Listlessness and inefficiency are not piety. When we realize that we are working for God, we shall have a higher sense than we have ever had before of the sacredness of ritual service. This realization will put life and vigilance and persevering energy into the discharge of every duty.
—Testimonies, vo. 9, p. 150.
The time demands greater efficiency and deeper consecration. Oh, I am so full of this subject that I cry to God, "Raise up and send forth messengers filled with a sense of their responsibility, messengers in whose hearts self-idolatry, which lies at the foundation of all sin, has been crucified."
—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 27.
"The work committed to the disciples would require great efficiency; for the tide of evil ran deep and strong against them."
—The Acts of the Apostlesd
"The right culture and use of the power of speech has to do with every line of Christian work. . . . We should accustom ourselves to speak in pleasant tones, to use pure and correct language, and words that are kind and courteous."
—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 336.
"Every minister and every teacher should bear in mind that he is giving to the people a message that involves eternal interests. The truth spoken will judge them in the great day of final reckoning. And with some souls the manner delivering the message will determine its reception or rejection. Then let the word be so spoken that it will appeal to the understanding and impress the heart. Slowly, distinctly, and solemnly should it be spoken, yet with the earnestness which its importance demands."
—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 336.
"As you seek to draw others within the circle of His love, let the purity of your language, the unselfishness of your service, the joyfulness of your demeanor, bear witness to the power of His grace."
—The Ministry of Healing, p. 156.
"Every Christian is called to make known to others the unsearchable riches of Christ; therefore he should seek for perfection in speech. He should present the word of God in a way that will commend it to the hearers. God does not design that His human channels shall be uncouth. It is not His will that man shall belittle or degrade the heavenly current that flows through him to the world."
—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 336.
"They will be educated in patience, kindness, affability, and helpfulness. They will practice true Christian courtesy, bearing in mind that Christ, their companion, cannot approve of harsh, unkind words or feelings. Their words will be purified. The power of speech will be regarded as a precious talent, lent them to do a high and holy work."
—Gospel Workers, p. 97.
"Mental culture is what we, as a people need, and what we must have in order to meet the demands of the time."
—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 414.
"We must not enter into the Lord's work haphazard and expect success. The Lord needs men of mind, men of thought. Jesus calls for coworkers, not blunderers. God wants right-thinking and intelligent men to do the great work necessary to the salvation of souls. ''
—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 67.
"Some need to discipline the mind by exercise. They should force it to think. While they depend upon some one to think for them, to solve their difficulties, and they refuse to tax the mind with thought, the inability to remember, to look ahead and discriminate, will continue. Efforts must be made by every individual to educate the mind."
— Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 188.
"God does not want us to be content with lazy, undisciplined minds, dull thoughts, and loose memories."
— Counsels to Teachers, p. 506.
"Men of God must be diligent in study, earnest in the acquirement of knowledge, never wasting an hour. Through persevering exertion they may rise to almost any degree of eminence as Christians, as men of power and influence."
— Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 411.
"Only let the moments be treasured. . . The time spent in traveling; . . . the moments of waiting for meals, waiting for those who are tardy in keeping an appointment, if a book were kept at hand, and these fragments of time were improved in study, reading, or careful thought, what might not be accomplished."
— Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 343, 344.
"A resolute purpose, persistent industry, and careful economy of time, will enable men to acquire knowledge and mental discipline which will qualify them for almost any position of influence and usefulness."
—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 344.
"Men in responsible positions should improve continually. They must not anchor upon an old experience, and feel that it is not necessary to become scientific workers. Man, although the most helpless of God's creatures when he comes into the world, and the most perverse in his nature, is nevertheless capable of constant advancement. He may be enlightened by science, ennobled by virtue, and may progress in mental and moral dignity, until he reaches a perfection of intelligence and a purity of character but little lower than the perfection and purity of angels."
— Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 93
"Those who would be workers together with God must strive for perfection of every organ of the body and quality of the mind. True education is the preparation of the physical, mental, and moral powers for the performance of every duty; it is the training of body, mind, and soul for divine service. This is the education that will endure unto eternal life."
—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 330.
"Mechanics, lawyers, merchants, men of all trades and professions, educate themselves that they may become masters of their business. Should the followers of Christ be less intelligent, and while professedly engaged in His service, be ignorant of the ways and means to be employed? The enterprise of gaining everlasting life is above every earthly consideration. In order to lead souls to Jesus there must be a knowledge of human nature and a study of the human mind. Much careful thought and fervent prayer are required to know how to approach men and women upon the great subject of truth."
—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 67
Christian dignity and politeness
"The lack of true dignity and Christian refinement in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers is against us as a people, and makes the truth which we profess unsavory. The work of educating the mind and manners may be carried forward to perfection. If those who profess the truth do not now improve their privileges and opportunities to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus, they will be no honor to the cause of truth, no honor to Christ."
—Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 358, 359.
"Be sure to maintain the dignity of the work by a well-ordered life and godly conversation. Never be afraid of raising the standard too high. ... All coarseness and roughness must be put away from us. Courtesy, refinement, Christian politeness, must be cherished. Guard against being abrupt and blunt. Do not regard such peculiarities as virtues; for God does not so regard them. Endeavor not to offend any unnecessarily."
—Review and Herald, Nov. 25, 1890.
"There is the greatest necessity that men and women who have a knowledge of the will of God, should learn to become successful workers in His cause. They should be persons of polish, of understanding, not having the deceptive outside gloss and simpering affectation of the worldling, but that refinement and true courteousness which savors of heaven, and which every Christian will have if he is a partaker of the divine nature."
— Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 358.
"We have the greatest truth and hope that were ever given to our world, and the greatest faith; and we want to represent this in its exalted character to the world. We do not want to assume the attitude as though we were passing through the world begging pardon of the world because we venture to believe this precious, sacred truth; but we want to walk humbly with God, and conduct ourselves as though we were children of the most high God, and, although feeble instruments, as though we were handling most important and interesting subjects, higher and more exalted than any temporal, worldly themes."
—Review and Herald, July 26, 1887.
"The laborer for souls needs consecration, integrity, intelligence, industry, energy, and tact. Possessing these qualifications, no man can be inferior; instead he will have a commanding influence for good. "
—Gospel Workers, p. 111.
"Men should be at work who are willing to be taught as to the best way of approaching individuals and families. Their dress should be neat, but not foppish, and their manners such as not to disgust the people. There is a great want of true politeness among us as a people. This should be cultivated by all who take hold of the missionary work."
— Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 391, 392.
"There must be no pretense in the lives of those who have so sacred and solemn a message as we have been called to bear. The world is watching Seventh-day Adventists, because it knows something of their profession of faith, and of their high standard; and when it sees those who do not live up to their profession, it points at them with scorn."
—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 23.
"Men may have excellent gifts, good ability, splendid qualifications; but one defect, one secret sin indulged, will prove to the character what the worm-eaten plank does to the ship, utter — disaster and ruin!"
—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 90.
"Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of the truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist."
—Gospel Workers, p. 59
"True character is not shaped from without, and put on; it radiates from within. If we wish to direct others in the path of righteousness, the principles of righteousness must be enshrined in our own hearts. Our profession of faith may proclaim the theory of religion, but it is our practical piety that holds forth the word of truth. The consistent life, the holy conversation, the unswerving integrity, the active, benevolent spirit, the godly example, —these are the mediums through which light is conveyed to the world."
—The Desire of Ages, p. 307.
"Prayers, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree."
— Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 24.
"God does not generally work miracles to advance His truth. If the husbandman neglects to cultivate the soil, God works no miracle to counteract the sure results. He works according to great principles made known to us, and it is our part to mature wise plans, and set in operation the means whereby God shall bring about certain results. Those who make no decided effort, but simply wait for the Holy Spirit to compel them to action, will perish in darkness. You are not to sit still and do nothing in the work of God."
—The Southern Watchman, Dec. 1, 1903.
"Some who engage in missionary service are weak, nerveless, spiritless, easily discouraged. They lack push. They have not those positive traits of character that give power to do something, —the spirit and energy that kindle enthusiasm. Those who would win success must be courageous and hopeful. They should cultivate not only the passive but the active virtues. "
—Gospel Workers, p. 290.
"The Lord is in need of workers who will push the triumphs of the cross of Christ."
—Review and Herald, May 6, 1890.
"Not with tame, lifeless utterance is the message to be given, but with clear, decided, stirring utterances."
—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 16.
"It is not silver-tongued orators that are needed to give this message. The truth in all its pointed severity must be spoken. Men of action are needed, men who will labor with earnest, ceaseless energy for the purifying of the church and the warning of the world."
—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 187.
"Cod has no use for lazy men in His cause; He wants thoughtful, kind, affectionate, earnest workers."
— Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 411.
"Those in the service of God must show animation and determination in the work of winning souls. Remember that there are those who will perish unless we as Gods instrumentalities work with a determination that will not fail nor become discouraged."
—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 418.
"He has given us a great work to do. Let us do it with accuracy and determination. Let us show in our lives what the truth has done for us."
— Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 418.
"It is earnest Christian zeal that is wanted, —a zeal that will be manifested by doing something .... No more could a soul who possesses Christ be hindered from confessing Him, than could the waters of Niagara be stopped from flowing over the falls."
—Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 233.
"Every one who accepts Christ as his personal Saviour will long for the privilege of serving God. Contemplating what heaven has done for him, his heart is moved with boundless love and adoring gratitude. He is eager to signalize his gratitude by devoting his abilities to God's service. He longs to show his love for Christ and for His purchased possession. He covets toil, hardship, sacrifice."
—The Ministry of Healing, p. 502.
"There is a wide field for the Marthas, with their zeal in active religious work. But let them first sit with Mary at the feet of Jesus. Let diligence, promptness, and energy be sanctified by the grace of Christ; then the life will be an unconquerable power for good."
—The Desire of Ages, p. 525.
"In the name of the Lord, with the untiring perseverance and unflagging zeal that Christ brought into His labors, we are to carry forward the work of the Lord."
—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 25.
"We need to break up the monotony of our religious labor. We are doing a work in the world, but we are not showing sufficient activity and zeal. If we were more in earnest, men would be convinced of the truth of our message. The tameness and monotony of our service for God repels many souls of a higher class, who need to see a deep, earnest, sanctified zeal."
— Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 417.
"To be a coworker with Jesus, you should have all patience with those for whom you labor, not scorning the simplicity of the work, but looking to the blessed result. When those for whom you labor do not exactly meet your mind, you often say in your heart, "Let them go; they are not worth saving." What if Christ had treated poor outcasts in a similar manner? He died to save miserable sinners, and if you work in the same spirit and in the same manner indicated by the example of Him whom you follow, leaving the results with God, you can never in this life measure the amount of good you have accomplished."
—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 132.
"Work disinterestedly, lovingly, patiently, for all with whom you are brought into contact. Show no impatience. Utter not one unkind word. Let the love of Christ be in your hearts, the law of kindness on your lips."
—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 41.
Ellen G. White, messenger of the Lord and one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.