Overcoming Envy And Faultfinding

"The light that the Lord has given me is that he will greatly bless his people, if they will not think or speak evil of one another, but go directly to the one they think is in the wrong, and in a kind, compassionate manner point out his mistake."

Review and Herald, July 21, 1904, par. 11

Introduction

Envy, criticism and faultfinding are serious issues that bring spiritual weakness to God's people and church. Accordingly, we should all do what we can to clear our lives of these things. That doesn't mean that we give "carte blanche"—approval—to anything others want to do, but there is a constructive and godly way to approach differences. This page is dedicated to overcoming these pernicious besetting sins.—Dan

Some Bible Verses On The Topic

John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Romans 12:10 (NKJV) 10 "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;"

Galatians 5:13-15 "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

Ephesians 4:1-3 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Philippians 2:3 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

1 Thessalonians 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."

1 Peter 1:22 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:"

1 Peter 3:8-12 "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."

1 Peter 5:5-6 "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"

1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

Envy

[forthcoming]

 

Faultfinding and Criticism

Quotations On Faultfinding

Do Nothing That Will Cause Disaffection

"The Lord has instructed me to say to his people, Work for perfection. Do nothing that will cause disaffection to spring up in hearts. Do not serve the enemy. Overcome your inclination to find fault and condemn. Give no place to him whose delight it is to accuse. Remember, my beloved brethren and sisters, that you are pleasing and helping Satan by every word you utter that disparages another. {RH July 21, 1904, par. 10}   I greatly desire that you shall follow the directions that Christ has laid down. As you do this, he will certainly help you to adjust the difficulties that exist. He will help you not to make dissension by magnifying little mistakes. The light that the Lord has given me is that he will greatly bless his people, if they will not think or speak evil of one another, but go directly to the one they think is in the wrong, and in a kind, compassionate manner point out his mistake. May the Lord help those who have learned to criticize, to learn to think no evil, and to speak only good words,—words of comfort and healing. Then they will rejoice; for they will have evidence that they are laborers together with God." {RH July 21, 1904, par. 11}

Speaking Critical Words Severs Friends

"There is need of earnest work to overcome the selfish, overbearing spirit that has been working in the church, and has been deadening its influence. Some have had a spirit to bruise, to hurt, the souls of others, and why have they done this? It is because those they have criticized have not met their ideas of what Christian life should be, and they have judged their neighbors, spoken harsh things, and have made manifest the fact that they themselves were severe, harsh, and denunciatory. {Ms38-1895.22}   This practice of speaking critical words of others does not tend to soften the heart, but works to sever very friends, to discourage souls who are passing through trials and difficulties. Instead of discouraging them, they should have sought to have uplifted them with their sympathy, to have spoken goodly, encouraging words, and to have prayed with and for them that God would give them divine strength. God requires that we shall help to sustain the fainting, discouraged soul in the hour of temptation. Let every one who professes to belong to Christ work along His lines and make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way." {Ms38-1895.23}

Written Resources On Faultfinding

Lessons From The Fifteenth Of Romans

This is one of the best sermons I have found on the subject of faultfinding. She considered faultfinding the besetting sin for many of the members she was speaking to. It is long, but well worth reading. 

An Impressive Dream On Faultfinding

"He turned and grasped a standard, and held it aloft. From this standard, in burning letters, clear and distinct, gleamed God’s law. The Speaker declared: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” {RH September 20, 1906, par. 10}  As the light from the uplifted standard flashed upon these men in council, they shrank from it as if it were a burning flame. Some prostrated themselves; some turned and went away. {RH September 20, 1906, par. 11}  As I looked upon the scene, the names of the fault-finders appeared before them, and opposite each name were written out the faults of the erring one. None were free from defects of character. In the light of the uplifted standard, all were guilty. {RH September 20, 1906, par. 12}