Ellen G. White Would Have Said "Amen!"
Recently two of my favorite young adults stopped by my office. They shall remain anonymous as will the university they attend. As we talked about what was transpiring in their world they recounted an incident they had had on campus not long before.
These good-looking dudes are committed spiritual leaders as well as gifted musicians. Wanting to use their talents for the Lord, they had agreed to lead the music for the afterglow following the Friday evening vesper programs.
As is not uncommon there was a difference of opinion as to what style of music was appropriate. Some of the "saints" stayed by and took great exception to their selections. Not satisfied with keeping their opinions to themselves, the "saints" felt obligated to confront the musicians. Each time the fellows demonstrated mature restraint but after a few weeks they decided to respond.
The following Friday evening one of them stepped to the microphone again and said, "Before we begin our music tonight we would like to share a special quotation," and proceeded to read the following:
"Each and every time an individual puts forth his or her best effort for the work of Jesus Christ, that individual will almost assuredly encounter controversy. Criticism, by those who do not understand the purposes of God, has turned many back from true exaltation of the Almighty through the talents He has given. It is of utmost importance that we look to God, from where our help comes, and praise Him for everything He's given us today, because no one is promised tomorrow. It is often easy to criticize the praise of those around us, but we should—every one of us—be grateful that God doesn't look down from His heavenly throne room and criticize us accordingly" Messages to Our Youth, 119.
"So," they went on, "let's not look around at those next to us or up here on stage, but let's look up to our Creator and sing for Him alone."
People responded with hearty "Amens," and the music continued. When the music was over, one of the "saints" wanting to have the final word confronted the boys and said, "You took that quotation out of context!" They were again gracious and to their credit didn't respond in kind.
The Rest of the Story
But what they knew, I know and you now know is the rest of the story. Ellen G. White didn't write that quotation. In fact, there is no book titled, Messages to Our Youth. The guys made it up! But I'm not so sure that if Ellen G. White were alive today she wouldn't have also loudly said Amen!
As we think of the incredible challenges, difficulties and temptations our young adults face growing up in today's world, let's be ready to uphold them in prayer, quick to affirm, and "be grateful that God doesn't look down from His heavenly throne room and criticize us accordingly" Messages to Our Youth, 119.