::R0850 : page 7::
There is perhaps no better test of a man’s character than the way in which he bears himself under just reproof. Every man makes mistakes; every man commits faults; but not every man has the honesty and meekness to acknowledge his errors, and to welcome the criticisms which point them out to him. It is rarely difficult for us to find an excuse we are looking for. It is, in fact, always easier to spring to an angry defense of ourselves, than to calmly acknowledge the justice of another’s righteous condemnation of some wrong action of ours; but to refuse to adopt this latter course, when we know we are in the wrong, is to reveal to our better consciousness, and often to the consciousness of others, an essential defect in our character.
That man is strong who dares to confess that he is weak; he is always tottering to a fall who needs to bolster up the weakness of his personality by all sorts of transparent shams. It is not in vain that Scripture says: „Reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge;” for one of the best evidences of the possession of that direct self-government which stands as the basis of moral strength, and one of the best means of gaining it when it is lacking, is just this willingness to accept merited reproof, and to profit by it when accepted.—Sel.
— April, 1886 —