LASTING IMPRESSIONS THROUGH LOVE
In His providence God impresses people to attend our tent meetings and church services. Some come from curiosity, others to criticize or ridicule. Often they are convicted of sin. The word spoken in the spirit of love makes a lasting impression on them. How carefully, then, should these meetings be conducted. The words spoken should be of authority, that the Holy Spirit can impress them on minds. The speaker who is controlled by the Spirit of God has a sacred dignity, and his words are a savor of life unto life. Let not unsuitable illustrations or anecdotes be introduced into the discourse. Let the words spoken be for the edification of the hearers.
CUTTING BY THE TRUTH, NOT BY OUR WORDS
In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, preachers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never cut. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut.
REFORMATION, NOT EXASPERATION
God is calling for reformers who will speak strong, uplifting words from our pulpits. It is when men speak their own words in their own strength, instead of preaching the Word of God in the power of the Spirit, that they are hurt and offended when their words are not received with enthusiasm. It is then that they are tempted to speak words that will arouse a spirit of bitterness and opposition in their hearers. My brethren, be advised. Such words are not to come from the lips of Christ’s ambassadors. Sanctified lips will speak words that reform, but do not exasperate. The truth is to be presented in the meekness and love of Christ.
FROM BROKEN, CONTRITE HEARTS
My brethren, let your hearts become broken and contrite. Let expressions of sympathy and love, which will not blister the tongue, flow from your lips.
SPIRITUALITY IN PREACHING
Brother B’s preaching has not been marked by the sanction of God’s Spirit. He can talk fluently and make a point plain, but his preaching has lacked spirituality. His appeals have not touched the heart with a new tenderness. There has been an array of words, but the hearts of his hearers have not been quickened and melted with a sense of a Saviour’s love.
FOR TEACHERS, THE GENTLENESS OF CHRIST
I have an earnest desire that you shall every day be learning of the Great Teacher. If you will first draw nigh to God and then to your students, you can do a very precious work. If you are diligent and humble, God will daily give you knowledge and an aptitude to teach. Do your very best to impart to others the blessings He has given you.
NO PASSIONATE WORD OR GESTURE
In educating the children and youth, teachers should not allow one passionate word or gesture to mar their work, for in so doing they imbue the students with the same spirit which they themselves possess.
NO IRRITATION BY TEACHERS
Instructors who are under the discipline of God receive grace and truth and light through the Holy Spirit to communicate to the children. They are under the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, and how unbecoming it would be for them to have an unkind spirit, a sharp voice, full of irritation! In this they would perpetuate their own defects in the children.
NO LACK OF KINDNESS, EVEN TO EVILDOERS
If the teacher, through the grace of Christ, is self-controlled, and holds the lines with a steady, patient hand, he will quell the boisterous element, keep his self-respect, and command the respect of his students. When once order is restored, let kindness, gentleness, and affection be manifested. It may be that rebellion will rise again and again, but let not the hasty temper appear. Do not speak sharply to the evildoer, and discourage a soul who is struggling with the powers of darkness.
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and Song, pp. 209-212 by Ellen G. White.