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From Eternity Past

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    How to Avoid Useless Strife

    Often difficulties arise from a simple misunderstanding, and without courtesy and forbearance, serious results may follow. The ten tribes resolved to act promptly and earnestly; but instead of making courteous inquiry to learn the facts in the case, they met their brethren with censure and condemnation. Had the men of Gad and Reuben retorted in the same spirit, war would have been the result. It is important that laxness in dealing with sin be avoided; it is equally important to shun harsh judgment and groundless suspicion.EP 371.3

    No one was ever reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach, but many are thus driven further from the right path to harden their hearts against conviction. A courteous, forbearing deportment may save the erring.EP 371.4

    While honestly seeking to promote the cause of true religion, the Reubenites were misjudged and severely censured; yet they listened with courtesy and patience to the charges of their brethren before attempting to make their defense, and then fully explained their motives and showed their innocence.EP 371.5

    Even under false accusation, those in the right can afford to be calm and considerate. God is acquainted with all that is misunderstood and misinterpreted by men, and we can safely leave our case in His hands. He will vindicate the cause of those who put their trust in Him.EP 371.6

    The prayer of Christ just before His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one as He is one with the Father, that the world might believe that God had sent Him. This touching prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day. While we are not to sacrifice one principle of truth, it should be our constant aim to reach this state of unity. Said Jesus, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35.EP 372.1

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