Ellen G. White Writings

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Christian Leadership, Page 30

The President Sets the Example—You refer to your office as President of the General Conference, as if this justifies your course of action, which you deemed wholly right, but which, from the light the Lord has been pleased to give me, I deem to be wrong in some respects. The very fact that you are standing in a position of responsibility I urge upon you as the reason why you should show a forbearing, courteous, Christlike spirit at all times and under all circumstances. Your brethren in the ministry who respect you and your office, will be very apt to follow your example in the treatment of such cases. You are to be an example to your brethren, worthy of imitation. Your words, your spirit, your deportment, even the manner in which you treat your brethren are sowing seeds for good or evil. It is both your privilege and duty, especially in your position of trust, to be like-minded with God; then you will be strong in His strength and meek and humble as a little child.

Cling close to your Bible, for its sacred truths can purify, ennoble and sanctify the soul. You must hold the truth and teach it as it is in Jesus, else it is of no value to you. Before the light of God's truth let human opinions and ideas and human wisdom appear as they are in the sight of God—as foolishness. Let no man feel that his position as president either of the General Conference or of a state conference clothes him with a power over the consciences of others that is the least degree oppressive, for God will not sanction anything of this kind. He must respect the rights of all, and all the more because he is in a position where others will pattern after him.

Your position binds you under the most sacred obligations to be very careful what kind of a spirit you entertain towards your brethren. They are acting a part in God's cause as well as yourself. Will not God teach them and guide them as well as yourself? You are not even to allow yourself to think unkindly of them, much less to climb upon the judgment seat and censure and condemn your brethren, when you may be yourself, in many respects, more deserving of censure than they. Your work is bearing the inspection of God.—Letter 21, 1888, pp. 10, 11 (October 14, 1888 to Brother Butler).

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