Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2


Chapter 68—Mistaken Sensitiveness

Dear Sister M,

Your case is upon my mind, and I cannot forbear to commit to writing my convictions from what I have seen in regard to you. I am satisfied that you are wandering in mist and darkness. You do not see things in the right light. You blind your eyes in regard to your own case by excusing yourself thus: “I would not have done this or that if it had not been for certain influences of others which led me to that course of action.” 2T 571.2

You are continually finding fault with circumstances, which is nothing less than finding fault with providences. You are continually casting about for somebody or something to answer the place of a scapegoat, upon which you can lay the blame of having brought you into a position to feel and speak unworthy of a Christian. Instead of simply censuring yourself for your defects, you censure the circumstances and occasions which led you to develop the traits in your character which lie dormant or hid beneath the surface unless something arises to disturb and arouse them to life and action. Then they appear in all their deformity and strength. 2T 571.3

You deceive yourself with the idea that these unamiable traits do not exist, until you are brought into positions which make you act and speak in a manner that reveals them to all. You are not willing to see and confess that it is your carnal nature which has not yet been transformed and brought into subjection to Christ. You have not yet crucified self. 2T 572.1

You sometimes pass along days and weeks without developing the spirit of evil which I have named impatience, and a dictatorial spirit, a desire to control your husband. Your loving to rule and to bring others to your ideas has nearly ruined yourself and him. You love to suggest and to dictate to others. You love to have them feel and see that you have the very best light, and are especially led of God. If they do not, you begin to surmise, to become jealous, to feel a spirit of unrest; you are dissatisfied and exceedingly unhappy. 2T 572.2

Nothing so readily arouses the evil traits in your character as to dispute your wisdom and judgment in exercising your authority. Your strong, overbearing spirit, which has appeared to slumber, is roused to its fullest energy. Self then controls you, and you are no more governed by candid reason and calm judgment than is an insane person. Self in all its strength wrestles for the mastery, and it will take the firmest mind to hold you in restraint. After your fit of insanity has gone by, then you can bear to have your course questioned. But you stand ready to justify yourself by the plea that you are so sensitive; you feel so deeply; you suffer so much. I saw that all this will not excuse you in the sight of God. You mistake pride for sensitiveness. Self is prominent. When self is crucified, then this sensitiveness, or pride, will die; until then you are not a Christian. To be a Christian is to be Christlike, to possess humility and a meek and quiet spirit that will bear contradiction without being enraged or becoming insane. If the deceptive covering which is about you could be rent asunder, so that you could see yourself as God sees you, you would no longer seek to justify self, but would fall all broken upon Christ, the only One who can remove the defects in your character and then bind you up. 2T 572.3