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Counsels on Stewardship

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    Chapter 53—Failing to Count the Cost

    There are men who do not move wisely. They are anxious to make a large appearance. They think that outward display will give them influence. In their work, they do not first sit down and count the cost, to see whether they are able to finish what they have begun. Thus they show their weakness. They show that they have much to learn in regard to the necessity of moving carefully and guardedly. In their self-confidence they make many mistakes. Thus some have received harm from which they will never recover.CS 273.1

    This has been the case with several who have felt competent to establish and conduct sanitariums. Failure comes to them, and when they find themselves involved in debt, they ask the Medical Missionary Association to take over the unsuccessful institution and to assume its liabilities.... It does harm to the Medical Missionary Association to take over so many bankrupt sanitariums. Let those who have conducted these sanitariums and who have walked in false paths, begin to think sensibly. Let not failure be written upon them. This spoils the courage of good men.CS 273.2

    Men who might have done well if they had consecrated themselves to God, if they had been willing to work in a humble way, enlarging their business slowly, and refusing to go into debt, have made a failure because they have not worked on right lines. And after getting into difficulty, they have sold out, as men incompetent to manage. They desired relief from financial pressure, and did not stop to think of the after-results.CS 273.3

    Those who help such ones out of difficulty are tempted to bind them with such strong cords in the shape of pledges that ever after they feel that they are bondslaves. They seldom outgrow the reputation of poor management and failure.CS 273.4

    To those who thus become involved in debt, I am instructed to say: Do not give up if you are moving in right lines. Work with all your power to relieve the situation yourselves. Do not throw an embarrassed institution upon an association that is already heavily burdened with debt. It is best for every sanitarium to stand in its own responsibility.CS 274.1

    Those who have charge of our sanitariums should move guardedly. There are times when they will see little increase. Let them act with wisdom and tact and adaptability. Let them study and practice the instruction Christ gave in regard to building a tower. Forethought is of far more value than afterthought—when a neglect of wise calculation and careful management is plainly seen to result in failure. Managers who are slack, who do not know how to manage, should be separated from the work. Secure the services of men and women who know how to bind about the edges, so that the work shall not ravel out.CS 274.2

    Let all who are connected with our institutions humble themselves before God. Let them ask God to help them to plan so wisely and economically that the institutions will take firm root and will bear fruit to God's glory. Depend not on men. Look to Jesus. Continue instant in prayer and watch unto prayer with thanksgiving. Be sure that you have a close connection with Christ.—Letter 199, 1901.CS 274.3

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