The Review and Herald


December 1, 1904

The Training of Workers


The true worker in the cause of God will banish from the mind, as impious, every thought of inherent merit. Even the heavenly angels take to themselves no praise. Throughout the heavenly courts, in one grand chorus, resounds their acknowledgment to the Creator: “All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” Those who live on this earth should unite with the heavenly host in ascribing all praise and glory to the Creator. No man has the least cause for boasting or self-exaltation, even when he does his very best. Man often fails of doing his duty, leaving undone a vast amount that a close connection with God would have enabled him to do. RH December 1, 1904, par. 1

Constantly God is laboring to make up man's deficiencies. Even repentance is brought about through the application of grace. The natural heart feels no need of repentance. The tears that fall from the eyes of man because of sorrow for his sinfulness and because of sympathy for other sinners, start unbidden. They are as dew from eyes that belong to God. Man's sighs are but indications of the deep feeling in a heart that is God's. The good resolutions we make are but the expression of desires that are his. The reformed life is but the better employment of a life that has been ransomed by the sacrifice of his Son Jesus. No credit should we take to ourselves for anything that we may do. “All things come of thee,” we shall eventually be led to acknowledge to our Creator, “and of thine own have we given thee.” RH December 1, 1904, par. 2

Faith, too, is the gift of God. Faith is the assent of man's understanding to God's words, that binds the heart to God's service. And whose is man's understanding, if it be not God's? Whose the heart, if it be not God's? To have faith, is to render to God the intellect, the energy, that we have received from him; therefore those who exercise faith do not themselves deserve any credit. Those who believe so firmly in a Heavenly Father that they can trust him with unlimited confidence; those who by faith can reach beyond the grave to the eternal realities beyond, must pour forth to their Maker the confession, “All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” RH December 1, 1904, par. 3

No man has a right to call himself his own. And no man possesses any good thing that he can call his own. Every man, every thing, is the property of the Lord. All that man receives from the bounty of heaven is still the Lord's. Whatever knowledge he has that in any way helps him to be an intelligent workman in God's cause, is from the Lord, and should be imparted by him to his fellow men, in order that they, too, may become valuable workmen. He to whom God has entrusted unusual gifts should return to the Lord's storehouse that which he has received, by freely giving to others the benefit of his blessings. Thus God will be honored and glorified. RH December 1, 1904, par. 4

In all the departments of the Lord's work, every laborer is to help his fellow laborers. The workers who have had many advantages are to take no credit to themselves, nor are they to think that they deserve praise for using in the service of Christ the talents that he has entrusted to them. They should realize that the non-employment of their capabilities would place upon them a burden of guilt, making them deserving of God's just displeasure and severest judgments. RH December 1, 1904, par. 5

Heavenly bestowed capabilities should not be made to serve selfish ends. Every energy, every endowment, is a talent that should contribute to God's glory by being used in his service. His gifts are to be put out to the exchangers, that he may receive his own, with usury. The talents that fit a man for service are entrusted to him not only that he may be an acceptable worker himself, but that he may also be enabled to teach others who in some respects are deficient. RH December 1, 1904, par. 6

If in their ministry those whom we teach develop an energy and an intelligence even superior to that which we possess, we should be led to rejoice over the privilege of having a part in the work of training them. But there is danger that some in positions of responsibility as teachers and leaders, will act as if talent and ability have been given to them only, and that they must do all the work in order to make sure that it is done aright. They are liable to find fault with everything not originated by themselves. A great amount of talent is lost to the cause of God because many laborers, desiring to be first, are willing to lead, but never to follow. Although they closely scrutinize and criticize all that any one else does, they are in danger of regarding that which goes forth from their hands as perfect. RH December 1, 1904, par. 7

To those upon whom God has bestowed many talents, I am instructed to say: Help the inexperienced; discourage them not. Take them into your confidence; give them fatherly counsel, teaching them as you would teach students in a school. Watch not for their mistakes, but recognize their undeveloped talents, and train them to make a right use of these powers. Instruct them with all patience, encouraging them to go forward and to do an important work. Instead of keeping them engaged in doing things of minor importance, give them an opportunity to obtain an experience by which they may develop into trustworthy workers. Much will thus be gained to the cause of God. RH December 1, 1904, par. 8

Those placed in positions of responsibility should patiently seek to make others familiar with all parts of the work. This will reveal that they do not desire to be first, but that they are glad to have others become acquainted with details, and to become as efficient as they are. Those who faithfully fulfil their duty in this respect, will, in time, have standing by their side a large number of intelligent workers whom they have trained. Should they shape matters in accordance with narrow, selfish conceptions, they would stand almost alone. RH December 1, 1904, par. 9

Some workers are incapable of filling positions that others can fill. Many who might have been able to fill positions of trust, have not disciplined themselves, nor have they done that which they could have done from day to day to meet the increasing demands of the present time. Others are able to bear responsibilities, and would do so, if they were encouraged, and if there were some one who, with patience, kindness, and forbearance, would teach them how to work. Ministers should show a real earnestness in helping such persons succeed, and should put forth persevering effort to develop talent. The inexperienced are in need of wise generals who by prayer and personal effort will encourage and help them to become perfect in Christ Jesus, wanting in nothing. This is the work which every gospel minister should endeavor to do, but which some are liable to fail of doing. RH December 1, 1904, par. 10

Men of varied talents and superior ability will unite with us in the work of giving the last message of mercy to a perishing world. My brethren, learn to see and to recognize ability and talent in others besides yourselves. Be examples to the flock. Give to others the benefit of all the knowledge that the Lord has given to you. He has entrusted you with this knowledge, that you may impart it. With the same liberality and freedom that the Master teaches you, teach others, binding them to your heart by love and tenderness. RH December 1, 1904, par. 11

Let no one seek to exalt himself by talking of his deeds, extolling his abilities, displaying his knowledge, and cultivating self-conceit. Let no one strive to tear down the work of others who do not labor according to his standard. The heavenly Teacher extends to us the invitation: “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.” Christ was never self-confident or conceited. He declared. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, there also doeth the Son likewise.” RH December 1, 1904, par. 12

A great work is to be done in America and in other lands. As yet, many fields are still unentered. The most important duty before those who have been sent out into the fields at home and abroad as missionaries, is to combine the forces and strength of all whom they can possibly enlist as helpers. Thus they can make mighty strokes for their Master. God will do a great work in every part of the field, if with willing hearts his servants put self out of sight, and labor for his glory. RH December 1, 1904, par. 13