Principle!—We admire the man of principle and unswerving integrity of character. It matters not if he disagrees with us. If there is manifest honesty of heart and purpose, there is a response of genuine respect. It is the straddler, the wobbler, the trimmer of sails to the breeze of popularity, who loses the respect of the upright.
Sincerity!—One of the greatest assets a minister can have is the confidence both of intimate associates and of auditors in the sincerity of his personal convictions as well as the forthright honesty of his public expressions. Nothing can take the place of this. A feeling that a minister does not quite believe what he proclaims robs his words of all convicting power.
Authorities—Have you an accredited authority for your statements in the historical field, or do you glean from any source in which the phraseology fits neatly into your requirements? There are statements by discredited as well as accredited authorities in every field. This is particularly true in the historical realm. Surely we should be above criticism in our practice here.
Harmony!—We must learn to get along with our associates, different though they be in personality and viewpoint. Our peculiarities may be as annoying to them as are theirs to us. We all remember the saying of the old Quaker, "All the world is queer but thee and me, and sometimes I think even thee is a little queer." God uses divergent minds and talents, one balancing another.
Verbosity!—Verbosity is many a minister's unrecognized foe. Direct, vigorous expression is more effective than an idea covered with a barrage of words. True eloquence is vastly more than a flow of language, just as there is a basic difference between mere words and real thought. We should shun the shallow effervescence of mere fluency.
Risks!—Many are perplexed over the breakdown in health of valuable workers in mission land and home field. Some of these matters we must leave to our all-wise Father. It is part of the profit and loss in the work of redemption. Every recruit is a risk. Some make good, and some disappoint. Some fit in, and some seem unable to make those adjustments necessary to effective work. This has ever been so, and will doubtless continue to be, though we should use increasing carefulness in the preliminaries to selection, and increasingly seek direct guidance from God.
Confidence!—No more devastating plan for injuring our work can be conceived than to destroy confidence in our leadership. Insinuation, challenge, assertion, and distortion of fact are the successful vehicles for achieving this end. If accepted, these doubts assuredly chill personal ardor, discourage service, and stanch the springs of giving. However, the vast majority will not be deceived by such efforts, for they demand facts and intelligently weigh evidence. More than that, such a course will inevitably and ultimately react as a boomerang upon those who project such propaganda.
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