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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 2

Chapter 86

Sharing Confidences

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Trustworthiness Brings Peace of Mind.-Christ inquires of everyone professing His name, "Lovest thou Me?" If you love Jesus, you will love the souls for whom He died . A man may not bear the most pleasant exterior, he may be deficient in many respects; but if he has a reputation for straightforward honesty, he will gain the confidence of others. The love of truth, the dependence and confidence which men can place in him, will remove or overbear objectionable features in his character. Trustworthiness in your place and calling, a willingness to deny self for the purpose of benefiting others, will bring peace of mind and the favor of God.-Testimonies for the Church 4:353 (1879).

Reaction to Betrayed Confidence.-Until the judgment you will never know the influence of a kind, considerate course toward the inconsistent, the unreasonable, the unworthy. When we meet with ingratitude and betrayal of sacred trusts, we are roused to show our contempt or indignation. This the guilty expect; they are prepared for it. But kind forbearance takes them by surprise and often awakens their better impulses and arouses a longing for a nobler life.-The Ministry of Healing, 495 (1905).

Our Confidant Is Jesus.-There are few who rightly appreciate or improve the precious privilege of prayer. We should go to Jesus and tell Him all our needs. We may bring Him our little cares and perplexities as well as our greater troubles. Whatever arises to disturb or distress us, we should take it to the Lord in prayer. When we feel that we need the presence of Christ at every step, Satan will have little opportunity to intrude his temptations. It is his studied effort to keep us away from our best and most sympathizing friend. We should make no one our confidant but Jesus. We can safely commune with Him of all that is in our hearts.-Testimonies for the Church 5:200, 201 (1882).

A Caution Concerning Confessions.-Never encourage men to look to you for wisdom. When men come to you for counsel, point them to the One who reads the motives of every heart. A different spirit must come into our ministerial work. No persons must act as confessors; no man must be exalted as supreme. Our work is to humble self and to exalt Christ before the people. After His resurrection, the Saviour promised that His power would be with all who would go forth in His name. Let this power and this name be exalted. We need to keep continually before our minds the prayer of Christ when He prayed that self might be sanctified by truth and righteousness.-MS 137, 1907. (Selected Messages 2:170.)

Do Not Confess Secret Sins to Humans Unless Led by Holy Spirit.-Present these thoughts to the persons who come asking for your prayers: we are human; we cannot read the heart or know the secrets of your life. These are known only to yourself and God.

If you now repent of your sin, if any of you can see that in any instance you have walked contrary to the light given you of God and have neglected to give honor to the body, the temple of God, but by wrong habits have degraded the body which is Christ's property, make confession of these things to God. Unless you are wrought upon by the Holy Spirit in special manner to confess your sins of private nature to man, do not breathe them to any soul.-Our Camp Meetings, pp 44, 45, 1892. (Counsels on Health, 373, 374.)

Make God Man's Confessor.-Everyone needs a practical experience in trusting God for himself. Let no man become your confessor; open the heart to God; tell Him every secret of the soul. Bring to Him your difficulties, small and great, and He will show you a way out of them all. He alone can know how to give the very help you need.-Gospel Workers, 418 (1915).

I Have Confessed to God; He Has Forgiven My Sin.-It is not praiseworthy to talk of our weakness and discouragement. Let each one say, "I am grieved that I yield to temptation, that my prayers are so feeble, my faith so weak. I have no excuse to plead for being dwarfed in my religious life. But I am seeking to obtain completeness of character in Christ. I have sinned, and yet I love Jesus. I have fallen many times, and yet He has reached out His hand to save me. I have told Him all about my mistakes. I have confessed with shame and sorrow that I have dishonored Him. I have looked to the cross and have said, All this He suffered for me. The Holy Spirit has shown me my ingratitude, my sin in putting Christ to open shame. He who knows no sin has forgiven my sin. He calls me to a higher, nobler life, and I press on to the things that are before."-MS 161, 1897.

No Special Virtue in Confessing to Man.-I hope that none will obtain the idea that they are earning the favor of God by confession of sins or that there is special virtue in confessing to human beings. There must be in the experience that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The love of Christ will subdue the carnal propensities. The truth not only bears within itself the evidence of its heavenly origin but proves that by the grace of God's Spirit it is effectual in the purification of the soul. The Lord would have us come to Him daily with all our troubles and confessions of sin, and He can give us rest in wearing His yoke and bearing His burden. His Holy Spirit, with its gracious influences, will fill the soul, and every thought will be brought into subjection to the obedience of Christ.-Testimonies for the Church 5:648 (1889).

Man Not to Confess to Fallen Man.-It is no degradation for man to bow down before his Maker and confess his sins and plead for forgiveness through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. It is noble to acknowledge your wrong before Him whom you have wounded by transgression and rebellion. It lifts you up before men and angels; for "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

But he who kneels before fallen man and opens in confession the secret thoughts and imaginations of his heart is dishonoring himself by debasing his manhood and degrading every noble instinct of his soul.... It is this degrading confession of man to fallen man that accounts for much of the increasing evil which is defiling the world and fitting it for final destruction.-Testimonies for the Church 5:638, 639 (1889).

Open Confession of Secret Sins Sows Seeds of Evil.-I have been shown that many, many confessions should never be spoken in the hearing of mortals; for the result is that which the limited judgment of finite beings does not anticipate. Seeds of evil are scattered in the minds and hearts of those who hear, and when they are under temptation, these seeds will spring up and bear fruit, and the same sad experience will be repeated. For, think the tempted ones, these sins cannot be so very grievous; for did not those who have made confession, Christians of long standing, do these very things? Thus the open confession in the church of these secret sins will prove a savor of death rather than of life.-Testimonies for the Church 5:645 (1889).

Revealing of Secrets Separates a Soul from God.-I saw that when sisters who are given to talk get together, Satan is generally present; for he finds employment. He stands by to excite the mind and make the most of the advantage he has gained. He knows that all this gossip and talebearing and revealing of secrets and dissecting of character separates the soul from God. It is death to spirituality and a calm religious influence.

Sister_____ sins greatly with her tongue. She ought by her words to have an influence for good, but she frequently talks at random. Sometimes her words put a different construction upon things than they will bear. Sometimes there is exaggeration. Then there is misstatement. There is no intention to misstate, but the habit of much talking and talking upon things that are unprofitable has been so long cherished that she has become careless and reckless in her words and frequently does not know what she is stating herself. This destroys any influence for good she might have. It is time there was an entire reform in this respect. Her society has not been prized as it would have been had she not indulged in this sinful talking.-Testimonies for the Church 2:185, 186 (1868).

Pouring Troubles Into Human Ears.-Sometimes we pour our troubles into human ears, tell our afflictions to those who cannot help us, and neglect to confide all to Jesus, who is able to change the sorrowful way to paths of joy and peace.-ST, Maranatha, 17, 1887. (HC 97.)

Beware of Men Who Know Not God.-Continuing His instruction to His disciples, Jesus said, "Beware of men." They were not to put implicit confidence in those who knew not God and open to them their counsels; for this would give Satan's agents an advantage. Man's inventions often counterwork God's plans. Those who build the temple of the Lord are to build according to the pattern shown in the mount-the divine similitude. God is dishonored and the gospel is betrayed when His servants depend on the counsel of men who are not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Worldly wisdom is foolishness with God. Those who rely upon it will surely err.-The Desire of Ages, 354 (1898).

Do Not Betray Confidence or Holy Trust.-There will come a crisis in every one of our institutions. Influences will be at work against them from both believers and unbelievers. There must be no betraying of confidence or holy trust now to benefit or exalt self. We should constantly watch our life with jealous care lest we leave wrong impressions upon the world. Say it, act it: "I am a Christian. I cannot act upon the world's maxims. I must love God supremely and my neighbor as myself. I cannot enter into or connive at any arrangement which will interfere in the slightest manner with my usefulness or weaken my influence or destroy the confidence of anyone in God's instrumentalities."-Testimonies for the Church 5:479 (1889).