Counsels on Health

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Loyalty to Our Institutions

[Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work, 29-33 (1888).]

The sanitarium at Battle Creek has been built up under a pressure of difficulties. There have had to be decisive measures taken, contracts signed by those who were engaged as helpers that they would remain a certain number of years. This has been a positive necessity. After help has been secured, and by considerable painstaking efforts these have become efficient workers, wealthy patients have held out inducements of better wages to secure them as nurses for their own special benefit, at their own homes. And these helpers have often left the sanitarium and gone with them, without taking into consideration the labor that had been put forth to qualify them as efficient workers. This has not been the case in merely one or two instances, but in many cases. CH 282.1

Then people have come as patrons from other institutions that are not conducted on religious principles, and in a most artful manner have led away the help by promising to give them higher wages. Physicians have apostatized from the faith and from the institution, and have left because they could not have their own way in everything. Some have been discharged, and after obtaining the sympathy of others of the helpers and patients, have led these away; and after being at great expense and trying their own ways and methods to the best of their ability, they have made a failure and closed up, incurring debts that they could not meet. This has been tried again and again. Justice and righteousness have had no part in the movements of such. “The way of the Lord” has not been chosen but their own way. They beguiled the unwary and made an easy conquest of those who love change. They were too much blinded to consider the right and wrong of this course, and too reckless to care. CH 282.2

Thus it has been necessary in the sanitarium at Battle Creek to make contracts binding those who connected with it as helpers, so that after they have been educated and trained as nurses and as bath hands, they shall not leave because others present inducements to them. Money has been advanced to some special ones that they might obtain a medical education and be useful to the institution. Dr.----has placed hopes upon some of these, that they would relieve him of responsibilities that have rested most heavily upon him. Some have become uneasy and dissatisfied because those who have started institutions in other parts of the country have tried to flatter and induce them to come to their sanitariums, promising to do better by them. In this way the workers—some of them at least—have become uneasy, unsettled, self-sufficient, and unreliable, even if they did not disconnect with the sanitarium, because they felt there were openings for them elsewhere. Those who are just beginning to practice have felt ready to take large responsibilities which it would be unsafe to trust in their hands, because they have not proved faithful in that which is least. CH 283.1

Now we wish all to look at this matter from a Christian standpoint. These tests reveal the true material that goes to make up the character. There is in the Decalogue a commandment that says, “Thou shalt not steal.” This commandment covers just such acts as these. Some have stolen the help that others have had the burden of bringing up and training for their own work. Any underhanded scheme, any influence brought to bear to try to secure help that others have engaged and trained, is nothing less than downright stealing. CH 283.2

There is another commandment that says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” There has been tampering with the help that has been secured and depended upon to do a certain kind of labor; efforts have been made to demerit the plans and find fault with the management of those who are conducting the institution. The course of the management has been questioned as regards those whose services they desired to secure. Their vanity has been flattered and insinuations made that they are not advanced as rapidly as they should be, they ought to be in more responsible positions. CH 284.1

The very gravest difficulty that the physicians and managers of our institutions have to meet is that men and women who have been led up step by step, educated and trained to fill positions of trust, have become self-inflated, self-sufficient, and placed altogether too high an estimate upon their own capabilities. If they have been entrusted with two talents, they feel perfectly capable of handling five. If they had wisely and judiciously used the two talents, coming up with faithfulness in the little things entrusted to them, thorough in everything they undertook, then they would be qualified to handle larger responsibilities. If they could climb every step of the ladder, round after round, showing faithfulness in that which is least, it would be an evidence that they were fitted to bear heavier burdens, and would be faithful in much. But many care only to skim the surface. They do not think deep, and become master of their duties. They feel ready to grasp the highest round of the ladder without the trouble of climbing up step after step. We are pained at heart as we compare the work coming forth from their hands with God's righteous standard of faithfulness which God alone can accept. There is a painful defect, a remissness, a superficial gloss, a wanting in solidity and in intelligent knowledge and carefulness and thoroughness. God cannot say to such, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” Matthew 25:21. CH 284.2

Men must get hold conscientiously and feel that they are doing the work of God. They must have the trust in their heart to correct all the sophistries and delusions of Satan that would throw them off the right track, so that they will not choose the way of the Lord, but follow the impulses of their own undisciplined characters. If the heart is sanctified and guided by the Holy Spirit, they will run no risks, but will be sure in all they undertake to do good work for Jesus; and in doing their work righteously they are standing securely in this life with a fast hold from above, and they will be guided into every good and holy way. They will be constant to principle. They will do their work, not to secure a great name or great wages, not for the purpose of weaving self into all their works, and of appearing to be somebody in the world, but to be right in everything in the sight of God. They will not be half as anxious to do a big work as to do whatever they have to do with fidelity and with an eye single to the glory of God. Such men are great in the sight of God. Such names are registered in the Lamb's book of life as the faithful servants of the most high God. These are the men who are more precious in the sight of God than fine gold, even more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. CH 285.1