The Grace of Silence

Let God’s Spirit work with all who are at Nashville, but let no man try to work the Holy Spirit. And let no words of murmuring be spoken. If you have words of encouragement to say, say them; but if not, keep silent. Silence is often eloquence. And I have a word from the Lord: Grieve not the Holy Spirit by giving expression to your feelings when you see the need of more means to advance the work, and your soul is grieved by the indifference of those who ought to help. If through lack of means you are brought into trying positions, carry the matter to God. When the treasury is empty, and when letter after letter comes calling for means to meet emergencies, the men at the heart of the work feel perplexed and discouraged. Let your words be carefully chosen words, choice and pure, fraught with love and sympathy. Then you will not bruise and wound the souls of your fellow workers. You will strengthen and encourage them.

The Lord desires his servants to show his forbearance in dealing with one another. Let not the workers in Nashville speak a word of recrimination or discouragement. In his providence God has given you facilities for the publication and sale of books. Thank him for this. Let no word of evil-surmising escape your lips. God is dishonored by those who accuse their brethren. Close the door quickly against this temptation, and keep it closed. Open the heart to Christ’s forbearance. Refuse to drink the turbid, murky waters of the valley; drink only the water that flows from the refreshing streams of Lebanon. Let not a day pass in which you do not realize your accountability to work for God,—an accountability placed on you by the death of his Son in your behalf. Let not a day pass in which you do not try to heal the wounds that sin has made. Always be found working on the broad plan of God’s love.

“Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.” Every part of the being is the Lord’s paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. In dealing with one another, we are to remember this. We are to treat our fellow workers with respect and kindness and love; for they belong to Christ. They may not always please us. What they do may not always meet our ideas. Nevertheless we are to unite with them in Christian fellowship.

Think of the importance that Christ places on unity. He prayed that the oneness existing between him and his Father might exist among his followers, that the world might know that God had indeed sent his Son into the world to save sinners. How shall this prayer be answered?—By every believer’s putting away all evil thinking and evil speaking.

Do not admit a wrong that God has not charged you with. But do not take time to contradict the false reports that are made. Shall we sacrifice our fragrance of spirit because others clothe themselves with bitterness? God forbid. Is it not sufficient for us to know that God does not record these false reports in the books of heaven as true?

Do not speak or write a word of censure or recrimination, even though it may seem to you as if the censure were deserved. Refuse to listen to complaints. Close the heart against prejudice. Let envy be quenched in the flow of love from the fountain of God’s love. Evil imaginings are not worth the time so often given to thinking of and repeating them.

Many trials will come. But keep the door of the lips against hasty words. Such words hurt your soul and are displeasing to the Lord.

There must be a reformation in our churches in regard to evil thinking and evil speaking. These sins are stumbling blocks over which sinners stumble to perdition. They cause men and women to be misunderstood and misjudged. They create disturbances that should never exist. God will not justify us in giving expressions to ill feeling against those who we suppose have erred. Have we ourselves never made mistakes? Have we never been in the slough of despond? God help us to remember how hard it is, when tempted by the enemy, to have our own brethren step to his side, and try to hurt and destroy.

When tempted to find fault, begin to sing, “Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. The works of his hands are verity and judgment, all his commandments are sure. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.” “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

— E.G. White, Southern Watchman, March 6, 1902

E.G. White

This is a republished article or book excerpt from Sister Ellen G. White.

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