I have coveted no man's silver, etc. - And from this circumstance they would be able to discover the grievous wolves, and the perverters; for these had nothing but their own interests in view; whereas the genuine disciples of Christ neither coveted nor had worldly possessions. St. Paul's account of his own disinterestedness is very similar to that given by Samuel of his, 1 Samuel 12:3-5.
I have coveted - I have not desired. I have not made it an object of my living among you to obtain your property. Thus, 2 Corinthians 12:14 he says, “I seek not yours, but you.” Paul had power to demand support in the, ministry as the reward of his labor, 1 Corinthians 9:13-14. Yet he did not choose to exercise it, lest it should bring the charge of avarice against the ministry, 1 Corinthians 9:12, 1 Corinthians 9:15. He also had power in another respect. He had a vast influence over the people. The early Christians were disposed to commit their property to the disposal of the apostles. See Acts 4:34-35, Acts 4:37. The pagan had been accustomed to devote their property to the support of religion. Of this propensity, if the object of Paul had been to make money, he might have availed himself, and have become enriched. Deceivers often thus impose upon people for the purpose of amassing wealth; and one of the incidental but striking proofs of the truth of the Christian religion is here furnished in the appeal which the apostle Paul made to his hearers, that this had not been his motive. If it had been, how easy would it have been for them to have contradicted him! And who, in such circumstances, would have dared to make such an appeal? The circumstances of the case, therefore, prove that the object of the apostle was not to amass wealth. And this fact is an important proof of the truth of the religion which he defended. What should have induced him to labor and toil in this manner but a conviction of the truth of Christianity? And if he really believed it was true, it is, in his circumstances, a strong proof that this religion is from heaven. See this proof stated in Faber‘s “Difficulties of Infidelity,” and in Lord Lyttleton‘s “Letter on the Conversion of Paul.”
Or apparel - Raiment. Changes of raiment among the ancients, as at present among the Orientals, constituted an important part of their property. See the notes on Matthew 6:19.
Few have moral stamina to resist temptation, especially of the appetite, and to practice self-denial. To some it is a temptation too strong to be resisted to see others eat the third meal; and they imagine they are hungry, when the feeling is not a call of the stomach for food, but a desire of the mind that has not been fortified with firm principle and disciplined to self-denial. The walls of self-control and self-restriction should not in a single instance be weakened and broken down. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, says: “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 4T 574.1
Those who do not overcome in little things will have no moral power to withstand greater temptations. All who seek to make honesty the ruling principle in the daily business of life will need to be on their guard that they covet “no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.” While they are content with convenient food and clothing, it will be found an easy matter to keep the heart and hands from the defilement of covetousness and dishonesty. 4T 574.2
The habits formed in childhood and youth have more influence than any natural endowment in making men and women intellectually great or dwarfed and crippled; for the very best talents may, through wrong habits, become warped and enfeebled. To a great extent the character is determined in early years. Correct, virtuous habits formed in youth will generally mark the course of the individual through life. In most cases those who reverence God and honor the right will be found to have learned this lesson before the world could stamp its images of sin upon the soul. Men and women of mature age are generally as insensible to new impressions as is the hardened rock; but youth is impressible, and a right character may then be easily formed. 4T 574.3Read in context »
The managers of the sanitarium are not actuated by a mean, penurious spirit in reproving the wrongs that have been mentioned, and requiring what is due to such an institution. It is no stepping down from proper dignity to guard the interests of the sanitarium in these matters. Officers who are faithful themselves, naturally look for faithfulness in others. Strict integrity should govern the dealings of the managers and should be enforced upon all who labor under their direction. CH 410.1
Men of principle need not the restriction of locks and keys; they do not need to be watched and guarded. They will deal truly and honorably at all times—alone, with no eye upon them, as well as in public. They will not bring a stain upon their souls for any amount of gain or selfish advantage. They scorn a mean act. Although no one else might know it, they would know it themselves, and this would destroy their self-respect. Those who are not conscientious and faithful in little things would not be reformed, were there laws and restrictions and penalties upon the point.... CH 410.2
Those who do not overcome in little things will have no moral power to withstand greater temptations. All who seek to make honesty the ruling principle in the daily business of life will need to be on their guard that they “covet no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.” While they are content with convenient food and clothing, it will be found an easy matter to keep the heart and hands from the defilement of covetousness and dishonesty.... CH 410.3Read in context »
14 (2 Corinthians 8:12). Light for Those Who Are Willing—God's Spirit can only enlighten the understanding of those who are willing to be enlightened. We read that God opened the ears of Lydia, so that she attended to the message spoken by Paul. To declare the whole counsel of God and all that was essential for Lydia to receive—this was the part Paul was to act in her conversion; and then the God of all grace exercised His power, leading the soul in the right way. God and the human agent cooperated, and the work was wholly successful (Letter 150, 1900). 6BC 1062.2Read in context »
Paul, as well as laboring publicly, went from house to house preaching repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. He met with men at their homes, and besought them with tears, declaring unto them the whole counsel of God. Jesus came in personal contact with men. He did not stand aloof and apart from those who needed His help.... We must come close to the hearts of those who need our ministry. We must open the Bible to the understanding, present the claims of God's law, read the promises to the hesitating, urge the backward, arouse the careless, strengthen the weak.—The Review and Herald, April 24, 1888. RC 245.5Read in context »