Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. — 1 Samuel 12:23,24, NASB
There are many who try to correct the life of others by attacking what they consider are wrong habits. They go to those whom they think are in error, and point out their defects. They say, “You don’t dress as you should.” They try to pick off the ornaments, or whatever seems offensive, but they do not seek to fasten the mind to the truth. Those who seek to correct others should present the attractions of Jesus. They should talk of his love and compassion, present his example and sacrifice, reveal his Spirit, and they need not touch the subject of dress at all. There is no need to make the dress question the main point of your religion. There is something richer to speak of. Talk of Christ, and when the heart is converted, everything that is out of harmony with the word of God will drop off. It is only labor in vain to pick leaves off a living tree. The leaves will reappear. The ax must be laid at the root of the tree, and then the leaves will fall off, never to return.
In order to teach men and women the worthlessness of earthly things, you must lead them to the living Fountain, and get them to drink of Christ, until their hearts are filled with the love of God, and Christ is in them, a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Educate them to better habits, and better traits, by the power of your own example... Reveal Jesus to them, that they may behold him and become like him. If you cultivate fault-finding, and take it upon yourself to correct your brethren, you will soon have no other religion save that of picking flaws and finding defects. You cannot benefit the sinner by coming to him in your own way and in your own strength. Christ alone can save him.
We should educate our souls to grasp the promises of God by living faith. He will give us the gift of salvation. We may have his richest blessing, and we should earnestly seek for the favor of God.
It is necessary that we have a knowledge of Christ, that we have an acquaintance with him, so that we may know his willingness to bless. In him is all fullness of divine grace, and he says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
— Signs of the Times, July 1, 1889
My heavenly Father, I begin my day fastening my mind on You, not the faults of others. Fill me with the fullness of Your grace that I may present the attractions of Jesus and talk of Your love, compassion and sacrifice. I pray that I may be an example that leads others to the living Fountain that they may drink of Christ and be filled with His love. I grasp the promise by living faith and ask that I may receive. Thank You for Your willingness to bless!