Comments You Will Not Hear at the 11-15-09 WT Study (September 15, 2009, pages 16-20)(CHRIST'S LOVE)
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CHRIST'S LOVE MOVES US TO LOVE
"Jesus, having loved his own that were in the world, loved them to the end."--JOHN 13:1
Christlike love = disfellowshipping.
START OF ARTICLE
Q1,2. (a) How does Jesus' love stand out? (b) What facets of love will we discuss in this article?
If "Jesus set the perfect example of love" how then "God is love"?
*** w03 7/1 p. 4 How to Develop Genuine Love ***
A perfect example of one who shows unselfish love is the Creator himself.
*** w02 6/1 p. 6 A Closer Look at Some Myths About Death ***
According to 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” Note that it does not say that God has love or that God is loving, but it says that
God is love. So intense, so pure, so perfect is God’s love, so thoroughly does it permeate his personality and actions
that he may rightly be spoken of as the very personification of love.
Also the key words/phrases are DEMONSTRATED and ESPECIALLY TO HIS DISCIPLES.
Do jws show that same love Jesus did to all his followers (only jws in their definition)? And then only "deserving" jws in
What are "grave" errors? I was once told by five elders that "homosexuality/lesbianism" was a worse sin than adultery.
In what way, was God going to kill them twice? Are they as these men explained sins that would have resulted in
execution under the Law were grave sins? Were stealing and fornication punished by death under the Law?
*** w02 4/1 p. 12 par. 12 Why Be Baptized? ***
Certain Gentile believers in Corinth repented of fornication, idolatry, stealing, and other grave sins.
"positive" action--but only towards jws and then only "deserving" ones as determined by the elders.
"Organized to Do Jehovah's Will" book p. 132--In his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul explained how
material assistance may be provided to deserving ones.
*** w91 1/15 p. 26 The Pure Language Unites a Great Crowd of Worshipers ***
We can show consideration for widows by kind words of encouragement, by including them in our Christian activities
and social gatherings, and by giving them material assistance if they are deserving and truly in need.
*** w74 3/15 p. 191 Consider What Jehovah Has Done for You ***
The Scriptures show that Jehovah God pours out many of his material blessings upon all mankind, upon the good and
bad alike, upon the undeserving as well as upon the deserving. But does he not take note of the difference between
these two kinds of people and does he not do more for the deserving ones than he does for the undeserving ones?
Q3. Despite Peter's serious failings, how did Jesus regard him?
Peter denied Jesus 3 times but was not df'd, da'd, or reproved. And only 30 days later he was speaking to the crowds
about Jesus, definitely not on restrictions.
If Judas had repented, would he have received similar treatment?
DISPLAY CHRIST'S MENTAL ATTITUDE TOWARD WRONGDOERS
Q4. What situation especially calls for displaying Christ's mental attitude?
So what does the WTS define as serious wrongdoing? The WTS even has a list in the WT Index and an elder's
manual, not much different from the Talmud.
Satan's system--all non-jws--climax--all eternally dead without hope of a resurrection including minor children
greater moral toll--demonizing non-jws
In the first century, SOME had to be DISFELLOWSHIPPED--Except for the man in 1 Corinithians who does the WTS
say were disfellowshipped in the first century? Who were REPROVED? Where does the bible say this?
Is it showing Christlike love to ask for sexual details of those who have "fornicated" or are "adulterers"? Ask questions
even if the person has said they are guilty? Many elders do this. Did Jesus ask this woman probing personal sexual
(John 8:3-11) 3 Now the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught at adultery, and, after standing her in their
midst, 4 they said to him: “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the Law Moses
prescribed for us to stone such sort of women. What, really, do you say?” 6 Of course, they were saying this to put him
to the test, in order to have something with which to accuse him. But Jesus bent down and began to write with his finger
in the ground. 7 When they persisted in asking him, he straightened up and said to them: “Let the one of YOU that is
sinless be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And bending over again he kept on writing in the ground. 9 But those who
heard this began going out, one by one, starting with the older men, and he was left alone, and the woman that was in
their midst. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her: “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said:
“No one, sir.” Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way; from now on practice sin no more.”
Pay Attention Flock book Unit 5(b) p. 112
Probing questions should not go into needless details,
especially in regard to sexual misconduct, unless this is
absolutely necessary, such as in determining whether
por-nei'a had been committed.
Q5. How should elders imitate Christ's attitude toward wrongdoers?
God's righteous standards as defined by the WTS though
TRULY repentant--can elders read hearts? What is true repentance?
When Jesus "readjusted" Peter, does it say he wrote a letter to Jesus, or was on "restrictions" for a year?
Does defiance mean not adhering to human rules? Which is more important the bible or human rules? If a person was
in the WTS in 1919 and said that celebrating Christmas was unchristian and worthy of being shunned, would they have
been the one shunned?
*** w06 6/15 pp. 23-24 par. 16 “How I Do Love Your Law!” ***
(Exodus 20:17) No human could enforce such a commandment, since no one can read hearts.
*** w05 2/1 p. 23 par. 5 Jehovah Always Does What Is Right ***
unlike humans, God can read hearts
*** w05 2/1 pp. 28-29 Is the Truth Bearing Fruit in Those You Teach? ***
Jesus, of course, was able to read hearts unerringly. (Matthew 12:25) None of us can do that.
Q6. What must elders avoid when dealing with wrongdoers, and why?
Is the following scriptural counsel? What scripture? If disregarded by individual jws, they will still be df'd even if there
is no scripture.
Pay Attention Flock book Unit 5(b) p. 111
Strong circumstantial evidence, such as pregnancy or evidence (testified to
by at least two witnesses) that the accused stayed all night in the same
house with a person of the opposite sex (or in the same house with a
known homosexual) under improper circumstances, is acceptable.
Do elders feel INDIGNANT...express their own feelings....say things that are hateful or intended to cause pain? Just
read the experiences here on JWN or the taped JCs of others on the internet.
I have heard and seen elders apply Jesus statements to the Pharisees as a reason to be indignant and say hateful
things intended to cause pain. That Jesus did not leave the way open for the Pharisees and even condemned them to
Gehenna, everlasting destruction, as a reason to do the same to other jws.
If Jesus came here to save sinners, that includes the elders unless they think their salvation is based on their own
Q7,8. What should guide elders in handling judicial matters?
7. Are these people disciplined by the congregation if only 3 elders are on the judicial committee? Does the
congregation have the same information these elders do to "discipline" these jws?
Is this a scriptural arrangement? Where in the NT does it say there were 3 elders/overseers meeting privately with the
offending party? Where does the NT say there is an appeal process or a period of one year or longer for the
disfellowship period (some are shorter especially if you are in business with the elders and they are losing money
during the period out), or that a letter be written to the elders requesting to be reinstated, or that there be a period of
restrictions of about a year, or that several years have to go by before any appointments as MS, elders, or regular
Does it protect the flock to hide the presence of a pedophile in the congregation or the WTS?
Large number return....how many are df'd/da'd each year, how many come back....proof please.
Did they leave God or the WTS and its lies?
Do the elders really "smooth" the way by requiring numerous letters begging to be reinstated, reinstating a pedophile
after 8 months because the elders were losing money in the business they were in with him, and not reinstating a sister
until 8 years went by because she committed adultery?
Do elders RESPECT DIGNITY or rather remind new people to the congregation that Brother So-and-So was df'd and
reinstated 20 years ago.
8. I can remember knowing that at least one elder yelled on these judicial committees, while they others sat back and
let him do it.
NEVER RUSH TO PUT OUT!!!! When their ego is involved, it can take less than a month. When their rears or a family
member's is on the line, the hearing will take place long after Armageddon is predicted to happen.
How many have a change of heart....proof please?
GIFTS IN MEN--GLORIOUS ONES--MIGHTY MEN.............
SHOWING CHRISTLIKE LOVE IN THE TIME OF THE END
Q9. Give an example of Jesus' showing love for his disciples in a practical way.
What is PRACTICAL love? In Jesus case he fed those people and did not expect them to bring their own food to the
Jesus "knowing in time" did he try and set a date? The Christians left in 66 C.E. Did the end come 97 years later
Q10,11. How can considering the early Christians' flight from Jerusalem help prepare us for the "great tribulation"?
10. Do jws today SHOW love for each other? Or rather are they constantly judging whether others are spiritually strong
or not and DESERVING of help?
Do jws today as a group SHARE whatever they have with each other or rather help them get it from secular sources?
*** w06 6/1 p. 6 God Cares for the Elderly ***
It may be that the elderly one needs assistance in determining if he or she is eligible for any provisions that the
government makes available. Perhaps some in the congregation would be able to help.
So we (jws only) MAY face hardships????
11. Do jws show UNSELFISH love, not pleasing self making others adhere to their rules and guidelines? What about
Jesus and the woman who touched his clothing against the Law?
Q12. What kidn of love do we need to develop now and why?
Are jws unhypocritical? Do they love all or only those they find "easy" to love? Do they love INTENSELY or hand off
the responsibility to others in their congregations?
God's people--only jws
No confidence in the OLD WORLD, but I am sure that the WTS is still investing in that world.
end of this system--all nonjws
closer to God--Where's Jesus?
jws only cultivate a few friendships with other jws and how genuine are they? If they move, suffer a financial drop, stop
being useful friends?
Q13-15. How have some brothers (and sisters?????) show love in the aftermath of disasters?
It is questionable whether non-jws think that jws are known for helping non-jws. In jw lingo that means their going door
to door. But as to practical help, jws are discouraged to help non-jw charities.
*** w03 6/1 p. 7 Giving That Pleases God ***
When it comes to organized charity, though, we need to be cautious as we evaluate the many appeals we receive.
Some charities have high administrative or fund-raising costs, leaving only a small portion of the collected money for
the intended purpose. Proverbs 14:15 says: “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one
considers his steps.” So it is the course of wisdom to examine the facts carefully.
*** w86 10/1 p. 22 “Love Your Neighbor”—What Is the Most Practical Way? ***
Many sincere people believe that the most practical way of showing their neighbor love is by building and supporting
hospitals and schools, by contributing to good causes, and by engaging in various forms of social work. ‘That is what
Christianity is all about,’ they may say, perhaps adding, if speaking to Jehovah’s Witnesses, ‘certainly more practical
than spending your time and energy preaching from house to house about religion as you people do.
In fact, even though pity for the people prompted Jesus to care for them in a physical way, his chief interest was in
offering them the spiritual help their religious leaders had failed to provide. (See Matthew, chapter 23.) Jesus was “the
fine shepherd,” one willing to surrender “his soul in behalf of the sheep.” (John 10:11) Because he gave this
preaching activity—not engaging in social work or building hospitals or running relief agencies—top priority in life, he
was later able to tell Pilate: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness
to the truth.”—John 18:37.
*** g76 12/8 p. 28 Christian Giving—How? ***
The Scriptures require worshipers of God to be generous. But since charitable donations may stem from wrong
motives, or go into the pockets of greedy persons, not all of this type of giving conforms to Biblical requirements.
Rather than limiting generosity to giving away money or material possessions, the Bible urges Christians to give of
themselves, especially to those of their own households.—1 Tim. 5:8.
*** w50 12/15 p. 507 Religious Charity versus Good Works ***
It is no secret, many so-called “charity” organizations operate a fraud and racket. For example, the New York Times,
September 6, 1950, carried an account of how certain “religious charitable organizations” operating in Brooklyn, New
York, are giving the poor only 15 per cent of the money they beg from the public. The other 85 per cent goes for what
they call “overhead” expense. God’s faithful people cannot afford to donate to such organizations. They must use what
they have to preach this gospel of the established Kingdom for the benefit of the poor everywhere, as
It takes much time, energy and money to carry out this divine command, but Jehovah’s witnesses are happy to use their
substance to do it. Investing their money in Bibles and other life-giving literature, they take these to the people at great
personal expense. But this is really a sound investment on behalf of the poor, for by so doing Jehovah’s witnesses are
storing up treasures in heaven and helping others to do the same thing. And just as the ancient brethren of Macedonia
and Achaia contributed material things for their needy brethren at Jerusalem, so also do Jehovah’s witnesses. (Rom.
15:25, 26; Gal. 2:10) All of these things are good works done out of love for and to the honor of Jehovah God.
Any "charitable" efforts by the WTS are focused almost completely towards jws; in some instances non-jw spouses or
children benefit or people who live next door benefit from "overflow" but they are not the main beneficiaries.
There was a small town in a midwestern town that was completely flooded. No jws showed up to help; why, because
no jws lived in that town. But a busload of Baptists showed up from Tennesse to help although there was not a single
Baptist church in town. Carloads of Lutherans from a nearby large city showed up to help although they were from a
different synod. Inmates from a nearby prison volunteered to help with the warden's permission and supervision. The
local people cried to see such an outpouring of Christlike love. But none from the jw congregation only 40 miles away.
But once the town was cleaned up and rebuilt, the jws were once again knocking on their doors and were asked why
they had not come to help; they had no answer.
No jws only help their "afflicted brothers" (and sisters I hope).
Many non-jws would be confused by the phrase "fleshly sisters." Why mention they were widows; because it would be
wrong for jw women to gallivant off without their husbands though jw men are encouraged to do that to build at the WTS
headquarters and quick build KHs and assembly halls.
When I lived near a segment of the WTS headquarters, the Bethel sisters would not drive 30 miles alone to the local
KH. These definitely are amazing women to drive 2,000 miles. No mention here is that these women did this with the
official sanction of their congregation or the WTS. And do not imagine that these women had any administrative duties
on the local relief committee, probably serving as secretaries, cooks, and cleaners. Did you know that regular pioneers
can count some of their time in relief work as ministry time on their time slips?
5,600 homes only of jws, not non-jws..........
jws are "encouraged" to sign over their insurance checks to the WTS in gratitude for the jws who did this work. The jws
who did the work get not a dime. In that little town in the midwest, not a one had to sign over their insurance check to
the Baptists, Lutherans, inmates, or prison system.
"modest but comfortable" is WTS lingo for the WTS how and what was repaired, not necessarily the house they had
before. No gratitude to Jesus Christ?
So they remained in temporary houses at the expense of the government rather than free them up for other people,
non-jw people, making their repaired homes available to JW relief workers (not non-jw).
SHOWING CHRIST'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE SICK
Q16,17. In what ways can we reflect Christ's mental attitude toward the sick?
"relatively few of us (only jws)" had to deal with a natural disaster; us in the US or where?
What is the attitude of jws toward the illnesses of other jws not their own of family's?
Do they even believe the jw's report of the seriousness of their illness or do they believe that they can overcome any
illness to attend the meetings?
*** w07 5/15 p. 12 Why Meet Together? ***
Consider the comments of one Christian woman who is hampered by a chronic disease. “My illness requires that I
spend some time in the hospital,” she explains. “Going to the meetings after a hospital stay can be a little challenging,
but that is where I belong.
*** w06 5/1 p. 16 Have No Fear—Jehovah Is With You! ***
Brother Jennings copes with bipolar disorder. Reflecting on the early days of his illness, he says: “It was a real struggle
just to attend Christian meetings. Nevertheless, I was absolutely convinced of the value of spiritual association. To
cope, I usually entered the Kingdom Hall after the crowd settled down and left just before it began to stir at the end of
*** w06 10/1 p. 25 par. 17 Courage Strengthened by Love ***
Chronic illness can also be discouraging, even depressing. “In the book study group I attend,” says a congregation
elder, “one sister suffers from diabetes and kidney failure, one has cancer, two have severe arthritis, and one has both
lupus and fibromyalgia. Sometimes they feel down. Yet, they miss meetings only when they are very ill or in the
hospital. All are regular in the field service.
*** w85 6/15 p. 28 Finding Joy in a Trouble-Filled World ***
A Christian woman named Evelyn, for example, has suffered a variety of illnesses, including cancer. She walks with
difficulty and is often visibly in pain. Yet she is regular in attendance at meetings and usually has a radiant smile on her
Does compassion mean the same as pity?
While elders may make and monitor arrangements to help sick ones, how many actually get down in the "dirt" and cook,
clean, change diapers, take time out of the tv viewing and golf to do so? Who "qualifies" as sick enough even to have
sisters help them. There was a man in one congregation who needed a great deal of personal physical help; did the
brothers do it, no, but assigned women to do it to the embarrassment of the sick brother.
Q18. How did two sisters display genuine love toward another, and with what results?
Do elders DO good or just assign others to do it?
These 2 women, were they assigned to do so by the elder body, or did they volunteer apart from the congregation
Did any of the elders sit with this dying woman? In my congregation on several occasions, both men and women were
dying but the elders only assigned women to sit with them. Not a single elder had even an 1/2 hour to spare. What is
woman had not be diagnosed to die in ten days or six weeks but was a chronic system lasting years? Would they still
closer to God but not Jesus?
What does practical support consist of?
Did the husband get his support from the elders or these 2 sisters?
Q19,20. (a) What five aspects of Christs mental attitude have we considered? (b) What are you resolved to do?
ACTION is the key, not WORDS.
(James 2:15-16) 15 If a brother or a sister is in a naked state and lacking the food sufficient for the day, 16 yet a certain
one of YOU says to them: “Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,” but YOU do not give them the necessities for [their]
body, of what benefit is it?
Are jws who are imperfect and have weakness "deserving"? Is any human perfect and without weaknesses?
God's requirements = WTS requirements
Show Christlike love to ALL brothers (and sisters?) = only jws
It is not amazing that the WTS starts out an article on "Christlike" love with a discussion of disfellowshipping although
Jesus never disfellowshipped anyone, not the woman with the blood flow, not the 10 lepers, not the Syrian (Gentile)
woman, all people under the Law he was to avoid.
Next week, The Excelling Value of Divine Education.
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FROM PARAGRAPH 17
*** w86 10/15 pp. 15-21 Do More Than Say: “Keep Warm and Well Fed” ***
“If . . . one of you says to [needy brothers]: ‘Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,’ but you do not give them the
necessities for their body, of what benefit is it? . . . Faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself.”—JAMES 2:15-17.
IT IS calculated that Lebechi Okwaraocha was born before 1880, so he is well over a hundred years old. He inherited
and worshiped his Nigerian parents’ juju. Then, when in his 80’s, he began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses.
He applied what he learned and was baptized. Thus he has been a Witness for about 30 years. Not long ago, elders
from his congregation visited him and his 72-year-old Anglican wife after a very heavy downpour. Both were
despondent—the floor of their thatched hut was under water, and they had no relatives who would provide lodging or
help them to make repairs. Had you been there, what would you have done? Before finding out what happened, let us
consider some Bible advice.
2 Christ Jesus “gave himself for us that he might . . . cleanse for himself a people peculiarly his own, zealous for fine
works.” (Titus 2:14) These works center on the lifesaving Kingdom preaching. (Mark 13:10; Revelation 7:9, 10)
However, Christian “fine works” include more than the vital preaching, for Jesus’ half brother James explains: “The form
of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and
widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.”—James 1:27.
3 Congregations in the first century were involved in both kinds of “fine works.” In 1 Timothy chapter 3, after outlining
the qualifications of overseers and ministerial servants, the apostle Paul wrote that “the congregation of the living God
[is] a pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:1-15) He showed that Christians who stay by such truthful teachings
could save themselves and those who listen to them. (1 Timothy 4:16) Then Paul discussed the ‘fine work’ of caring
materially for faithful widows who were “destitute.”—1 Timothy 5:3-5.
4 Hence, in addition to our evangelizing, we should be giving attention to “fine works,” such as ‘looking after orphans
and widows in their tribulation.’ What can elders and ministerial servants do in this regard, as “those who are taking the
lead”? (Hebrews 13:17) How can others of us assist them in this? And what can we personally do in performing “fine
works” of this sort?
Elders Who Take a Fine Lead
5 When a special need arose in Judea, Paul, an elder, took the lead in arranging a relief ministry. Such leadership
minimized any confusion; things could be distributed equitably, according to need. (1 Corinthians 16:1-3; Acts 6:1, 2)
Modern elders, too, have taken the lead in relief ministries after disastrous floods, mud slides, tidal waves, tornadoes,
or earthquakes, thus ‘keeping an eye in personal interest upon others.’—Philippians 2:3, 4.
6 Awake! of October 8, 1986, gave an example of such Christianity in action. Elders responded when a broken levee
caused flooding in California, U.S.A. These spiritual shepherds quickly checked on their flock to see who might be
missing or in need of medical care, food, or accommodations. The elders coordinated their efforts with the
headquarters office of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A relief committee was set up, and as fellow Witnesses arrived to help,
they were organized into crews to clean up and repair damaged homes. The elders supervised the purchasing and
distributing of supplies too. This illustrates that when such special needs arise, ‘each disciple can determine according
to what he can afford to give’ or to do, but it would be wise to consult with local overseers and get directions from
them.—Compare Acts 11:27-30.
7 While you (elder or not) might occasionally be able to respond to a major need after a disaster, there are more
common needs that can be just as vital—those right in your congregation. Because these needs may not be as
sensational as a major disaster, they can easily be overlooked or given minimal attention. But local needs actually are
the type mentioned in James 2:15-17. Yes, your congregation may offer the greatest challenge as to whether your ‘faith
has works, or is dead in itself.’
8 In taking the lead, elders should strive to be “wise and understanding.” (James 3:13) With wisdom they can protect
the flock against impostors who go from brother to brother (or congregation to congregation) borrowing money or
inventing stories to get “help.” Overseers wisely do not sympathize with laziness, for the Bible rule is: “If anyone does
not want to work, neither let him eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-15) Still, they do not want to ‘shut the door of their own
tender compassions’ or lead their brothers to do that. (1 John 3:17) Another reason why they must show wisdom is that
the Bible does not give us endless rules about caring for the needy and the afflicted. Situations differ from era to era
and place to place.
9 For example, in 1 Timothy 5:3-10 Paul discussed deserving widows who had been “left destitute.” Their believing
relatives were primarily responsible to help them; neglecting that duty could damage the relatives’ standing with God. If,
though, a needy and deserving widow could not obtain help in this way, it was possible for the elders to arrange for
some material aid from the congregation. In recent times, too, some congregations have aided especially needy ones
in their midst. However, most lands now have tax-supported programs for the aged, infirm, or those willing but unable to
find work. Christian elders may want to help in another way though. Some who are in genuine need and who fully qualify
for public benefits are not receiving such because they do not know how to apply or are too timid to ask. Thus elders
may inquire of governmental agencies or contact Witnesses who are experienced in these matters. They then may
arrange for a capable brother or sister to help the needy person to receive the available benefits.—Romans 13:1, 4.
Organizing for Practical Help
10 Alert overseers are often the key to seeing that afflicted and needy ones receive help from loving brothers and
sisters. The elders should be alert to spiritual and physical needs as they shepherd all in the flock. Understandably,
elders give emphasis “to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4) Hence, they would try to arrange things so
that bedridden or hospitalized members of the flock are spiritually fed. The elders may have the meetings recorded for
those unable to attend. Elders and ministerial servants taking their turn delivering the tapes have found that their visits
enable them to impart other spiritual gifts. (Romans 1:11, 12) At the same time, they can check current needs.
11 They might note that a handicapped or aged sister could at times come to the Kingdom Hall, or have a brief share in
the field ministry, if some sister helped her bathe and dress. (Compare Psalm 23:1, 2, 5.) The overseers could even
assign one of their number to make the arrangements. Similarly, they might ask the congregation for volunteers to travel
with the afflicted person or to provide a ride. Having a schedule for this would make things even more orderly.
12 Elders may observe other matters in which help could be offered or loving arrangements made. For instance, an
aged or sick sister has not been able to care for her house as she used to. Could some ministerial servants and others
lend her a hand? Their trimming the lawn or shrubs might even make her feel better, knowing that the house now is no
cause for reproach in the neighborhood. Does the garden need weeding or watering? Might some sister who is going
food shopping be willing to check with her and then shop for needed items? Remember, the apostles were interested
in such practical aspects, and they organized capable ones in the congregation to help.—Acts 6:1-6.
13 Such Christian concern was shown by the elders mentioned earlier who, while making a shepherding call, found
Lebechi Okwaraocha and his wife in a sad state. Quickly the body of elders took up the matter and let the congregation
know what they had in mind—rebuilding the house. Various brothers and sisters donated materials and willingly shared
in the project. In a week, they built a secure, metal-roofed little house. The report from Nigeria is:
“The villagers were surprised and spontaneously brought food and beverages for the brothers and sisters busily
working long hours to complete the job before the next downpour. Many villagers voiced complaints about other
religious groups who, they said, plunder the people instead of helping the poor. This incident was the talk of the
community. The villagers have become very receptive, and many home Bible studies have been started.”
Your Share in These “Fine Works”
14 Of course, we can often respond privately and directly to the needs of the elderly, infirm, hospitalized, or those
otherwise afflicted who are around us. If we see a way to display real Christianity, why not go ahead and try to help?
(Acts 9:36-39) Our motivation is, not pressure from others, but Christian love. The first ingredient to any practical aid is
our having genuine interest and compassion. Of course, none of us can turn back the clock for the aged, cure sickness
by miracles, or equalize the economic standing of all in the congregation. But we should definitely have a concerned
and a giving spirit. When we have that, and we act accordingly, it will strengthen the bond of love between us and those
whom we aid. It did so between Paul and Onesimus, who was a relatively new Christian who ‘ministered to Paul in his
prison bonds.’—Philemon 10-13; Colossians 3:12-14; 4:10, 11.
15 Sometimes we can respond to a material need with a kind gift, whether sent anonymously or given in private. Has a
brother lost his job and been unable to find another one? Does a sister face unexpected medical bills; has she had an
accident or been robbed? Situations like this may arise around us. When we make “gifts of mercy,” our Father looking
on in secret will observe and approve. (Matthew 6:1-4) Or, rather than giving money, we may, like Job, be able to
provide garments for the poor and food supplies or home-cooked meals for the widow or fatherless.—Job 6:14;
16 Your experience or contacts can become a source of practical aid. A brother asked Brother W—— for a loan. His
kind response was: ‘Why do you feel that I might have any extra money to lend?’ The reply given was: ‘Because you’re
a better manager of your money.’ With discernment, Brother W——, who had often lent money to needy ones,
suggested: ‘Perhaps what you really need is some help in learning to manage your money, and I would be glad to
assist if you want my help.’ Such help is especially appreciated by brothers who need to adjust their standard of living to
new circumstances or who are willing to work hard even at some less esteemed type of job. Of course, if a loan is truly
needed, it would be good to make a signed record of it so that no problems arise later. Yet, many brothers who are
disinclined to borrow money would deeply appreciate personal assistance in the form of advice or shared experience.
(Romans 13:8) This is illustrated by an experience from West Africa involving Emmanuel:
Though Emmanuel was a trained barber, customers were few, and he was disheartened over his inability to earn a
living. Then an alert elder in the congregation asked Emmanuel if he would consider doing another type of work. Yes,
was his response, for he was not going to let professional pride stand in the way. The elder spoke with associates and
located a job for Emmanuel as an attendant in a hospital. He has done well in this work and has been able to help
others in the congregation.
17 When a fellow Christian is in a hospital or a nursing home, there are special opportunities to help. Again, sincere
interest and concern are fundamental. You might show these by your willingness to read to the patient upbuilding
Christian literature or to relate encouraging experiences. Are there, though, physical needs that you can help with? In
some areas, medical facilities are so overtaxed that a patient is not bathed or fed unless a visitor does it. So, if the
doctors agree, you might bring him a nutritious meal or help him wash his hair or bathe. Would a warm robe or slippers
be appreciated? (2 Timothy 4:13) Or could you offer to care for some matter that is worrying the patient? Maybe he is
concerned about how his paycheck will be cashed and utility bills paid. You may provide helpful relief by doing even
simple things for him, such as making sure that mail does not pile up at his house, that the plants get watered, or that
the furnace is turned off.
18 Undoubtedly, each of us can find ways in which we can improve in our doing more than just saying, “Keep warm and
well fed.” (James 2:16) Think of the brothers and sisters in your congregation. Are some deserving ones genuinely in
need materially, sick, handicapped, or bedridden? What can you do in a practical way to help these beloved members
of the congregation for whom Christ died? Having this attitude will help you to be better prepared to respond quickly if
19 By applying ourselves to assisting our brothers, we will be proving that our faith is not dead. That same faith moves
us to work hard in Christian preaching. We need to maintain balance between helping others materially and regularly
sharing in the Christian evangelizing. (Compare Matthew 15:3-9; 23:23.) Jesus’ counsel to Martha and Mary reflects that
balance. He said that if a person were weighing material supplies in relation to spiritual food, the latter is “the good
portion,” which will not be taken away. (Luke 10:39-42) The sick and the poor will always be present in this system of
things. We can, and we should, do good things for them. (Mark 14:7) Still, the finest and most lasting good that we can
do is teaching others about God’s Kingdom. That is what Jesus concentrated on. (Luke 4:16-19) It is the way that the
poor, the sick, the afflicted, can receive permanent relief. What a joy it is to help our brothers and others to rest their
hope on God and to “get a firm hold on the real life.”—1 Timothy 6:17-19.
Do You Recall?
? What are the most important “fine works” to be performed by the Christian congregation?
? How can local elders give balanced attention to “fine works” relating to their brothers’ material circumstances?
? What practical steps might be taken by the elders?
? What practical things might you do to help your brothers or sisters who are in need?
1. How did a brother in Nigeria come into need?
2. Why are we interested in “fine works”?
3, 4. What can we learn from 1 Timothy chapters 3-5 about “fine works,” leading to what questions?
5. How did Paul meet a special need, with what modern parallels?
6. When a disaster occurred in California, U.S.A., what was the elders’ response?
7. To what more common needs should we also respond?
8. How may overseers show wisdom in handling needs in the congregation?
9. (a) How were deserving Christian widows cared for in the first century? (b) What form of help may such ones benefit
10. As they shepherd the flock, elders should give attention to what?
11. Illustrate how assistance might be arranged for a sister in need.
12. How can others work along with overseers in helping sick or aged ones?
13. What resulted from the elders’ helping the Nigerian brother mentioned earlier?
14. We should have what view of doing “fine works” toward our brothers?
15. How might we help some deserving ones who are genuinely in need?
16. In what other practical way can help sometimes be given? Illustrate.
17. How might you be able to help a brother who is in the hospital? (Psalm 41:1-3)
18. What are you determined to do regarding brothers in need?
19. (a) Why is balance so important in this area? (b) What is the greatest good that we can do for others, and why is this
so? (Psalm 72:4, 16)
[Box on page 17]
The Congregation Cared
A couple who had moved to a small congregation in a rural area provided this thought-provoking report:
‘Three years ago my wife and I sold our home and moved to a distant congregation that needed mature assistance
because there had been some problems. Soon I had four positions of responsibility. We loved the brothers and
wanted to work with them. Over the months the congregation’s spirit improved, and two fine elders moved in.
‘My wife began having health problems, and last year she needed major surgery. The day she entered the hospital, I
came down with hepatitis. Two months later, I was laid off because the economy in the area was very bad. Our funds
were exhausted, I was out of work, and both of us were trying to regain our health. I was depressed because the district
convention was coming up and I had a part on the program. I also had an assignment on the circuit assembly in a
couple of weeks. But with no money, I had no idea how I could get to these or even take care of my family. One
morning my wife went out in the field service, and I sat down to review our situation.
‘As I looked out the window, I asked myself, Where is my trust in Jehovah? I had told my wife not to worry, but now I
was beginning to doubt. I then expressed my “little faith” to Jehovah and begged him for help. As I finished praying, a
brother knocked on the door. He wanted me to go with him for a cup of coffee. I explained I had better not, for I had to
work on a part for the meeting that night. He was very insistent, though, saying that it would take only a few minutes. So
we went. We returned a half hour later, and as I got out of his car I felt better.
‘When I entered the house, I noticed that the kitchen counter was stacked with groceries. I thought that my wife must
have gone shopping. “But wait a minute, how could she, for we don’t have any money.” Then I noticed an envelope.
The front read:
‘“From your brothers and sisters, who love you very much. Don’t put any of this in the contribution box. It has already
been taken care of for you.”
‘I couldn’t hold back the tears. I thought of my “little faith,” and that made me cry more. Then my wife came home. I
just pointed to the food and the other gifts. She also broke down crying, along with the two sisters who had come in with
her. We tried to explain that we couldn’t accept so much, but the sisters told us that no one knew who gave what. The
whole congregation had a part, and they wanted to do it because they felt that we had taught them how to give to others.
This just brought more tears!’
Later, when he wrote up this account, the brother’s work had picked up. He and his wife were sharing in the auxiliary
[Box on page 18]
Evidence of Christian Love
A congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the western United States faced a unique situation that allowed them to
manifest Christian love, such as is recommended in the Scriptures. In their territory, the state opened a center to care
for severely crippled victims of cerebral palsy. One of the first residents of the center was Gary, 25 years old, who
could no longer be cared for at home. The disease had left him a quadriplegic, and his speech was affected too.
Gary had been a baptized Witness for seven years. Once in the new center, he wanted to attend meetings of the local
congregation. His parents lived not far away, and for a time they brought him. But in view of their age, other brothers in
the congregation began to help. One owned a van. So he, his wife, and their two girls would get ready and leave home
45 minutes before the meeting so that they could pick up Gary. They would take him back to the center afterward, thus
getting home quite late.
Something was developing at the center though. Other cerebral palsy victims manifested interest in Bible truth. Soon a
couple of them accepted a Bible study. Later, others also showed interest. How could they all be brought to the
meetings? Another family in the congregation purchased a van, and a business owned by local Witnesses made a third
van available. Yet, these means at times were inadequate or inconvenient. Could the congregation do more?
The elders discussed this and then proposed that a van be purchased solely for bringing the handicapped ones to
and from meetings. The congregation agreed and gladly contributed. Some Witnesses from the surrounding area who
heard of the undertaking made contributions too. A van was obtained and fitted so that wheelchairs could be
transported in it.
Now, each month a different Congregation Book Study shares in driving the van to meetings and assemblies. Five
from the cerebral palsy center regularly attend, four of them now being baptized Witnesses. They have come to be
known and loved by many brothers and sisters who experience the happiness of helping. How? By holding the
songbook and looking up scriptures during meetings. At circuit assemblies and district conventions, they even help to
feed and care for those who cannot do this for themselves. This has produced a mutual fondness that is truly
heartwarming. And what about Gary? He now serves as a ministerial servant in this congregation that has given such
evidence of its love.—Acts 20:35.