Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work


Economy and Strict Honesty

There is a lack of care and economy in every department of this institution. Much is lost that might and should be saved. Many of these losses are caused by a neglect to look after little matters. The workers have thought it their duty to attend to the larger responsibilities, but there are hundreds of leaks daily that are not thought of or cared for; and the loss in a year is by no means small. Here is one of the special defects that exist at the Sanitarium. PH066 17.3

The helpers at the Sanitarium should not feel at liberty to appropriate to their own use articles of food provided for the patients. The temptation is especially strong to indulge in things allowed to newcomers, who must be induced gradually to correct their pernicious habits. Employees have no right to help themselves to crackers, nuts, raisins, dates, sugar, oranges, or fruit of any kind; for, in the first place, in eating these things between meals, as is generally done, they are injuring the digestive organs, and again, those who partake of these things are taking that which is not theirs. No food should pass the lips between the regular meals. Temptation is constantly before them to taste the food which they are handling; and here is an excellent opportunity for them to gain control of their appetite. But food seems to be very abundant, and they forget that it all represents so much money value. One and another thoughtlessly indulge in the habit of tasting and helping themselves, until they fancy there is no real sin in the practise. All should beware of cherishing this view of the matter, for conscience is thus losing its sensitiveness. One may reason, “The little that I have taken does not amount to much;” but the question comes home, Did the smallness of the amount lessen the sin of the act? Again, the little which one person takes may not amount to much; but when five act on the same plan, five littles are taken. Then ten, twenty, or even more may presume in the same way, until every day, the workers may, to their own injury, appropriate many little things that they have no right to touch. Many littles make much in the end. But the greatest loss is sustained by the ones who digress; for they are violating the principles of right, and learning to look upon transgression in small matters as no transgression at all. They forget the words of Christ, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” PH066 17.4

When an effort is made to correct these practises, it is generally received as an evidence of stinginess on the part of the managers; and some will make no change, but go on hardening the conscience until it becomes seared as with a hot iron. They rise up against any restriction, and act and talk defiantly, as though their rights had been invaded. But God looks upon all these things as theft, and so the record is carried up to heaven. PH066 19.1

The angels in heaven have a wider and more elevated sphere of action than we; but right with them and right with us are one and the same thing. PH066 19.2

In such an institution as the Sanitarium, where many are laboring together, some will do what they would not think it honest to do were they separately employed. They would have more respect for their reputation than to be found faulty in any of the so-called little matters. A person employed in a private family would not dare to take such liberties with his employer's property as are taken at the Sanitarium. The helpers influence one another to do unlawful acts; and they do not realize that they are, through indulgence of self, wronging one of God's instrumentalities, and crippling its powers. The fact that several are doing the same thing does not lessen their guilt. It is the act itself that is wrong, whether performed by many or by few. PH066 19.3

Those who are employed at our Sanitarium have in many respects the best advantages for the formation of correct habits. None will be placed beyond the reach of temptation; for in every character there are weak points that are in danger when assailed. Those who begin to be careless of their steps will find that before they are aware of it their feet will be entangled in a web from which it is impossible for them to extricate themselves. It should be a fixed principle with all to be truthful and honest. Whether they are rich or poor, whether they have friends or are left alone, come what will, they should resolve, in the strength of God, that no influence shall lead them to commit the least wrong act. One and all should realize that upon them, individually, depends in a measure the prosperity of the Sanitarium. PH066 19.4

Christ resisted Satan in our behalf. We have the example of our Saviour to strengthen our weak purposes and resolves; but notwithstanding this, some will fall by Satan's temptations, and they will not fall alone. Every soul that fails to obtain the victory carries others down through his influence. Those who fail to connect with God, and to receive wisdom and grace to refine and elevate their own lives, will be judged for the good they might have done, but failed to perform because they were content with earthliness of mind and friendship with the unsanctified. PH066 20.1

As my guide conducted me through the different apartments, the lack of economy everywhere stirred my soul with grief; for I had a full sense of the debt hanging over the institution. The petty dishonesty, the selfish neglect of duty, were marked by the recording angel. The waste permitted here and there in the course of a year amounts to a considerable sum. Much of this might be saved by the helpers; but each will say, “It does not belong to me to look after these things.” Would they pass these things so indifferently if the loss were to be sustained by themselves?—No; they would know exactly what to do, and how to do it; but it makes all the difference that it belongs to the institution. This is the fruit of selfishness, and is registered against them under the heading of selfishness. PH066 20.2

Some have labored faithfully, while others have done their work mechanically, as though they had no interest in it, except to get through as quickly as possible. Order and thoroughness were neglected because no one was near to watch them and criticize their work. Unfaithfulness was written against their names. PH066 21.1