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    An Appeal for More Sympathy

    The Christian physician is a minister of the highest order. He is a missionary. Those who through their skill and faithful, earnest effort, by wisdom from God, can relieve bodily pain, place themselves in such a relation to their patients that they can point them to the Soul Healer, who can say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” ...MM 147.2

    Obtaining the Confidence of Patients

    You are too reticent. It is in your power to bind the sick to your heart, and if you do not obtain the confidence of your patients, it is because you do not see the great need of tact, ingenuity, in ministering to the soul as well as to the body. I do not justify anyone in practicing deception upon the dying. In as mild a manner as possible tell them the truth in regard to their case (as I believe you do), and then point them to Jesus as their only hope.MM 147.3

    You have no right to shut yourself up within yourself, and say scarcely anything to the patients. You should not keep patients waiting for your decision in their case. It is not right to cause them suffering of mind by unnecessary delay. Every case should receive prompt attention in its turn and according to its necessity. Negligence in this respect has hurt you from the very first of your medical practice. It need not and should not be.MM 148.1

    I have been shown that this defect in your character has caused men and women to curse you in their hearts, and almost to blaspheme God. Now if I thought this could not be corrected, I would not write as I do. It is your duty as a Christian physician to educate your manners and your habits for the sickroom, to be cheerful and affable, to manifest tender sympathy, to converse freely on the subjects essential to your patients and which come within the sphere of your practice. You can reach a high standard in your practice.MM 148.2

    Thinking of Disagreeable Matters

    Do not, I beg of you, lay blame on others. You have pondered over disagreeable matters altogether too much. There are many things that you do not view in a correct light. Now, cease to think of disagreeable things; cease to talk of them; fix your mind on Jesus, your Helper, and work in faith and confidence. By disciplining yourself you can have greater success than you have ever yet had....MM 148.3

    A physician needs to be in daily communion with God, that he may be a constant channel of light to his patients. He should be an imitator of the Lord Jesus Christ. While daily conversant with death, working for those on the verge of the grave, he requires a constant supply of the grace of God, for there is danger that he will become indifferent to eternal realities. His only safety is in keeping the Lord ever before him, his mind constantly under the influence of the Spirit of God.MM 148.4

    Christian Courtesy and Delicacy

    The physician should be governed by a strict sense of propriety at all times and on all occasions. I speak plainly, because I know that it is my duty to do this. You cannot be too chaste in your words or too modest in your examination of patients. Coarseness or indelicacy in the operating room, or by the bedside of the suffering, is a sin in the sight of God; and in the minds of the patients it will tell with power against the physician. Unless he constantly cherishes a strict sense of propriety, he will unguardedly shock sensitive patients who are modest and refined.MM 149.1

    Above all other men who fill positions of responsibility, the physician needs to be connected with God, to be taught continually by Him, else there is danger that, under temptation, he will become unfaithful, coarse, and profligate. He needs a pure and undefiled religion. And those who stand as his assistants should be wise and calm, persons who fear God. You are safe only when connected with the Source of all power, of all purity and elevation of character.MM 149.2

    There are coarse and even sensual minds among physicians. God forbid that this should be the character of one who claims to believe sacred truth. The Spirit of God will shield us from all evil, and will give us an appreciation of the reality of spiritual and eternal things. The solemn truths which we profess will sanctify the soul if we bring them into the inner sanctuary of the heart. Oh, that every physician would be what God would have him—pure, holy, undefiled, shielded by the grace of God, knowing that Christ is his personal Saviour.MM 149.3

    Ever bear in mind, Dr. -----, that the sickroom is a place where Christian courtesy, delicacy, and politeness should always be manifested. There should not be even an approach to commonness. The actions of the physician are making their impression; the tones of his voice, the expression of his countenance, the words he speaks, are weighed by the patient. Every movement is scrutinized.MM 149.4

    Directing Gratitude to God

    If the invalid is relieved from pain, and brought back, as it were, from death to life, he is inclined almost to worship the one who, he thinks, has saved his life. He seldom thinks that it is God who has done this work through His human agents. Now is the opportune moment for Satan to come in and lead the physician to exalt himself instead of Christ. Jesus says, “Without Me ye can do nothing.”MM 149.5

    You should lead the patient to behold Jesus as the physician of the body as well as of the soul. If the physician has the love of Christ in his own heart, he will use his influence to set the Mighty Healer before the afflicted one. He can direct the thoughts, the gratitude, and praise, to the Source of all power, mercy, and goodness. If he fails to do this, he is neglecting the most precious opportunities. Oh, what a chance for the Christian physician to exercise his talents to the glory of God, and thus put them out to the exchangers, to be multiplied, and send back to heaven a flood of light in praise and thanksgiving to God for His mercy and love. Oh, what opportunities to drop in the heart the seed which will bear fruit unto holiness!MM 150.1

    He who loves God supremely, with all the heart, with all the soul, mind, might, and strength, will love his neighbor as himself, and will strive for his highest good. He will not lose one opportunity of setting the Lord before the afflicted one.MM 150.2

    False Ideas of Etiquette

    There are false ideas of consistency and etiquette, which lead to neglect of sacred duties. Worldly etiquette, which stands in the way of saving men's souls by lifting up Jesus before them, and of seeking to do them good, is to be discarded. It should be our constant study how we may best follow the example of Christ and promote His glory. Connection with God is everything. What physicians aim to do, Christ accomplished in the fullest sense. The physician labors with zeal to prolong life. Christ is the Giver of life.MM 150.3

    Who has endowed the physician with reason and intelligence? He who is the truth and the life. He applies the balm of Gilead. He is the great Restorer. He is the one who has repeatedly vanquished death, and who grants eternal life—God over all. If the physician has learned in the school of Christ, he will, while ministering to the diseased bodies, watch for souls as one that must give an account.MM 150.4

    The Unseen Witness

    Christian physicians need to pray—to watch unto prayer. Before them is opened a door for many temptations, and they need to be awakened to a lively sense that there is a Watcher by their side, as surely as there was a Watcher at that sacrilegious feast of Belshazzar, when men praised the gods of silver and gold and drank from the sacred vessels of the temple of God. When men take honor to themselves, they are dishonoring God.MM 151.1

    Whenever one by any action leads men to be forgetful of God, or to neglect the plain injunctions of His word, the unseen Witness testifies, as in the writing on the walls of the palace, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Daniel 5:27.—Manuscript 17, 1890.MM 151.2

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