Going To the Erring

 

 

THE PROMISE  

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

— James 1:19,20, NLT 

 

THE TESTIMONY  

If you are grieved because your neighbors or friends are doing wrong to their own hurt, if they are overtaken in fault, follow the Bible rule. “Tell him his fault between thee and him alone.” As you go to the one you suppose to be in error, see that you speak in a meek and lowly spirit; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. The erring can be restored in no other way than in the spirit of meekness, gentleness, and tender love. Be careful in your manner. Avoid anything in look or gesture, word or tone, that savors of pride or self-sufficiency. Guard yourself against a word or look that would exalt yourself, or place your goodness and righteousness in contrast with their failings. 

Above all, let there be no shadow of hate or ill will, no bitterness or sourness of expression. Nothing but kindness and gentleness can flow from a heart of love. Yet all these precious fruits need not hinder you from speaking in the most serious, solemn manner, as though angels were directing their eyes upon you, and you were acting in reference to the coming judgment. Bear in mind that the success of reproof depends greatly upon the spirit in which it is given. Do not neglect earnest prayer that you may possess a lowly mind, and that angels of God may go before you to work upon the hearts you are trying to reach, and so soften them by heavenly impressions that your efforts may avail.  

All your efforts to save the erring may be unavailing... Sometimes the mildest and tenderest reproof will have no good effect. In that case the blessing you wanted another to receive by pursuing a course of righteousness, ceasing to do evil and learning to do well, will return into your own bosom. If the erring persist in sin, treat them kindly, and leave them with your heavenly Father. 

If any good is accomplished, take no credit to yourself. God alone should be exalted. God alone has done it all.

— Testimonies to the Church, Volume 2, p.52,53 

 

THE RESPONSE  

If one is overtaken in fault, follow the Bible rule and tell the person between you and that person alone. 

Earnestly pray that you may possess a lowly mind and that angels of God may go before you to work upon the heart you are trying to reach, to soften their heart by heavenly impressions. 

If the erring person persists in sin, treat them kindly and leave them with your heavenly Father. 

If any good is accomplished, take no credit to yourself. God alone should be exalted. God alone has done it all.

 

 

 

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