Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8.
As long as Satan has power to work upon human minds that are not barricaded with the Holy Spirit, there will be stern and earnest conflict between good and evil, and evil will be manifested, even among those who claim to be the children of God….
There is no reason for us to fix our eyes upon error, to grieve and complain, and lose precious time and opportunities in lamenting the faults of others…. Would it not be more pleasing to God to take an impartial outlook, and see how many souls are serving God, and resisting temptation, and glorifying and honoring Him with their talents of means and intellect? Would it not be better to consider the wonderful, miracle-working power of God in the transformation of poor, degraded sinners, who have been full of moral pollution, who become so transformed that they are Christlike in character? …
Let us turn away our eyes from beholding the imperfections of those who are in the church, but who have not the likeness of Christ. We shall not be held responsible because those who make a high profession do not possess corresponding virtues. Let us thank God that it is our privilege to turn away our eyes from these defective Christians, and look upon those who are truly devoted, who are doers of the Word, and who in life and character bear the image of the Divine. And above all things, thank God that it is your privilege to look upon Christ, the perfect pattern….
Everything that causes us to see the weakness of humanity is in the Lord’s purpose to help us to look to Him, and in no case put trust in man, or make flesh our arm…. We become changed into the image of that upon which we dwell. Then how important to open our hearts to the things that are true and lovely and of good report! 58Letter 63, 1893.