But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”—John 5:17
Men and women make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it really is by seeking to take God’s work out of His hands into their own finite hands. They think that they must be constantly inventing something to make people do things which they suppose these persons ought to do. The time thus spent is all the while making the work more complicated, for the great chief Worker is left out of the question in the care of His own heritage. Men and women undertake the job of tinkering up the defective character of others, and only succeed in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do His own work, for He does not regard them as capable of reshaping character.
What they need is to be imbued with the spirit of Christ. If they take hold of His strength, they will make peace with Him; then they will be in a fair way to make peace with their fellow laborers. The less of the meekness and lowliness of Christ the human agent has in his spirit and character, the more he sees perfection in his own methods and imperfection in the methods of others. Our only safety is to watch unto prayer, and to counsel together, believing that God will keep our brethren as well as ourselves, for there is no respect of persons with Him. God will work for us when we are faithful students and the doers of His words.
But when there is, on the part of the laborers, so manifest a disregard of Christ’s express command that we love one another as He has loved us, how can we expect that brethren will heed the commandments of finite human beings, and the regulations and definite specifications as to how each shall labor? The wisdom that prescribes for us must be supernatural, else it will prove a physician that cannot heal, but will only destroy. We would better seek God with the whole heart, and lay down self-importance; for “all ye are brethren.”—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 191, 192.
Further Reflection: What do I do when I become frustrated by the lack of spiritual progress or change in the lives of those to whom I am ministering?