Encourage a Spirit of Kindliness
To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men. Titus 3:2, R.S.V.
How many useful and honored workers in God’s cause have received a training amid the humble duties of the most lowly positions in life! Moses was the prospective ruler of Egypt, but God could not take him from the king’s court to do the work appointed him. Only when he had been for forty years a faithful shepherd was he sent to be the deliverer of his people. Gideon was taken from the threshing-floor to be the instrument in the hands of God for delivering the armies of Israel. Elisha was called to leave the plow and do the bidding of God. Amos was a husbandman, a tiller of the soil, when God gave him a message to proclaim.
All who become coworkers with Christ will have a great deal of hard, uncongenial labor to perform, and their lessons of instruction should be wisely chosen, and adapted to their peculiarities of character, and the work which they are to pursue.
The Lord has presented to me, in many ways and at various times, how carefully we should deal with the young—that it requires the finest discrimination to deal with minds. Everyone who has to do with the education and training of youth needs to live very close to the great Teacher, to catch His spirit and manner of work. Lessons are to be given which will affect their character and lifework.
They should be taught that the gospel of Christ tolerates no spirit of caste, that it gives no place to unkind judgment of others, which tends directly to self-exaltation. The religion of Jesus never degrades the receiver, nor makes him coarse and rough; nor does it make him unkind in thought and feeling toward those for whom Christ died....
Some are in danger of making the externals all-important, of overestimating the value of mere conventionalities....
Anything that would encourage ungenerous criticism, a disposition to notice and expose every defect or error, is wrong. It fosters distrust and suspicion, which are contrary to the character of Christ, and detrimental to the mind thus exercised. Those who are engaged in this work gradually depart from the true spirit of Christianity.
The most essential, enduring education is that which will develop the nobler qualities, which will encourage a spirit of universal kindliness, leading the youth to think no evil of anyone, lest they misjudge motives and misinterpret words and actions. The time devoted to this kind of instruction will yield fruit to everlasting life.—Gospel Workers, 332-334.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 277