The Review and Herald


November 7, 1912

The Spirit of a Christian


There are too many among those who profess to be followers of Christ who seek to excuse their own defects by magnifying the errors of others. The highest evidence of nobility in a Christian is self-control. We should copy the example of Jesus; for when he was reviled, he reviled not again, but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously. Our Redeemer met insult and mockery with uncomplaining silence. All the cruel taunts of the murderous throng who exulted in his humiliation and trial in the judgment-hall, could not bring from him one look or word of resentment or impatience. He was the majesty of heaven, and in his pure breast there dwelt no room for the spirit of retaliation, but only for pity and love. There is a time when silence is golden. We should always copy the life of Jesus; for we are to be like him. He loves us notwithstanding our defects and shortcomings. Let us not think that one of the graces of Christ is portrayed with no lesson to us in its portrayal. Pure love thinketh no evil. When we constantly imagine that we are not appreciated, and watch for slights, we do ourselves and others great harm. We must forget self in loving service for others. RH November 7, 1912, par. 1

If you think your brother has injured you, go to him in kindness and love, and you may come to an understanding and to reconciliation. When you deal with the erring, you should always keep in mind the fact that you are dealing with Christ in the person of his saints. Go to your brother whom you think in the wrong, and lovingly talk with him alone; if you succeed in settling the trouble, you have gained your brother without exposing his frailties, and the settlement between you has been the covering of a multitude of sins from the observation of others. Others will not need to know of your difficulty, and thus be put on the alert to watch with suspicion everything the one you think at fault may do, and put a wrong construction on his motives. RH November 7, 1912, par. 2

“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” If the sinner repents because of your kind and loving admonition, work has been done for eternity. There is great need of carrying out the instruction of Christ in a definite manner, acting up to the word of our Master. This is living the law of God. In thus dealing with our brethren, we may make an impression on others that will never fade from their minds. We may not remember some act of kindness which we do, it may fade from our memory; but eternity will bring out in all its brightness, every act done for the salvation of souls, every word spoken for the comfort of God's children; and these deeds done for Christ's sake will be a part of our joy through all eternity. When we pursue toward our brethren any course save that of kindness and courtesy, we pursue an unchristian course. We should manifest courtesy at home, in the church, and in our intercourse with all men. But especially we should manifest compassion and respect for those who are giving their lives to the cause of God. We should exercise that precious love that suffereth long and is kind; that envieth not, that vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. God would have his servants always appear at their best, both at home and in society; and where Jesus reigns in the heart, there will be sweet love, and we shall be tender and true to one another. It takes special watchfulness to keep the affections alive, and our hearts in a condition where we shall be sensible of the good that exists in the hearts of others. If we do not watch on this point, Satan will put his jealousy into our souls; he will put his glasses before our eyes, that we may see the actions of our brethren in a distorted light. Instead of looking critically upon our brethren, we should turn our eyes within, and be ready to discover the objectionable traits of our own character. As we have a proper realization of our own mistakes and failures, the mistakes of others will sink into insignificance. RH November 7, 1912, par. 3

Satan is an accuser of the brethren. He is on the watch for every error, no matter how small, that he may have something on which to found an accusation. Keep off of Satan's side. It is true that you should give no occasion for faultfinding. A moment's petulance, a single gruff answer, the want of Christian politeness and courtesy in some small matter, may result in the loss of friends, in the loss of influence. God would have you appear at your best under all circumstances, in the presence of those who are inferior to you as well as in the presence of equals and superiors. We are to be followers of Christ at all times, seeking his honor, seeking to rightly represent him in every way, that we may be lights in the world, showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We are not to exalt our own opinions above those of others. If our ideas are superior to those of others, it will be made manifest without special effort on our part. People of discernment will not fail to realize and appreciate the fact, and we shall receive the credit to which we are entitled. God bids us come to him for wisdom, that we may shed the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit upon others, not the influence of our own high opinion of ourselves. We are to come to God for his grace, that we may magnify and honor him, not praise ourselves, but be able to impart new and noble impulses to those around us. God is taking account of all we do and say in seeking to educate men to lift their hearts to him in gratitude and praise. Let self drop out of sight, and let Jesus appear as the One altogether lovely. We should seek to live for his glory alone, not that men may praise us. We should seek to do the work of God in all humility, in meekness and lowliness of heart, working as Christ worked, and angels will watch over us, and carry the tidings of our faithfulness to God and man, even to the courts of light. RH November 7, 1912, par. 4