love of Jesus. 2T 320.1

Let your heart be softened and melted under the divine influence of the Spirit of God. You should not talk so much about yourself, for this will strengthen no one. You should not make yourself a center, and imagine that you must be constantly caring for yourself and leading others to care for you. Get your mind off from yourself into a more healthy channel. Talk of Jesus, and let self go; let it be submerged in Christ, and let this be the language of your heart: “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Jesus will be to you a present help in every time of need. He will not leave you to battle with the powers of darkness alone. Oh, no; He has laid help upon One that is mighty to save to the uttermost. 2T 320.2

Be not self-caring. Overcome your notions, your little peculiarities, and seek only to represent Jesus. When talking or praying in meeting, do not be too lengthy. You have failed here. You can remedy this. Lengthy speaking and praying is injurious to yourself and is no benefit to those who hear. You will have close work to be an overcomer. Yet you can do it if you engage in the work calmly. Here you need to guard yourself. You are uneasy, hurried, nervous. This you may also overcome. 2T 321.1

You have an earnest, anxious desire to do right and meet the approval of God. Continue your earnest, persevering efforts, and be not discouraged. Be patient. Never censure. Never let the enemy beguile you from your watch. Watch as well as pray. After you pray, watch thereunto. The effort is your own; no one can do this work for you. Take hold of the strength of God, and as fast as you see your errors in the past, redeem the time. 2T 321.2