Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1


(B) Dependence and Independence in Working Relationships

One Man's Mind—It is a mistake to make men believe that the workers for Christ should make no move save that which has first been brought before some responsible man. Men must not be educated to look to men as to God. While it is necessary that there be a counseling together and a unity of action among the laborers, one man's mind and one man's judgment must not be the controlling power.—The Review and Herald, August 7, 1894. 1MCP 263.1

To Grow in Efficiency—God is the ruler of His people, and He will teach those who give their minds to Him how to use their brains. As they employ their executive ability, they will grow in efficiency. The Lord's heritage is made up of vessels large and small, but each one has his individual work. The mind of one man, or the minds of two or three men, are not to be depended on as certain to be safe for all to follow. Let all look to God, trust in Him, and believe fully in His power. Yoke up with Christ and not with men, for men have no power to keep you from falling.—Letter 88, 1896. 1MCP 263.2

Counsel to an Executive—Your dependence must be in God. You are not to let other men empty their minds into your mind. You are not to allow them by their persuasions to lead you into false paths. Put your trust wholly in Him who declares, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).—Letter 92, 1903. 1MCP 263.3

Dependence Upon God Builds Confidence—When men cease to depend upon men, when they make God their efficiency, then there will be more confidence manifested one in another. Our faith in God is altogether too feeble and our confidence in one another altogether too meager.—Special Testimonies, Series A 3:48, 1895. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 214.) 1MCP 263.4

Self-dependence Leads to Temptation—By earnest prayer and dependence upon God, Solomon obtained the wisdom which excited the wonder and admiration of the world. But when he turned from the Source of his strength and went forward relying upon himself, he fell a prey to temptation. Then the marvelous powers bestowed on this wisest of kings only rendered him a more effective agent of the adversary of souls.—The Great Controversy, 509 (1911). 1MCP 264.1

Dependence on Others May Mean Immaturity—Men who ought to be as true in every emergency as the needle to the pole have become inefficient by their efforts to shield themselves from censure and by evading responsibilities for fear of failure. Men of giant intellect are babes in discipline because they are cowardly in regard to taking and bearing the burdens they should. They are neglecting to become efficient. They have too long trusted one man to plan for them and to do the thinking which they are highly capable of doing themselves in the interest of the cause of God. Mental deficiencies meet us at every point. 1MCP 264.2

Men who are content to let others plan and do their thinking for them are not fully developed. If they were left to plan for themselves, they would be found judicious, close-calculating men. But when brought into connection with God's cause, it is entirely another thing to them; they lose this faculty almost altogether. They are content to remain as incompetent and inefficient as though others must do the planning and much of the thinking for them. Some men appear to be utterly unable to hew out a path for themselves. Must they ever rely upon others to do their planning and their studying, and to be mind and judgment for them? God is ashamed of such soldiers. He is not honored by their having any part to act in His work while they are mere machines.—Testimonies for the Church 3:495, 496 (1875). 1MCP 264.3

Independent Men Are Needed—Independent men of earnest endeavor are needed, not men as impressible as putty. Those who want their work made ready to their hand, who desire a fixed amount to do and a fixed salary, and who wish to prove an exact fit without the trouble of adaptation or training are not the men whom God calls to work in His cause. A man who cannot adapt his abilities to almost any place if necessity requires is not the man for this time. 1MCP 265.1

Men whom God will connect with His work are not limp and fiberless, without muscle or moral force of character. It is only by continued and persevering labor that men can be disciplined to bear a part in the work of God. These men should not become discouraged if circumstances and surroundings are the most unfavorable. They should not give up their purpose as a complete failure until they are convinced beyond a doubt that they cannot do much for the honor of God and the good of souls.—Testimonies for the Church 3:496 (1875). 1MCP 265.2

Unsanctified Independence Springs From Selfishness—The evils of self-esteem and an unsanctified independence, which most impair our usefulness and which will prove our ruin if not overcome, spring from selfishness. “Counsel together” is the message which has been again and again repeated to me by the angel of God. By influencing one man's judgment, Satan may endeavor to control matters to suit himself. He may succeed in misleading the minds of two persons; but when several consult together, there is more safety. Every plan will be more closely criticized; every advance move more carefully studied. Hence there will be less danger of precipitate, ill-advised moves, which would bring confusion, perplexity, and defeat. In union there is strength. In division there is weakness and defeat.—Testimonies for the Church 5:29, 30 (1882). 1MCP 265.3