Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding.
Decisions! Decisions! Every day we are faced with many of them. How do you feel about the typical decisions that you face? Some people are eager to decide everything for themselves. They insist on their right to make their own decisions, resenting even the thought of someone else deciding for them. However, there are those who dread having to make decisions beyond the routine things in life. Some turn to guidebooks or counselors and perhaps spend large sums to get the advice they feel they need. Many of us are somewhere in-between. We realize that some things are beyond our jurisdiction and we can do nothing about them; yet, we appreciate that in many areas of life, we can make decisions according to our personal preferences. Even so, we likely admit that not all the decisions we make are necessarily wise or beneficial.
It is true, some people wish to decide personal matters for themselves, but others are happy to let an “expert” tell them what they should do.
And unfortunately, the Watchtower asserts itself more and more over the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses as that “expert,” in an effort to persuade them to conform to the ideal set before them.
And it is not mere counsel based upon the Scriptures. Virtually every Watchtower has images of the ideal Christian, as they sit in meetings, raising their hands to comment, or on the streets in service, or on Bible studies. Get the picture? (pun intended) The Watchtower has even published a brochure on dress and grooming specifically for those who are planning on visiting a Bethel facility. And every year, year after year, before the annual Watchtower conventions Jehovah’s Witnesses are told how they must dress, not just at the conventions, but at hotels and restaurants. And, of course, they are reminded to wear their lapel name tag.
And then there are stereotypical images of the wrong type of dress. In any case, the intent of the images is not to appeal to one’s conscience, but rather to condition the mind, even subconsciously, to conform their appearance based upon the images that are constantly set before them in the Watchtower publications.
So, while it may appear that individuals are free to decide personal matters the pressure from the cult of conformity can be considerable. Persons who do not conform are punished in various ways. They may be subtly excluded from association or they may not be allowed certain privileges in the congregation.
From Jehovah’s standpoint the Watchtower practices tyranny. They treat God’s people as if they were children, teaching them the Word as if a nursery rhyme. From the 28th chapter of Isaiah here is what Jehovah has said: “For their tables are full of filthy vomit —There is no place without it. To whom will one impart knowledge, and to whom will one explain the message? To those who have just been weaned from milk, those just taken away from the breasts? For it is “command after command, command after command, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there.”