The Review and Herald

595/1902

September 22, 1891

“Not as Men-Pleasers”

EGW

It is our wisdom to fear God and to love him with all the heart. He is to be first and last and best in everything. We are not to be like the beasts of the field, who eat and drink, with no thought of God, no idea of gratitude to their Creator for his daily benefits. All of us, as beings blessed of God with reasoning powers, with intellect and judgment, should acknowledge our accountability to God. The life he has given us is a sacred responsibility, and no moment of it is to be trifled with; for we shall have to meet it again in the record of the Judgment. In the books of heaven our lives are as accurately traced as in the picture on the plate of the photographer. Not only are we held accountable for what we have done, but for what we have left undone. We are held to account for our undeveloped characters, our unimproved opportunities. RH September 22, 1891, par. 1

Dear youth, be sure your sin will find you out. The Saviour has said, “There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” This statement is too decided and plain to be misunderstood. Sins committed in secret, whether in the brightness of day, in the darkness of night, in the wilderness, in the city, in solitude however lone, will not escape the notice of God. Every soul is to be rewarded as his works have been. The eye that never slumbers, has watched all your movements, detected all your faults, and has not failed to note your neglect and indifference, your contempt for the just claims of God. You may have concealed your lack of interest from your father and mother, from sisters and brothers; but the true state of your heart toward the law of God is not hidden from Heaven. RH September 22, 1891, par. 2

David exclaimed, “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee!” Nothing is hidden from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. When we realize the fact that our sins are all to be revealed in the day of Judgment, does it not make you tremble? No one but he whose heart is calloused with sin can reflect upon this terrible truth without serious forebodings. If we do not awake to repentance in this time of probation, and make our peace with God now, we shall awake to it when fear shall come like a desolation, when the cities of men, with all their splendid architecture, shall be overthrown, and the heavens depart as a scroll when it is rolled together. RH September 22, 1891, par. 3

Every moment of our life is intensely real. Life is no play; it is charged with awful importance, fraught with eternal responsibilities. When we look upon life from this point of view, we realize our need of divine help. The conviction will be forced upon us that a life without Christ will be a life of utter failure; but if Jesus abides with us, we shall live for a purpose. We shall then realize that without the power of God's grace and Spirit, we cannot reach the high standard he has placed before us. There is a divine excellence of character to which we are to attain; and in striving to meet the standard of heaven, divine incentives will urge us on, the mind will become balanced, and the restlessness of the soul will be banished in repose in Christ. RH September 22, 1891, par. 4

How often do we come in contact with people who are never happy. They fail of enjoying the contentment and peace that Jesus can give. They profess to be Christians, but they do not comply with the conditions upon which the promise of God is fulfilled. Jesus has said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The reason why many are in a state of unrest is that they are not learning in the school of the Master. The submissive, self-sacrificing child of God understands by experience what it is to have the peace of Christ. True followers of Christ know that they must take his yoke, share his trials, carry his burdens. But they do not feel like complaining; for the meekness and lowliness of Christ makes the yoke easy and the burden light. RH September 22, 1891, par. 5

It is love of selfish ease, love of pleasure, your self-esteem, self-exaltation, that prevents you from learning the precious life-lessons in the school of Christ. It is the Christian's duty not to permit surroundings and circumstances to mold him; but to live above surroundings, fashioning his character according to the divine Model. He is to be faithful in whatever place he is found. He is to do his duty with fidelity, improving the opportunities given him of God, making the most of his capabilities. With an eye single to the glory of God, he is to work for Jesus wherever he may be. We are to surrender the will, the heart, to God, and become acquainted with Christ. We must deny self, take up the cross, and follow Jesus. Not one of us can reach heaven, save by the narrow, cross-bearing way. But how many wear the cross as an ornament of the person, but fail to bear the cross in practical, every-day life. RH September 22, 1891, par. 6

How many profess to be the servants of Christ; but how loth are they to bear reproach and shame, for his sake. The cross is not to please self; it lies directly across the path of the pleasure-lover, and cuts through our carnal desires and selfish inclinations. The cross rebukes all unfaithfulness in your labors. If you bear the cross of Christ, you will not shun responsibilities or burden-bearing. If you are abiding in Christ, learning in his school, you will not be rude, dishonest, or unfaithful. The cross of Christ cuts to the root of all unholy passions and practices. Whatever the nature of your work, you will carry the principles of Christ into your labor, and identify yourself with the task given into your hands. Your interest will be one with that of your employer. If you are paid for your time, you will realize that the time for work is not your own,—but belongs to the one who pays you for it. If you are careless and extravagant, wasting material, squandering time, failing to be painstaking and diligent, you are registered in the books of heaven as an unfaithful servant. RH September 22, 1891, par. 7

Those who are unfaithful in the least of temporal affairs, will be unfaithful in responsibilities of greater importance. They will rob God, and fail of meeting the claims of the divine law. They will not realize that their talents belong to God, and should be devoted to his service. Those who do nothing for their employers except that which is commanded them, when they know that the prosperity of the work depends on some extra exertion on their part, will fail to be accounted faithful servants. There are many things not specified that wait to be done, that come directly under the notice of the one employed. Leaks and losses occur that might be prevented if painstaking diligence and unselfish effort were manifested, if the principles of love enjoined upon us by Jesus were carried out in the life of those who profess his name. But many are working in the cause of God who are registered as “eye-servants.” It is the most abhorrent form of selfishness that leads the worker to neglect the improvement of time, the care of property, because he is not directly under the eye of the master. But do such workers imagine that their neglects are not noticed, their unfaithfulness not recorded? Could their eyes be opened, they would see that a Watcher looks on, and all their carelessness is recorded in the books of heaven. RH September 22, 1891, par. 8

Those who are unfaithful to the work of God, are lacking in principle; their motives are not of a character to lead them to choose the right under all circumstances. The servants of God are to feel at all times that they are under the eye of their employer. He who watched the sacrilegious feast of Belshazzar is present in all our institutions, in the counting-room of the merchant, in the private workshop; and the bloodless hand is as surely recording your neglect, as it recorded the awful judgment of the blasphemous king. Belshazzar's condemnation was written in words of fire, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting;” and if you fail to fulfill your God-given obligations, your condemnation will be the same. RH September 22, 1891, par. 9

There are many who profess to be Christians who are not united with Christ. Their daily life, their spirit, testifies that Christ is not formed within, the hope of glory. They cannot be depended upon, they cannot be trusted. They are anxious to reduce their service to the minimum of effort, and at the same time exact the highest of wages. The name “servant” applies to every man; for we are all servants, and it will be well for us to see what mold we are taking on. Is it the mold of unfaithfulness, or of fidelity? RH September 22, 1891, par. 10

Is it the disposition generally among servants to do as much as possible? Is it not rather the prevalent fashion to slide through the work as quickly, as easily, as possible, and obtain the wages at as little cost to themselves as they can? The object is not to be as thorough as possible, but to get the remuneration. Those who profess to be the servants of Christ should not forget the injunction of the apostle Paul, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” RH September 22, 1891, par. 11

Those who enter the work as “eye-servants,” will find that their work cannot bear the inspection of men or of angels. The thing essential for successful work is a knowledge of Christ; for this knowledge will give sound principles of right, impart a noble, unselfish spirit, like that of our Saviour whom we profess to serve. Faithfulness, economy, care-taking, thoroughness, should characterize all our work, wherever we may be, whether in the kitchen, in the workshop, in the office of publication, in the Sanitarium, in the College, or wherever we are stationed in the vineyard of the Lord. “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.” RH September 22, 1891, par. 12