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Gospel Workers (1915 ed.)

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    “Study to Show Thyself Approved”

    The cause of God needs efficient men; it needs men who are trained to do service as teachers and preachers. Men have labored with a measure of success who have had little training in school or college; but these might have attained a greater measure of success, and might have been more efficient laborers, if at the very start they had acquired mental discipline.GW 92.1

    To Timothy, a youthful minister, the apostle Paul wrote, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15.] The work of winning souls to Christ demands careful preparation. Men cannot enter the Lord's service without the needed training, and expect the highest success. Mechanics, lawyers, merchants, men of all trades and professions, are educated for the line of business they hope to enter. It is their policy to make themselves as efficient as possible. Go to the milliner or the dressmaker, and she will tell you how long she toiled before she had a thorough knowledge of her business. The architect will tell you how long it took him to understand how to plan a tasteful, commodious building. And so it is in all the callings that men follow.GW 92.2

    Should the servants of Christ show less diligence in preparing for a work infinitely more important? Should they be ignorant of the ways and means to be employed in winning souls? It requires a knowledge of human nature, close study, careful thought, and earnest prayer, to know how to approach men and women on the great subjects that concern their eternal welfare.GW 92.3

    Not a few of those called to be co-laborers with the Master have failed to learn their trade. They have dishonored their Redeemer by entering His work without the needed preparation. There are some who, becoming wearied by the superficial gloss that the world calls refinement, have gone to the other extreme, and one fully as harmful. They refuse to receive the polish and refinement that Christ desires His children to possess. The minister should remember that he is an educator, and that if in manner and speech he is coarse and unrefined, those who have less knowledge and experience will follow in his steps.GW 93.1

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