*FYI* I didn't get to post the yearbook experience I mentioned yesterday, so I'm backdating it...but make sure to read it since it also ties in with today's text, (about continuing to serve God in spite of any stumbling blocks or disappointments that come our way)...Because I highly doubt any of us can complain that we've had to face what loyal brothers like that have faced, in order to keep on serving Jehovah...and he wasn't even baptized or in a congregation at the time!
Friday, April 16th, 2010
"Is the Judge of all the earth not going to do what is right?" (Genesis 18:25)
Because humans are imperfect, personality clashes occur, and this may stumble an individual. Some have been stumbled when a respected person in the congregation acted in an ungodly manner. Jehovah, however, does not cause anyone to stumble. So why should anyone sever his or her relationship with God and His people? Instead, should one not keep on serving God, confident that "the Judge of all the earth" knows what took place and will handle matters in the right way? (Colossians 3:23-25) With the passing of time, some find that what stumbled them no longer seems very important. If a person is stumbled because he has received discipline, prayerful meditation may cause him to conclude that he himself was at least partially in the wrong and should not have allowed the discipline to stumble him.—Psalm 119:165; Hebrews 12:5-13.
(Watchtower issue: 11/15/08, 2:8, 9)
I was thinking that this applies not only to the people we've known for a long time and have grown up with, but also to new people that move into the congregation. Because the more diversified that the congregations become, the more likely we'll be to encounter brothers and sisters with personality types and cultural backrounds that are alot different from our own. (which is actually the best thing...since that's how people learn to relate better to one another), but I'm sure it can also lead to misunderstandings and stronger differences of opinion, like it did with some Christians in the 1st century.
But no matter what other members of the congregation may do, or not do, we should always remember that it's Jehovah who we've made a dedication to,...not other people. And unfortunately, there may be brothers and sisters who fail to live up to their personal responsibility to Jehovah. But their mistakes or failures don't have any bearing on our dedication to serve God and support the rest of the congregation. So even if we feel stumbled, or unanticipated disappointments arise (which is going to happen, since nobody is perfect), we shouldn't let ourselves be spiritually thrown off track by it. Plus, we can never be certain of the final outcome one way or the other. Even negative situations involving the actions of others, can end up turning around later on.
"Hence do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring the secret things of darkness to light and make the counsels of the hearts manifest, and then each one will have his praise come to him from God." (1 Corinthians 4:5)