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Business Principles and Methods - Education 135
Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White on the topic of . . .

 Business Principles and Methods

Education - Chapter 15
There is no branch of legitimate business for which the Bible does not afford an essential preparation. Its principles of diligence, honesty, thrift, temperance, and purity are the secret of true success. These principles, as set forth in the book of Proverbs, constitute a treasury of practical wisdom. Where can the merchant, the artisan, the director of men in any department of business, find better maxims for himself or for his employees than are found in these words of the wise man:  {Education 135.1}

"Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." Proverbs 22:29.  {Education 135.2}
 "In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury." Proverbs 14:23. 

  "The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing." "The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." Proverbs 13:4; 23:21.  {Ed 135.4}
  "A talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips." Proverbs 20:19.  {Ed 135.5}

     "He that hath knowledge spareth his words;" but "every fool will be meddling." Proverbs 17:27; 20:3.    {Ed 135.6}
 "Go not in the way of evil men;" "can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?" Proverbs 4:14; 6:28.  {Ed 136.1}

     "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise." Proverbs 13:20.  {Ed 136.2}
"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly." Proverbs 18:24.  

     The whole circle of our obligation to one another is covered by that word of Christ's, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Matthew 7:12.  {Ed 136.4}
How many a man might have escaped financial failure and ruin by heeding the warnings, so often repeated and emphasized in the Scriptures:  {Ed 136.5}
     "He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent." Proverbs 28:20.  {Ed 136.6}

     "Wealth gotten in haste shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall have increase." Proverbs 13:11, R.V., margin.  {Ed 136.7}

   "The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death." Proverbs 21:6.  {Ed 136.8}

     "The borrower is servant to the lender." Proverbs 22:7.  {Ed 136.9}

     "He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure." Proverbs 11:15.  {Ed 136.10}

"Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: for their Redeemer is mighty; He shall plead their cause with thee." "He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want." "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him." Proverbs 23:10, 11; 22:16; 26:27.  {Ed 136.11}
These are principles with which are bound up the well-being of society, of both secular and religious associations. It is these principles that give security to property and life. For all that makes confidence and co-operation possible, the world is indebted to the law of God, as given in His word, and as still traced, in lines often obscure and well-nigh obliterated, in the hearts of men.  {Ed 137.1}
The psalmist's words, "The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver" (Psalm 119:72), state that which is true from other than a religious point of view. They state an absolute truth and one that is recognized in the business world. Even in this age of passion for money getting, when competition is so sharp and methods are so unscrupulous, it is still widely acknowledged that, for a young man starting in life, integrity, diligence, temperance, purity, and thrift constitute a better capital than any amount of mere money.  {Ed 137.2}
Yet even of those who appreciate the value of these qualities and acknowledge the Bible as their source, there are but few who recognize the principle upon which they depend.  {Ed 137.3}

     That which lies at the foundation of business integrity and of true success is the recognition of God's ownership. The Creator of all things, He is the original proprietor. We are His stewards. All that we have is a trust from Him, to be used according to His direction.  {Ed 137.4}
This is an obligation that rests upon every human being. It has to do with the whole sphere of human activity. Whether we recognize it or not, we are stewards, supplied from God with talents and facilities, and placed in the world to do a work appointed by Him.   {Ed 137.5}
To every man is given "his work" (Mark 13:34), the work for which his capabilities adapt him, the work which will result in greatest good to himself and to his fellow men, and in greatest honor to God.  {Ed 138.1}
Thus our business or calling is a part of God's great plan, and, so long as it is conducted in accordance with His will, He Himself is responsible for the results. "Laborers together with God" (1 Corinthians 3:9), our part is faithful compliance with His directions. Thus there is no place for anxious care. Diligence, fidelity, caretaking, thrift, and discretion are called for. Every faculty is to be exercised to its highest capacity. But the dependence will be, not on the successful outcome of our efforts, but on the promise of God. The word that fed Israel in the desert, and sustained Elijah through the time of famine, has the same power today. "Be not therefore anxious (R.V.), saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? . . . Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:31-33.  {Ed 138.2}
 He who gives men power to get wealth has with the gift bound up an obligation. Of all that we acquire He claims a specified portion. The tithe is the Lord's. "All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree," "the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, . . . shall be holy unto the Lord." Leviticus 27:30, 32. The pledge made by Jacob at Bethel shows the extent of the obligation. "Of all that Thou shalt give me," he said, "I will surely give the tenth unto Thee." Genesis 28:22.  {Ed 138.3}
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse" (Malachi 3:10), is God's command. No appeal is made to gratitude or to generosity. This is a matter of simple honesty. The tithe is the Lord's; and He bids us return to Him that which is His own.  {Ed 138.4}
 "It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1 Corinthians 4:2. If honesty is an essential principle of business life, must we not recognize our obligation to God - - the obligation that underlies every other?  {Ed 139.1}
By the terms of our stewardship we are placed under obligation, not only to God, but to man. To the infinite love of the Redeemer every human being is indebted for the gifts of life. Food and raiment and shelter, body and mind and soul - - all are the purchase of His blood. And by the obligation of gratitude and service thus imposed, Christ has bound us to our fellow men. He bids us, "By love serve one another." Galatians 5:13. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." Matthew 25:40.  {Ed 139.2}
 "I am debtor," Paul declares, "both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise." Romans 1:14. So also are we. By all that has blessed our life above others, we are placed under obligation to every human being whom we might benefit.  {Ed 139.3}
 These truths are not for the closet more than for the counting room. The goods that we handle are not our own, and never can this fact safely be lost sight of. We are but stewards, and on the discharge of our obligation to God and man depend both the welfare of our fellow beings and our own destiny for this life and for the life to come.  {Ed 139.4}
"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." "The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself." Proverbs 11:24, 25; Ecclesiastes 11:1.  {Ed 139.5}
 "Labor not to be rich. . . . Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." Proverbs 23:4, 5.  {Ed 140.1}
     "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:38.  {Ed 140.2}
"Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." Proverbs 3:9, 10.  {Ed 140.3}
 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field. . . . And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land." Malachi 3:10-12.  {Ed 140.4}
"If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, . . . and none shall make you afraid." Leviticus 26:3-6.  {Ed 140.5}
 "Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." "Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies." "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again." Isaiah 1:17;  Psalm 41:1, 2;  Proverbs 19:17.  {Ed 141.1}
 He who makes this investment lays up double treasure. Besides that which, however wisely improved, he must leave at last, he is amassing wealth for eternity,-- that treasure of character which is the most valuable possession of earth or heaven.  {Ed 141.2}

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