ELOQUENCE OF GOD’S LOVE
The most persuasive eloquence is the word that is spoken
in love and sympathy. Such words will bring light to confused
minds and hope to the discouraged, brightening the prospect
before them. The time in which we live calls for vital, sanctified
energy; for earnestness, zeal, and the tenderest sympathy
and love; for words that will not increase misery, but will
inspire faith and hope. We are homeward bound, seeking a
better country, even a heavenly. Instead of speaking words
which will rankle in the breasts of those that hear, shall we
not speak of the love wherewith God hath loved us? Shall
we not try to lighten the hearts of those around us by words
of Christlike sympathy? Shall we not tell of the prospective
rest in store for the people of God? “A word fitly spoken is
like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”—RH Feb. 16, 1897.
BARRIERS OF PRIDE AND SELFISHNESS
The spirit of Jesus should pervade the soul of the worker;
it is the pleasant, sympathetic words, the manifestation of
disinterested love for their souls, that will break down the barriers
of pride and selfishness, and show to unbelievers that
we have the love of Christ.
DIVINE ENLIGHTENMENT AND WISDOM
Those who labor in word and doctrine have a great work
before them to tear from the minds of those for whom they
labor the fatal deceptions of Satan, and to impress them with
the importance of aiming to reach God’s great standard of
righteousness. They should pray earnestly for divine enlightenment,
and for wisdom to present the truth as it is in Jesus.
Sympathy, tenderness, and love, woven into their discourses
and manifested in their lives, would disarm opposition, weaken
prejudice, and open the way to many hearts.
IMITATION OF CHRIST IN HIS LABORS
It is to be regretted that many do not realize that the manner
in which Bible truth is presented has much to do with the
impressions made upon minds, and with the Christian character
afterward developed by those who receive the truth.
Instead of imitating Christ in His manner of labor, many are
severe, critical, and dictatorial. They repulse instead of winning
souls. Such will never know how many weak ones their
harsh words have wounded and discouraged.
TOO MANY SERMONS
The sermons should come, not from a mechanical heart, but from a heart that is filled with the love of God, and is subdued and softened by His grace; that when you speak the angels of God are enlisted on your side, and Christ is on your side, and it is Christ that makes the impression. Now these things have been neglected at our camp meetings. We have lost two-thirds of all that the camp meetings were designed to accomplish. The idea seems to be woven into the minds of some that all they have to do is to sermonize, sermonize. While sermons are good in their place, there is sermon after sermon given to the people that they cannot retain in their minds—it is an impossibility for them to do it—and they are just wearied out with sermons.
MINISTERS SHOD WITH GOSPEL SHOES
Let every minister learn to wear the gospel shoes. He
who is shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace will
walk as Christ walked. He will be able to speak right words,
and to speak them in love. He will not try to drive home God’s
message of truth. He will deal tenderly with every heart, realizing
that the Spirit will impress the truth on those who are
susceptible to divine impressions. Never will he be vehement
in his manner. Every word spoken will have a softening, subduing
influence. . . .
In speaking words of reproof, let us put all the Christlike
tenderness and love possible into the voice. The higher
a minister’s position, the more circumspect should he be in
word and act.
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and
Song, pp. 207-209 by Ellen G. White.