Friday, October 9th, 2009
"The body is one but has many members."
(1 Corinthians 12:12)
Just as the organs of a body vary from one to the other, members of the congregation vary considerably as to their characteristics and abilities. Yet, Jehovah accepts this variety. He loves and appreciates each member. So, too, Paul advises us that the congregation’s members “should have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25) This may be difficult because others’ personalities can differ from our own. We may even be inclined to focus on our brothers’ weaknesses. In doing so, we are, in effect, using a camera with a lens that focuses on only a small area. Jehovah’s view, however, is through a wide-angle lens, which can take in a subject as well as its surroundings. Jehovah sees the whole person, including all of an individual’s good qualities. The more we strive to become like Jehovah, the more we can contribute to the spirit of love and unity in the congregation.—Ephesians 4:1-3; 5:1, 2.
(Watchtower issue: 03/15/08, 5:3, 4)
*I really like this scriptural reminder about all of us being members of 'one' body, because it seems like when people have different personality types that we aren't particularly fond of (at least not initially) it's much easier to dismiss their good characteristics and only see what bugs us about them. Yet here's what I like to remind myself of whenever that happens. For a person to be drawn towards Jehovah, and want to dedicate their life to serving him, means that (despite whatever they may seem like on the surface), they have a genuine, good heart condition...because being a Witness is neither easy, nor the 'popular' course to take in life, and requires love and faith in Jehovah, and courage to stand up and do the right thing even when it's difficult to do so. It also means that they've committed themselves to the following goals:
- To change their former course of life in order to conform to God's standards
- To love their neighbors as themselves and even love their enemies
- To obey God's commandments to the best of their ability
- To be willing to accept counsel and direction when necessary
Now of course none of us are perfect and we're all going to fail and make mistakes and let each other down sometimes,...but if everyone in our society was willing to comply with at least the basic 'big issues' in life, such as: not killing, not stealing, not cheating, not lying, not hating, not physically, mentally, or emotionally abusing or harming others, etc, etc,... would putting up with some irritating, yet fairly 'minor' personality flaws be such a big deal? No, not really.
Well that's exactly how we should view our worldwide Christian brotherhood. We already know that our brothers & sisters have dedicated themselves to complying with those 'bigger issues' in life,...so if we have to put up with a few bothersome personality quirks or idiosyncrasies in the meantime, so what? Just think of everyone in the congregation as your extended family members who no doubt irritate you on occasion, (I know mine do, hehe), but you still love them anyway. =)