The Master taught me this in the washing of the disciples' feet
(J.R. Miller, in a letter to a young pastor)
Cultivate love for Christ — and then live for your work. It goes without saying that the supreme motive in every minister's life, should be love to Christ. 'The love of Christ constrains me!' was the keynote of Paul's marvelous ministry.
But this is not all. If a man is swayed by the love of Christ — then he must also have in his heart love for his fellow men. If I were to give you what I believe is one of the secrets of my own life, it is that I have always loved people. I have had an intense desire all of my life, to help people in every way; not merely to help them into the church — but to help them in their personal lives, in their struggles and temptations, their quest for the best things in character. I have loved other people with an absorbing devotion. I have always felt that I would go anywhere, do any personal service, and help any individual, even the lowliest. The Master taught me this in the washing of the disciples' feet, which showed His heart in being willing to do anything to serve His friends.
If you want to have success as a winner of men, as a helper of people, as a pastor of little children, as the friend of the tempted and imperiled — then you must love them and have a sincere desire to do them good. It seems to me that your secret of success will be, not in developing the professional ideals, nor in following any rules which you have learned in the seminary — but in caring for people with such intensity, that you will be ready to make any self-sacrifice to do them good.
[Editor's note: All who knew him marveled as they saw how full Miller's days were of varied service. Talmage said of Miller, "I doubt if there is a living minister in all the world who has done a greater work than Dr. Miller. He is the marvel of the age — he has done the work of ten men! While others were attending banquets or sitting by their firesides — his tireless feet have been tramping the streets of the city calling upon the sick, and like Paul, carrying the gospel into many homes. Of all the great ministers of the past, not one has wielded greater influence for good. The whole city should be thankful for the noble life of this wonderful man!"
Miller once said, "Most ministers have their 'free Mondays' and their evenings for concerts and that type of thing — or relaxing at home. I give up every hour to ministry of some sort. I am very busy at the office all day — people are there with their troubles all the time. In the evenings I go out visiting the sick and others. At about 9:30 I return home and have an hour with my family before they scatter off to bed."]