"Strive Not About Words"

Vital "Testimony" Counsels reprinted.

Ellen G. White

 "Of these things put them in remembrance, charg­ing them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hear­ers."

The ministers of Christ are in constant danger. They are to put their brethren in mind of the things which they already know. "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the pres­ent truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance." Satan is constantly at work to divert the mind with earthly things, that the truth may lose its force upon the heart; and then there will be no progress, no advancement from light and knowledge, to greater light and knowledge.

Unless the followers of Christ are con­stantly stirred up to practice the truth, they will not be sanctified through it. Questions, speculations, and matters of no vital impor­tance will occupy the mind, and become the subject of conversation, and then there will be caviling and striving about words, and pre­senting of different opinions, concerning points that are not vital or essential.

Those who listened to the present truth in the days of Paul did as do the men of today. They would get up questions, presenting var­ious ideas and opinions of men, and bring the mind of the minister from the important work of preaching the main truths of the gospel, to settle their disputes. The laborer for God must be wise enough to see the design of the enemy, and to refuse to be misled and diverted. The conversion of the souls of his hearers must be the burden of his work, and he must keep out of controversy, and preach the word of God.

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will in­crease unto more ungodliness." The special, deceptive work of Satan has been to provoke controversies, that there might be strivings about words to no profit. He well knows that this will occupy the mind and the time. It raises the combativeness, and quenches the spirit of conviction, in the minds of many, drawing them into diversity of opinions, accu­sation, and prejudice, which closes the door to the truth. This was the effect in the days of Paul, and we see that it has been the same in our own time. It shakes the confidence of those already partially convinced, and it turns away others who are waiting for some excuse for rejecting the truth.

The less the preacher shall multiply words of his own, the more distinct and clear will be the living utterances of God. Let your words be few. Let God speak. Let the plain "Thus saith the Lord" settle all controversies. If we allow the mind to take its own course, there will be countless points of difference which may be debated by men who make Christ their hope, and who love the truth in sincerity, and yet who hold opposite opinions upon subjects that are not of real importance. These un­settled questions should not be brought to the front, and urged publicly, but should, if held by any, be done quietly and without contro­versy.

Keep Minor Differences Concealed

Men of ability have devoted a lifetime of study and prayer to the searching of the Scrip­tures, and yet not one half of the Bible has been fully explored ; and all parts of it will never be fully comprehended until Christ shall open its wonderful mysteries in the future life. There is much to be unraveled, much that human minds can never harmonize. There are many themes that might seem of special importance to the minds of one class, that to another class would appear in an altogether different light. Satan will seek to create argu­ment upon different points that might better remain unmentioned.

A noble, devoted, spiritual worker will see in the great testing truths that constitute the solemn message to be given to the world, suf­ficient reason for keeping all minor differ­ences concealed, rather than to bring them forth to become subjects of contention. Let the mind dwell upon the great work of redemp­tion, the soon coming of Christ, and the com­mandments of God; and it will be found that there is enough food for thought in these sub­jects to take up the entire attention.—Mrs. E. G. White, in Review and Herald, Sept. 17, 1888.

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Ellen G. White

March 1939

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