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    Criticizing and Faultfinding

    Those visiting our institutions, and seeing where work is not done to the best advantage, should, if they have had larger experience, and know of a more successful way to manage, counsel with those who are in trust, and seek to help them to see the right way of action. Those who fail to do this neglect their duty, and are unfaithful to their God-given responsibility. Such a one, if he goes from that institution without saying anything to the proper persons, and states to parties not connected with it that he saw failures in the management there, that he saw places where expense was incurred without benefiting the institution, has failed to manifest a Christian spirit, and has been unfaithful to his brethren and to God. The Lord would have him diffuse light, if he has it to give; and if he has not a well-regulated plan to suggest, he does wrong to tell others of the mistakes which he has seen. If he fails to give the workers the benefit of his supposed superior wisdom; if he only finds fault without telling, in a right spirit, how to improve, he not only injures the reputation of the institution, but of the workers, who may be acting according to the very best light they have.PH066 24.1

    These things need to be carefully considered. Let every man and woman inquire, “On whose side am I? Am I working to build up or to tear down one of God's instrumentalities?”PH066 24.2

    One thing makes me feel very sad, and that is that there is not always harmony among the workers in our institutions. I have thought, Is it possible that there is any one who will find fault with those connected with them in the work? Is there any one who will suggest to patients or to visitors or fellow workers that there are many things which ought to be done that are not done, and many other things which are not done right? If they do this, they are not doing the work of Christians. Men who have been appointed to different positions of trust are to be respected. We do not expect to find men who are perfect in every respect. They may be seeking for perfection of character, but they are finite, and liable to err. Those who are engaged in our institutions should feel it their duty jealously to guard both the work and the workers from unjust criticism. They should not readily accept or speak words of censure against any who are connected with the work of God; for in thus doing God himself may be reproached, and the work that he is doing through instrumentalities may be greatly hindered. The wheels of progress may be blocked when God says, “Go forward.”PH066 24.3

    It is a great evil, and one which exists among our people to a great extent, to give loose rein to the thoughts, to question and criticize everything another does, making mountains out of mole-hills, and thinking their own ways are right, whereas, if they were in the same place as their brother, they might not do half as well as he does. It is just as natural for some to find fault with what another does as it is for them to breathe. They have formed the habit of criticizing others, when they themselves are the ones who should be brought severely to task and their wicked speeches and hard feelings be burned out of their souls by the purifying fire of God's love.PH066 25.1

    When the converting power of God is felt upon the heart, altogether different results will be seen. A person who will allow any degree of suspicion or censure to rest upon his fellow workers, while he neither rebukes the complainers nor faithfully presents the matter before the one condemned, is doing the work of the enemy. He is watering seeds of discord and of strife, the fruit of which he will have to meet in the day of God. He is backbiting; he is taking up a reproach against his neighbor; he is doing a work that will separate very friends. He is striking directly at the reputation of his brother; and envy, jealousy, and evil surmisings are awakened, which endanger the soul's salvation. He is hedging up his brother's way, binding his influence; and God will hold him accountable for this work.PH066 26.1

    This disrespect for others, this disregard for right and justice, is not a rare thing. It is found to a greater or less extent in all our institutions. If one makes a mistake, there are some who make it their business to talk about it until it grows to large proportions. Instead of this, there should be in all engaged in our institutions a sacred principle to guard the interest and reputation of every one with whom they are associated, even as they would wish their own reputation guarded. May the Lord impress this upon the minds and hearts of all our workers.PH066 26.2

    1885.

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