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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7

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    Care of the Helpers

    The managers of our restaurants are to work for the salvation of the employees. They must not overwork, because by so doing they will place themselves where they have neither strength nor inclination to help the workers spiritually. They are to devote their best powers to instructing their employees in spiritual lines, explaining the Scriptures to them and praying with them and for them. They are to guard the religious interests of the helpers as carefully as parents are to guard the religious interests of their children. Patiently and tenderly they are to watch over them, doing all in their power to help them in the perfection of Christian characters. Their words are to be like apples of gold in pictures of silver; their actions are to be free from every trace of selfishness and harshness. They are to stand as minutemen, watching for souls as they that must give an account. They are to strive to keep their helpers standing on vantage ground, where their courage will constantly grow stronger and their faith in God constantly increase.7T 117.3

    Unless our restaurants are conducted in this way, it will be necessary to warn our people against sending their children to them as workers. Many of those who patronize our restaurants do not bring with them the angels of God; they do not desire the companionship of these holy beings. They bring with them a worldly influence, and to withstand this influence the workers need to be closely connected with God. The managers of our restaurants must do more to save the young people in their employ. They must put forth greater efforts to keep them alive spiritually, so that their young minds will not be swayed by the worldly spirit with which they are constantly brought in contact. The girls and the young women in our restaurants need a shepherd. Every one of them needs to be sheltered by home influences.7T 118.1

    There is danger that the youth, entering our institutions as believers, and desiring to help in the cause of God, will become weary and disheartened, losing their zeal and courage, and growing cold and indifferent. We cannot crowd these youth into small, dark rooms and deprive them of the privileges of home life and then expect them to have a wholesome religious experience.7T 118.2

    It is important that wise plans be laid for the care of the helpers in all our institutions and especially for those employed in our restaurants. Good helpers should be secured, and every advantage should be provided that will aid them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. They are not to be left to the mercy of haphazard circumstances, with no regular time for prayer and no time at all for Bible study. When left thus, they become heedless and careless, indifferent to eternal realities.7T 118.3

    With every restaurant there should be connected a man and his wife who can act as guardians of the helpers, a man and woman who love the Saviour and the souls for whom He died, and who keep the way of the Lord.7T 118.4

    The young women should be under the care of a wise, judicious matron, a woman who is thoroughly converted, who will carefully guard the workers, especially the younger ones.7T 119.1

    The workers are to feel that they have a home. They are God's helping hand, and they are to be treated as carefully and tenderly as Christ declared that the little child whom He set in the midst of His disciples was to be treated. “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me,” He said, “it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:6, 10. The care that should be given to these employees is one of the reasons in favor of having in a large city several small restaurants instead of one large one. But this is not the only reason why it will be best to establish several small restaurants in different parts of our large cities. The smaller restaurants will recommend the principles of health reform just as well as the larger establishment and will be much more easily managed. We are not commissioned to feed the world, but we are instructed to educate the people. In the smaller restaurants there will not be so much work to do, and the helpers will have more time to devote to the study of the word, more time to learn how to do their work well, and more time to answer the inquiries of the patrons who are desirous of learning about the principles of health reform.7T 119.2

    If we fulfill the purpose of God in this work, the righteousness of Christ will go before us, and the glory of the Lord will be our rearward. But if there is no ingathering of souls, if the helpers themselves are not spiritually benefited, if they are not glorifying God in word and deed, why should we open and maintain such establishments? If we cannot conduct our restaurants to God's glory, if we cannot exert through them a strong religious influence, it would be better for us to close them up and use the talents of our youth in other lines of work. But our restaurants can be so conducted that they will be the means of saving souls. Let us seek the Lord earnestly for humility of heart, that He may teach us how to walk in the light of His counsel, how to understand His word, how to accept it, and how to put it into practice.7T 120.1

    *****

    There is danger that our restaurants will be conducted in such a way that our helpers will work very hard day after day and week after week, and yet not be able to point to any good accomplished. This matter needs careful consideration. We have no right to bind our young people up in a work that yields no fruit to the glory of God.7T 120.2

    There is danger that the restaurant work, though regarded as a wonderfully successful way of doing good, will be so conducted that it will promote merely the physical well-being of those whom it serves. A work may apparently bear the features of supreme excellence, but it is not good in God's sight unless it is performed with an earnest desire to do His will and fulfill His purpose. If God is not recognized as the author and end of our actions, they are weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting.7T 120.3

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