Comments You Will Not Hear at the 12-09-2012 WT Study (OCTOBER 15, 2012, pages 12-16)(SHOW SPIRIT)
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WHAT KIND OF
SPIRIT DO YOU
“The undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus
Christ be with the spirit you people
So what spirit was shown by Philemon and his congregation re slavery. They were all slaves to Christ, correct? Owned by him not the elders or the apostles.
Paul wrote this letter to Philemon, a small part of the bible canon. Yet I learned some astonishing things about how the WTS applies this info.
First, did you know that Philemon was a Christian and yet a slave owner even after becoming a Christian. No giving his slaves their freedom which would not have been illegal or incited a revolt. Was this a civil issue or a moral issue?
My research led me to this:
*** it-2 p.979 Slave***
First-Century Christian Position. In the Roman Empire slaves were very numerous, with individuals owning hundreds and even thousands of slaves. The institution of slavery had the protection of the imperial government. First-century Christians did not take a stand against governmental authority in this matter and advocate a slaves’ revolt. They respected the legal right of others, including fellow Christians, to own slaves. That is why the apostle Paul sent back the runaway slave Onesimus. Because he had become a Christian, Onesimus willingly returned to his master, subjecting himself as a slave to a fellow Christian. (Phm 10-17)
But note this so-called spirit-directed statement by the WTS:
*** w77 3/15p.191 Questions From Readers***
Take note that while Onesimus was in Rome the apostle Paul did not hand him over to the Roman authorities for punishment as a fugitive slave and possibly a thief. We know from his writings that Paul believed that a Christian should obey the law of the land, but plainly he did not consider it the congregation’s duty to serve as an arm of the government in policing individuals’ lives.
Nowhere in the bible will you find owning another person is wrong. You can see where the beating of children or wives fits in with this philosophy.
*** it-1 p.271 Beating***
A Hebrew slave owner was permitted to strike his slave man or slave girl with a stick if the slave was disobedient or rebellious. But if the slave died under the beating, the slave owner was to be punished. If the slave lived for a day or two afterward, however, this would be evidence tending to indicate that the slave owner did not have murder in his heart. He had the right to mete out disciplinary punishment, for the slave was “his money.” A man would be very unlikely to want to destroy completely his own valuable property, thereby suffering a loss. Also, if the slave died after the passage of a day or more, it might not be certain whether death was from the beating or from some other cause. So if the slave continued alive a day or two, the master would not be punished.—Ex 21:20, 21.
Even wives were considered property owned by their husbands.
Fathers could sell their daughters into slavery.
*** it-1 p.815 Father***
In Bible times the father usually arranged for the marriage of his children. If he came into dire financial straits, he could sell his daughter into slavery, with certain restrictions for her protection.—Ex 21:7.
The WTS says that slavery in the bible can be compared to employer and employee, but employees can choose to leave and find a new employer.
*** w831/1 pp.29-30
Christian slaves were to be obedient, and they were to be treated righteously and fairly by their believing masters. Philemon and his slave Onesimus lived in Colossae, and doubtless they both received this counsel with deep appreciation. (See page 26.) The same principles should be applied by modern-day Christians in the employer-employee relationship. In fact, whatever we are doing, we should “work at it whole-souled as to Jehovah.”—Colossians 3:18–4:1.
CAN YOU ANSWER?
Why do we want to give attention
to the spirit we show?
What attitudes do we want to
avoid, and how can we do so?
What can we do to display an
upbuilding spirit in the congregation?
START OF ARTICLE
1. What hope did Paul express when writing to fellow believers?
WHEN writing to fellow believers, the apostle Paul
repeatedly expressed his hope that God and Christ
would approve of the spirit that the congregations
displayed. For example, to the Galatians he wrote:
“The undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ
be with the spirit you show, brothers. Amen.” (Gal. 6:18)
What did he mean by “the spirit you show”?
Remember Paul had just talked about the fruitage of the spirit.
2, 3. (a) When using the word “spirit,” to what was Paul at
times referring? (b) What questions might we ask ourselves
about the spirit we show?
2 Paul’s use of the word “spirit” in this context refers
to the impelling force that causes us to say or do
things in a certain way. One person may be gentle,
considerate, mild-tempered, generous, or forgiving.
The Bible speaks well of “the quiet and mild spirit”
and of being “cool of spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:4; Prov. 17:27)
On the other hand, another person may be sarcastic,
materialistic, easily offended, or may have an independent
attitude. Worse yet, there are those who show an unclean,
disobedient, or even rebellious spirit.
So is the WTS saying that we have the ability and permission to judge people in the congregation as materialistic….easily offended….have an independent spirit….unclean, disobedient, rebellious?
What does the WTS mean with easily offended…offended that a brother has molested your child?
3 Thus, when Paul used expressions such as “the
Lord be with the spirit you show,” he was encouraging
his brothers to show a spirit in harmony with
God’s will and the Christlike personality. (2 Tim. 4:22;
read Colossians 3:9-12.) Today, we do well to
ask ourselves: ‘What kind of spirit do I show? How
can I more fully manifest a spirit that pleases God?
Can I improve in contributing to the overall positive
spirit of the congregation?’ To illustrate, in a field
of sunflowers, each flower contributes its glowing
face to the overall beauty of the flower patch. Are
we one of the “flowers” that adds to the
overall beauty of the congregation? Certainly,
we should strive to be one. Let us
now see what we can do to manifest a
spirit that pleases God.
When was the last time an elder or any other jw sincerely, commended you. Assertions without details. I remember the WT conductor who would commend me on my comments and I would ask which one stood out (I had made 2). He could never be specific…he said his memory turned on when he was on the stage…I don’t think it was on off stage either.
Bad analogy, did Jesus say that his followers were only valuable if they fit in with the group?
(Matthew 18:12-14) 12“What do YOU think? If a certain man comes to have a hundred sheep and one of them gets strayed, will he not leave the ninety-nine upon the mountains and set out on a search for the one that is straying? 13 And if he happens to find it, I certainly tell YOU, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that have not strayed. 14 Likewise it is not a desirable thing with my Father who is in heaven for one of these little ones to perish.
AVOID THE WORLD’S SPIRIT
4. What is “the spirit of the world”?
4 The Scriptures tell us: “We received,
not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is from God.” (1 Cor. 2:12) What
is “the spirit of the world”? It is the same
spirit as that mentioned at Ephesians
2:2, which says: “You at one time walked
according to the system of things of this
world, according to the ruler of the authority
of the air, the spirit that now operates
in the sons of disobedience.” This
“air” is the world’s spirit, or mental attitude,
and it surrounds us like literal air.
It is everywhere. It is often manifested
in the no-one-is-going-to-tell-me-what-to-
do or the fight-for-your-rights attitude
of so many people today. They constitute
“the sons of disobedience” of Satan’s
“Spirit which is from God” not filtered through the WTS but to Christians directly through the scriptures.
Spirit of the world = disobedience to God or a man-made organization? If obeying the Bible means disobeying the WTS = what choice should jws make?
5. What bad spirit did some in Israel show?
5 Such attitudes are not new. In Moses’
time, Korah rose up against those
in authority in the congregation of Israel.
He particularly targeted Aaron and
his sons, who had the privilege of serving
as priests. Perhaps he saw their imperfections.
Or he may have argued that Moses practiced
nepotism—giving privileges to his relatives.
Whatever the case, it is obvious that Korah began to
look at things from a human viewpoint
and spoke out against those appointed
by Jehovah, disrespectfully telling them:
“That is enough of you . . . Why, then,
should you lift yourselves up above
the congregation?” (Num. 16:3) Similarly,
Dathan and Abiram had complaints
against Moses, telling him that he was
‘trying to play the prince over them to
the limit. ‘When called to appear before
Moses, they responded arrogantly: “We
are not going to come up!” (Num. 16:12-
14) Jehovah was clearly not pleased with
their spirit. He executed all the rebels.
Could Korah have remembered that while numerous Israelites were killed when Aaron set it up for worship, Aaron was not executed. Notice how the WTS reasons on this excusing Aaron but killing others for the same thing. Do you think could have had friends and family that were killed for idolatry but saw Aaron excused? Does that remind you of how David the murderer was excused?
Perhaps he saw their imperfections---idolatry was a capital offense.
*** w04 3/15 p.27 par.4Book ofExodus***
32:1-8, 25-35—Why was Aaron not punished for making the golden calf? Aaron was not in heartfelt sympathy with the idolatry. Later, he apparently joined fellow Levites in taking a stand for God and against those who resisted Moses. After the guilty were slain, Moses reminded the people that they had sinned greatly, indicating that others besides Aaron also received Jehovah’s mercy.
(Exodus 32:21-28)21 After that Moses said to Aaron: “What did this people do to you that you have brought a great sin upon it?” 22 To this Aaron said: “Do not let the anger of my lord blaze. You yourself well know the people, that they are evil-inclined. 23 So they said to me, ‘Make for us a god who will go ahead of us, because as regards this Moses, the man who led us up out of the land of Egypt, we certainly do not know what has happened to him.’ 24 Hence I said to them, ‘Who have any gold? They must tear it off themselves that they may give it to me.’ And I proceeded to throw it into the fire and this calf came on out.” 25 And Moses got to see that the people went unrestrained, because Aaron had let them go unrestrained for a disgrace among their opposers.26 Then Moses took his stand in the gate of the camp and said: “Who is on Jehovah’s side? To me!” And all the sons of Le′vi began gathering themselves to him. 27 He now said to them: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘Put each one of YOU his sword on his side. Pass through and return from gate to gate in the camp and kill each one his brother and each one his fellow and each one his intimate acquaintance.’” 28 And the sons of Le′vi proceeded to do as Moses had said, so that there fell of the people on that day about three thousand men.
***w52 3/1 p. 159 Questions From Readers***
Why was Aaron not punished for making a golden calf for the Israelites to worship?—A.F., California .
Exodus 32:1-6 shows that Aaron did this at the request of the people, and participation in the wrong seemed to be rather general, since it caused Jehovah to say to Moses: “Let me alone, that my anger may blaze against them, and that I may consume them.” Vs. 10, AT) While it is true that Aaron co-operated with the rebellious ones in this idolatry, verse 25 suggests the possibility that the deflection might have been allowed for a purpose: “When Moses saw that the people had become unruly (for Aaron had let them get unruly, to be a derision among their assailants), Moses stood at the gate of the camp, and said, ‘To me, whoever is for the LORD!’ Whereupon all the Levites gathered to him.” (Vss. 25-27, AT) Aaron was a Levite, and we may assume that on this occasion he took his stand with them for Jehovah and against those who withstood Moses on this occasion. About three thousand persons were slain for this idolatry. More were guilty in the matter, since after the three thousand were gone Moses reminded the people that they had sinned greatly. So more persons than just Aaron received of Jehovah’s mercy in this matter. Apparently the nearly three thousand that perished were ringleaders in launching the idolatrous venture and resistant to correction, not humbly repentant or acknowledging wrong and switching their position to Jehovah’s side. They merited no mercy. But Aaron behaved differently, showed he was not in heart sympathy with the idolatry and acted only at the mob’s behest, and stood for Jehovah when Moses brought matters to a showdown.—Vss. 28-35.
6. How did some in the first century reveal that
they had a bad attitude, and what might have
been the reason for it?
6 Some in the first century also became
critical of those entrusted with authority
in the congregation, “disregarding
lordship.” (Jude 8) These men likely
were dissatisfied with their privileges
and tried to influence others against appointed
men who were conscientiously
carrying out God-given duties.—Read
3 John 9, 10.
Bad attitude—have you noticed how often the WTS focuses on having a “bad attitude.” Attitude—a word that only occurs 7 times in the NWT but 9476 times in the WT-CD.
The WTS/GB is trying to compare themselves to Christians like John who spent 3.5 years with Jesus witnessing his miracles and listening to him speak, spending personal time with him. To other Christians that had sat out in the audience, had been baptized, had the holy spirit visibly come upon them on Pentecost and speak in tongues.
What about when they weren’t “conscientiously carrying out God-given duties” like Peter when he stopped associating with the Gentile Christians in Galatia. Was Paul silent? Remember Paul was not one of the twelve, he had persecuted Christians, stood by when Stephen was stoned, had not been given the keys by Jesus.
(Galatians 2:11-14) 11 However, when Ce′phas came to Antioch, I resisted him face to face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before the arrival of certain men from James, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he went withdrawing and separating himself, in fear of those of the circumcised class. 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense, so that even Bar′na·bas was led along with them in their pretense. 14 But when I saw they were not walking straight according to the truth of the good news, I said to Ce′phas before them all: “If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do, and not as Jews do, how is it that you are compelling people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?”
7. In what way might there be a need for caution
in the congregation today?
7 Obviously, such a spirit has no place
in the Christian congregation. That is
why there is a need for caution in this
regard. Older men in the congregation
are not perfect, just as they were not
perfect in Moses’ day and in the apostle
John’s time. Elders may make mistakes
that affect us personally. If that
happens, how inappropriate it would be
for any member of the congregation to
react according to the world’s spirit, vehemently
demanding “justice” or that “something be
done about this brother”! Jehovah may choose
to overlook certain minor failings. Can we not do the
same? Because of what they perceive as
defects in the elders, some individuals
who engage in serious wrongdoing in
the congregation have refused to appear
before a committee of elders assigned
to help them. This could be likened to
a patient who loses out on the benefits
of a treatment because he does not like
something about the doctor.
Yes, not perfect but what sins are allowed or forgiven, to what degree, are elders given a pass where rank and file jws are not as in the case of Aaron and David?
How many times can an elder defraud the “sheep,” or molest children, or pass on confidential information to people who are not entitled to it? How many times can an elder scream at another jw, abuse his own wife, show up drunk at the meetings at the KH or for field service, how many DUIs is he allowed a month, hide the acts of child molesters…I know elders who have done all these things and more and were protected by their elder body
Are these defects only “perceived”? Was idolatry in the case of Aaron only a minor sin, or adultery and murder only minor sins in the case of David?
Would a treatment be trustworthy if the doctor is not trustworthy or has a history of verbally abusing patients, drinking and driving……
I for one would find a better doctor.
8. What scriptures can help us to maintain a
proper view of those taking the lead in the congregation?
8 To avoid that kind of spirit, we can
remember that Jesus is pictured in the
Bible as having “in his right hand seven
stars.” The “stars” represent the anointed
overseers and, by extension, all the
overseers in the congregations. Jesus
can direct the “stars” in his hand in any
way he feels appropriate. (Rev. 1:16, 20)
Thus, as Head of the Christian congregation,
Jesus has full control of the bodies
of elders. If someone on a body truly
needs correction, the One who has
“eyes as a fiery flame” will see to it that
this is done in His own time and way.
(Rev. 1:14) In the meantime, we maintain
proper respect for those appointed
by holy spirit, for Paul wrote: “Be obedient
to those who are taking the lead
among you and be submissive, for they
are keeping watch over your souls as
those who will render an account; that
they may do this with joy and not with
sighing, for this would be damaging to
How did Jesus speak to the Pharisees of his day that put a sheep ahead of a man on the Sabbath? Elders today are held up as “stars” in the congregation, their authority coming through a group of men called the “governing body” through which other jws are told that they can only approach Christ through.
It has been 133 years since the WTS/GB has been saying that soon God will step in. Did Paul wait to have Jesus or God act in regard to Peter’s shunning the Gentile Christians?
Did Abigail do what her husband said or did she disobey him and save her household?
9. (a) What test may a Christian experience if
he is corrected or disciplined? (b) What is the
best way to react to reproof?
9 A Christian’s spirit may also be tested
if he is corrected or is relieved of
privileges in the congregation. One
young brother was tactfully counseled
by the elders about playing violent video
games. Sadly, he did not receive
the counsel well and had to be deleted
as a ministerial servant because he
no longer met the Scriptural qualifications.
(Ps. 11:5; 1 Tim. 3:8-10) Afterward,
the brother made it widely known that
he did not agree, repeatedly writing letters
critical of the elders to the branch
office and even influencing others in the
congregation to do the same. It is really
counterproductive, though, for us to
jeopardize the peace of the entire congregation
in an attempt to justify our actions.
How much better to view reproof
as a way to open our eyes to see
weaknesses that we were not aware of
and then quietly accept the correction.
—Read Lamentations 3:28, 29.
Yes, a Christian (only jws) would be peeved if they had seen numerous elders do the same without correction or elder’s wives and children.
Violent video games—especially knowing that the brothers counseling him have sons who play the same games (or worse yet know one of the elders plays the same game). Or knows they watch violent movies at home, or NASCAR.
*** w02 8/15 p. 29 Do You Remember? ***
The violent and deadly gladiatorial events of the Roman Empire have been compared to what modern spectator sports?
A recent exhibit in the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, suggested modern parallels by including video clips of bullfighting, professional boxing, auto and motorcycle races, and spectator fights at other modern sports events. Early Christians took to heart that Jehovah does not love violence or violent ones, and neither should Christians today. (Psalm 11:5)—6/15, page 29.
***Jehovah’s Day book chap. 9 p. 121 par. 19 Dealing With Others as God Desires ***
Though Habakkuk was forced to keep looking upon mere trouble and the “violence in front of” him, it grieved him. You might now ask, ‘Would he be comfortable sitting with me and looking at the programs I regularly watch on television?’ Ask also, ‘Would he set aside time to be a spectator at so-called sports events that are violent by design, players even wearing protective armor like that of ancient gladiators?’ With certain games, the thrill for many springs from fights on the court or the field or those between crazed fans. In some cultures, many watch violent films and videos centered on warfare or the martial arts. This may be excused as history or a display of the nation’s cultural past, but does that make the violence more acceptable?—Proverbs 4:17.
PICTURE: How does meditating on Jesus’
role affect the way you respond
10. (a) Explain what we can learn from James
3:16-18 about a good spirit and a bad spirit.
(b) What results from displaying “the wisdom
10 James 3:16-18 is a good guide as to
what constitutes both the improper and
the proper spirit to display in the congregation.
It says: “Where jealousy and
contentiousness are, there disorder and
every vile thing are. But the wisdom
from above is first of all chaste, then
peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey,
full of mercy and good fruits, not making
partial distinctions, not hypocritical.
Moreover, the fruit of righteousness has
its seed sown under peaceful conditions
for those who are making peace.” As
we work in harmony with “the wisdom
from above,” our godly qualities will enable
us to contribute to a good spirit
among the brothers.
But what happens when even elder displays this spirit and the other elders permit it? Or worse that an elder body displays this spirit? Elders jealous one’s material goods, or wives that are jealous of each other, elder’s meetings that last 4 to 6 hours with fights, or a COBOE who starts the elder’s meeting with his motto “It’s my way or the highway,” or the motto “do as I say not as I do,” and why would the congregation say, he does it, why not me?
MANIFEST A RESPECTFUL SPIRIT
IN THE CONGREGATION
11. (a) What will maintaining a proper spirit
help us to avoid? (b) What do we learn from David’s
11 We should keep in mind that Jehovah
has assigned the elders “to shepherd the
congregation of God.” (Acts 20:28;
1 Pet. 5:2) Thus, we realize that the
wise course is to respect God’s arrangement,
whether we have the privilege of
serving as elders or not. Maintaining a
proper spirit can help us to avoid being
oversensitive about position. When
King Saul of Israel felt that David had
become a threat to his kingship, Saul
“was continually looking suspiciously at
David.” (1 Sam. 18:9) The king developed
a bad spirit and even wanted to
kill David. Rather than being overly concerned
with position as Saul was, how
much better to be like David. In spite
of all the injustice heaped upon him,
the young man maintained respect for
God-appointed authority.—Read 1 Samuel
And why does not the WTS/GB mention that they have a heavier responsibility? That if the elders are not respecting the arrangement, why would the rank and file?
Is it the rank and file, or is it being treated as not important by the elders, that put talks at the circuit assembly above giving practical help to people in the congregation?
I never worried about anyone being a threat to my kingship, I had none. Remember David killed a man because he had sex with his wife and she became pregnant and he wanted to hide it. Should we want to be like a murderer and an adulterer?
12. What will contribute to unity in the congregation?
12 Differences of viewpoint can become
a source of irritation in the congregation—
even among the overseers. The
Bible’s counsel can help us in this regard:
“In showing honor to one another
take the lead” and, “Do not become discreet
in your own eyes.” (Rom. 12:10, 16)
Instead of insisting that we are right, we
should acknowledge that there is often
more than one acceptable way to look at
a situation. If we try to see others’ point
of view, we can contribute to the unity
of the congregation.—Phil. 4:5.
Differences of viewpoint: a situation where a sister can have 2 piercings per ear in one congregation and only one in another. Or where a brother could have a mustache in one but not in another. So whose viewpoints become rules in a congregation, the elders’ or the rank and file?
*** w85 7/1 p. 22 par. 18 ***
This does not mean, however, that Jehovah’s people do not need to observe any rules. The apostle Paul reminds us: “Let all things take place decently and according to order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40, NW Ref. Bi., footnote) A few rules may be needed at our Kingdom Halls, for example, to economize on the use of electricity or to prevent young children from using God’s house of worship as a playground after meetings. Family heads may need to make some orderly arrangements, such as providing for regular consideration of the daily Bible text in the home. In Bethel families there are rules, such as requiring that family members adorn the good news by modest dress and grooming. (1 Timothy 2:9) The “scrolls” to be opened during Jesus’ Thousand Year Reign will no doubt contain rules that will benefit mankind. It is good now to become accustomed to obeying healthful rules that are made for orderliness and out of consideration for others.—Revelation 20:12; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:3, 4.
13. How should we view our own opinions,
and what Bible example illustrates this?
13 Does this mean that it is wrong to
offer our observation if we see something
in the congregation that we feel
needs adjustment? No. In the first century,
an issue arose over which there
was much disputing. The brothers “arranged
for Paul and Barnabas and some
others of them to go up to the apostles
and older men in Jerusalem regarding
this dispute.” (Acts 15:2) No doubt each
of those brothers had an opinion on the
subject and an idea of how the matter
might be handled. However, once each
one expressed his thought and a spirit directed
decision was made, the brothers
did not continue to bring up their individual
opinions. After the letter with
the decision reached the congregations,
“they rejoiced over the encouragement”
and were “made firm in the faith.” (Acts
15:31; 16:4, 5) Likewise today, once we
bring a matter to the attention of the responsible
brothers, we should be content
to leave it to their prayerful consideration.
Not wrong…but it better be one that doesn’t tick off the elder body (that means you married women shut up and ask your husbands and you single women well you know what your status is).
So the decisions that flip-flopped in regard to who the 1) superior authorities are 2) should a woman be required to scream if being raped 3) will the people killed at Sodom and Gomorrah be resurrected 4) can a jw have an organ transplant were spirit-directed decisions?
Should jws report pedophiles in the congregation to the elders and leave it there or should they go to the qualified and responsible people in the legal system?
SHOW A FINE SPIRIT
IN PERSONAL RELATIONS
14. How can we show a fine spirit on a personal
14 On a personal level, there are many
opportunities for us to show a fine spirit.
Each of us can do much good if we
display a forgiving spirit when others offend
us. God’s Word tells us: “Continue
putting up with one another and forgiving
one another freely if anyone has
a cause for complaint against another.
Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so
do you also.” (Col. 3:13) The expression
“if anyone has a cause for complaint”
suggests that there may be valid reasons
for becoming irritated with others. However,
rather than being overly concerned
about their foibles and disturbing the
peace of the congregation, we try to imitate
Jehovah and forgive freely, moving
on in our service together.
So how forgiving can you be if that individual weekly gives you big cause for complaint: lying about you to others continually, molest your child even once, points a gun at you and you don’t die that time because it fails to fire… My experience has been that the elders become irritated with the rank and file, overly concerned about their foibles and disturb the peace by personally, unofficially marking them, gossiping about them.
15. (a) What can we learn about forgiveness
from Job? (b) How can prayer help us to show a
15 Regarding forgiveness, we can learn
from the man Job. His three would-be
comforters offended him with many unkind
words. Nevertheless, Job was forgiving.
How? “He prayed in behalf of his
companions.” (Job 16:2; 42:10) Praying
for others may change our attitude toward
them. Praying for all our Christian
associates helps us to develop a Christlike
spirit. (John 13:34, 35) In addition to
praying for our brothers, we should pray
for holy spirit. (Luke 11:13) God’s spirit
will help us display true Christian qualities
in dealing with others.—Read Galatians
Remember these 3 men were supposedly his friends and religious leaders. They supposedly came to encourage him but ended up judging him.
(Job 13:4) 4 On the other hand, YOU men are smearers of falsehood; All of YOU are physicians of no value.
(Job 19:2) 2 “How long will YOU men keep irritating my soul And keep crushing me with words?
So should people pray at home for others out of the hearing of those people and then never call them, give them practical help, a hug?
Does that mean we should pray for the elders when their deliberate actions hurt us or others?
CONTRIBUTE TO A WHOLESOME
SPIRIT IN GOD’S ORGANIZATION
16, 17. Regarding ‘the spirit we show,’ what
are you personally determined to do?
16 What delightful results can be obtained
if each member of the congregation
makes it his or her goal to contribute
to the wholesome spirit of the
congregation! After considering these
matters, we may decide that we personally
can improve in displaying an upbuilding
spirit. If so, we should not hesitate
to let ourselves be examined in the
light of God’s Word. (Heb. 4:12) Paul,
who was very concerned about his actions
in the congregations, said: “I am
not conscious of anything against myself.
Yet by this I am not proved righteous,
but he that examines me is Jehovah.”—
1 Cor. 4:4.
But shouldn’t the elders singly and as a group be “taking the lead” in this wholesome spirit? Do the elders remember your name, the name of your children? Do they know where you live and/or your phone number without calling someone else? Has an elder helped you move, helped a sick, older brother or visited him, worked in field service with you, or assigned/delegated to a lower brother/sister in the congregation? Ever had an elder apologize for hurting or your family or was the “imperfect” clause card played?
17 As we strive to act in harmony with
the wisdom from above, not taking ourselves
or our position too seriously, we
will contribute to a wholesome spirit in
the congregation. By having a forgiving
spirit and thinking positively of others,
we will enjoy peaceful relations with fellow
worshippers. (Phil. 4:8) As we do
these things, we can be confident that
Jehovah and Jesus will be pleased ‘with
the spirit we show.’—Philem. 25.
Wisdom from above—New York?—No direct shots from heaven.
Making this a study article tells me that things are not wholesome, not positive, not peaceful in the congregations or the organization.
So what is the “spirit” like in your congregation or was in your congregation?
DECEMBER 16, 2012 (COMING Monday, December 17)
Obey God and Benefit From His Sworn Promises
DECEMBER 23, 2012 (NEXT SUNDAY)
Let Your Yes Mean Yes