This Day With God

Daily Devotional

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Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matthew 18:15.

As you go to the one you suppose to be in fault, see that you speak in a meek and lowly spirit, for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. The erring can in no other way be restored than in the spirit of meekness and gentleness and tender love. Be careful in your manner of speaking. Avoid everything in look or gesture, word or tone of voice, that savors of pride or self-sufficiency. Guard yourself against word or look that would exalt yourself or set your goodness and righteousness in contrast to their failings. Beware of the most distant approach to disdain, overbearing, or contempt. With care, avoid every appearance of anger, and though you use plainness of speech, yet let there be no reproach, no railing accusation, no token of warmth, but that of earnest love.

Above all, let there be no shadow of hate or ill will, no bitterness or soreness of expression. Nothing but kindness and gentleness can flow from a heart of love. Yet all these precious fruits need not hinder your speaking in the most serious, solemn manner, as though angels were directing their eyes upon you, and you acting in reference to the coming judgment.

Bear in mind that the success of reproof depends greatly upon the spirit in which it was given. Do not neglect earnest prayer that you may possess a lowly mind, and that angels of God may work upon the hearts before you, which you are trying to reach, and so soften them by heavenly impressions that your efforts may avail. If any good is accomplished take no credit yourself. God alone should be exalted. God alone hath done it all....

All your efforts to save the erring may be unavailing. They may repay you evil for good. They may be enraged rather than convinced. What if they hear to no good purpose and pursue the evil course they have started to follow? This will frequently be the case. Sometimes the mildest and tenderest reproof will have no good effect. In that case the blessing you wanted another to receive by pursuing a course of righteousness, ceasing to do evil and learning to do well, will return into your own bosom. If the erring persist in sin, treat them kindly and leave them with your heavenly Father.—Letter 30, April 6, 1868, to Brother and Sister Rogers.

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