Welfare Ministry


Chapter 10—Kindness the Key to Hearts

Many Reached Only by Love and Kindness—Those who engage in house-to-house labor will find opportunities for ministry in many lines. They should pray for the sick and should do all in their power to relieve them from suffering. They should work among the lowly, the poor, and the oppressed. We should pray for and with the helpless ones who have not strength of will to control the appetites that passion has degraded. Earnest, persevering effort must be made for the salvation of those in whose hearts an interest is awakened. Many can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness. Their physical wants must first be relieved. As they see evidence of our unselfish love, it will be easier for them to believe in the love of Christ. WM 81.1

Missionary nurses are best qualified for this work, but others should be connected with them. These, although not specially educated and trained in nursing, can learn from their fellow workers the best manner of labor. WM 81.2

Talk, Pharisaism, and self-praise are abundant; but these will never win souls to Christ. Pure, sanctified love, such love as was expressed in Christ's lifework, is as a sacred perfume. Like Mary's broken box of ointment, it fills the whole house with fragrance. Eloquence, knowledge of truth, rare talents, mingled with love, are all precious endowments. But ability alone, the choicest talents alone, cannot take the place of love.—Testimonies for the Church 6:83, 84. WM 81.3

With Love Which Springs From the Heart—Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within—when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance. WM 81.4

It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good. WM 82.1

Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of God's Holy Spirit.—Christ's Object Lessons, 384, 385. WM 82.2

Christ's Love and Sympathy Drew the People—It was the outcast, the publican and sinner, the despised of the nations, that Christ called, and by His loving-kindness compelled to come unto Him. The one class that He would never countenance was those who stood apart in their self-esteem, and looked down upon others.—The Ministry of Healing, 164. WM 82.3

To Love as Christ Loved—The love that is inspired by the love we have for Jesus will see in every soul, rich and poor, a value that cannot be measured by human estimate. The world sinks into insignificance in comparison with the value of one soul. The love of God revealed for man is beyond any human computation. It is infinite. And the human agent who is a partaker of the divine nature will love as Christ loves, will work as Christ worked. There will be an inborn compassion and sympathy which will not fail or be discouraged. This is the spirit that should be encouraged to live in every heart and be revealed in every life. This love can only exist and be kept refined, holy, pure, and elevated through the love in the soul for Jesus Christ, nourished by daily communion with God. All this coldness on the part of Christians is a denial of the faith. But this spirit will melt away before the bright beams of Christ's love in the follower of Christ. Willingly, naturally, he will obey the injunction, “Love one another as I have loved you.”—Manuscript 60, 1897. WM 83.1

Pray for Sympathetic Hearts—As surely as we believe in Christ and do His will, not exalting self, but walking in all humility of mind, so surely will the Lord be with us.... Pray that He will give you a heart of flesh, a heart that can feel the sorrows of others, that can be touched with human woe. Pray that He will give you a heart that will not permit you to turn a deaf ear to the widow or the fatherless. Pray that you may have bowels of mercy for the poor, the infirm, and the oppressed. Pray that you may love justice and hate robbery, and make no difference in the bestowal of your favors, except to consider the cases of the needy and the unfortunate. Then the promises recorded in Isaiah 58 will be fulfilled to you.—Letter 24, 1889. WM 83.2

Speaking a Word of Courage—Never, never become heartless, cold, unsympathetic, and censorious. Never lose an opportunity to say a word to encourage and inspire hope.—Testimonies for the Church 5:613. WM 84.1

In working for the victims of evil habits, instead of pointing them to the despair and ruin toward which they are hastening, turn their eyes to Jesus. Fix them upon the glories of the heavenly. This will do more for the saving of body and soul than will all the terrors of the grave when kept before the helpless and apparently hopeless.—The Ministry of Healing, 62. WM 84.2

No One Reclaimed by Reproach—It is always humiliating to have one's errors pointed out. None should make the experience more bitter by needless censure. No one was ever reclaimed by reproach; but many have thus been repelled, and have been led to steel their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins.—The Ministry of Healing, 166. WM 84.3

Encourage a Love of Hospitality—As you regard your eternal interest, arouse yourselves, and begin to sow good seed. That which ye sow shall ye also reap. The harvest is coming—the great reaping time, when we shall reap what we have sown. There will be no failure in the crop. The harvest is sure. Now is the sowing time. Now make efforts to be rich in good works, “ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” I implore you, my brethren, in every place, rid yourselves of your icy coldness. Encourage in yourselves a love of hospitality, a love to help those who need help.—The Review and Herald, April 20, 1886. WM 84.4

Revive the Spirit of the Good Samaritan—The spirit of the good Samaritan has not been largely represented in our churches. Many in need of help have been passed by, as the priest and Levite passed by the wounded and bruised stranger who had been left to die by the wayside. The very ones who needed the power of the divine Healer to cure their wounds have been left uncared for and unnoticed. Many have acted as if it were enough to know that Satan had his trap all set for a soul, and they could go home and care not for the lost sheep. It is evident that those who manifest such a spirit have not been partakers of the divine nature, but of the attributes of the enemy of God.—Testimonies for the Church 6:294, 295. WM 85.1

Sympathy as Well as Charity—I have been shown that among those who accept present truth there are many whose dispositions and characters need converting. Everyone who claims to be a Christian should examine himself, and see if he is as kind and considerate of his fellow beings as he desires his fellow beings to be of him. When this is done there will be a showing that is after the divine similitude. WM 85.2

The Lord is honored by our acts of mercy, by the exercise of thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate and distressed. The widow and the fatherless need more than our charity. They need sympathy and watchcare and compassionate words and a helping hand to place them where they can learn to help themselves. All deeds done for those who need help are as if done to Christ. In our study to know how to help the unfortunate we should study the way in which Christ worked. He did not refuse to work for those who made mistakes; His works of mercy were done for every class, the righteous and the unrighteous. For all alike He healed disease and gave lessons of instruction if they humbly asked Him. WM 85.3

Those who claim to believe in Christ are to represent Christ in deeds of kindness and mercy. Such will never know until the day of judgment what good they have done in seeking to follow the example of the Saviour.—Letter 140, 1908. WM 86.1

Kindness the Key to Greater Evangelism—If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one.—Testimonies for the Church 9:189. WM 86.2