Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.
Many have a vivid, unsanctified sensitiveness which keeps them constantly on the alert for some word, some look, or some action which they can construe as a lack of respect and appreciation. All this must be overcome. Everyone should go forward in the fear of God, doing his best without being troubled by praise or offended by censure, serving God fervently, and learning to place the most favorable interpretation upon whatever in others may seem offensive.40Manuscript 24, 1887.
We may expect that false reports will circulate about us; but if we follow a straight course, if we remain indifferent to these things, others will also be indifferent. Let us leave to God the care of our reputation…. Slander can be lived down by our manner of living; it is not lived down by words of indignation. Let our great anxiety be to act in the fear of God, and show by our conduct that these reports are false. No one can injure our character as much as ourselves. It is the weak trees and the tottering houses that need to be constantly propped. When we show ourselves so anxious to protect our reputation against attacks from the outside, we give the impression that it is not blameless before God, and that it needs therefore to be continually bolstered up.41SDA Bible Commentary 3:1160, 1161.
It does not behoove those from whom Jesus has so much to bear, in their failings and perversity, to be ever mindful of slights and real or imaginary offense…. The heart filled with that love which thinketh no evil will not be on the watch to notice discourtesies and grievances of which he may be the object. The will of God is that His love shall close the eyes, the ears and the heart to all such provocations and to all the suggestions with which Satan would fill them. There is a noble majesty in the silence of the one exposed to evil surmising or outrage. To be master of one’s spirit is to be stronger than kings or conquerors.42SDA Bible Commentary 3:1160.