Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, At Jacob’s Well, pp. 183-195; Peace, Be Still, pp. 333-341; Among Snares, pp. 460-462; in The Desire of Ages; and Helping the Tempted, pp. 164-169; Working for the Intemperate, pp. 171-182; Help for the Unemployed and the Homeless, pp. 183-200, in The Ministry of Healing.
“The one class that He would never countenance was those who stood apart in their self-esteem and looked down upon others. . . .
The fallen must be led to feel that it is not too late for them to be men. Christ honored man with His confidence and thus placed him on his honor. Even those who had fallen the lowest He treated with respect. It was a continual pain to Christ to be brought into contact with enmity, depravity, and impurity; but never did He utter one expression to show that His sensibilities were shocked or His refined tastes offended. Whatever the evil habits, the strong prejudices, or the overbearing passions of human beings, He met them all with pitying tenderness. As we partake of His Spirit, we shall regard all men as brethren, with similar temptations and trials, often falling and struggling to rise again, battling with discouragements and difficulties, craving sympathy and help. Then we shall meet them in such a way as not to discourage or repel them, but to awaken hope in their hearts.-Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, pp. 164, 165.
- What personal attitudes might need to be changed in order for you to become an effective witness to social outcasts? What congregational practices should be altered to make your church more effective? How should modern Christians establish reasonable expectations when working for those who are deemed to be the hardest and most difficult cases?
- How did Jesus avoid both excusing sins and condemning sinners? In what ways did Christ utilize trust, encouragement, and confidence in reversing the downward spiral of social outcasts? Since social outcasts were generally suspicious of religious leaders, how did Christ make these potential disciples comfortable with Himself?
- What barriers stand between social outcasts and your church? How can those barriers be overturned?