Wednesday, July 8
Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master. —Matt. 25:21.
Even before Jehovah’s Son came to earth and set a perfect example of how to impart encouragement, faithful servants of Jehovah were conscious of the need to be encouraging. When threatened by the Assyrians, Hezekiah assembled the military chiefs and the people of Judah to encourage them. “And the people were strengthened by [his] words.” (2 Chron. 32:6-8) Although in need of consolation himself, Job gave his three “troublesome comforters” a lesson in giving encouragement. He told them that if he had been in their place, he ‘would have strengthened them with the words of his mouth, and the consolation of his lips would have brought them relief.’ (Job 16:1-5) Finally, Job received encouragement from Elihu and from Jehovah himself. —Job 33:24, 25; 36:1, 11; 42:7, 10. w18.04 16 ¶6; 17 ¶8-9
Jehovah’s Witnesses are certainly in need of encouragement. There is so much negativity. Worst of all, the source of much of the discouragement is from within the organization; from fellow believers and from the Watchtower itself. Sadly, elders are often responsible for discouraging others.
I remember back a few years ago, it must have been 1993 or thereabouts, there was a brief announcement made during the Service Meeting warning JW’s to stay off the Internet. At the time I didn’t even know what the Internet was, but it sure didn’t sound good. A short time later, though, I was whizzing along on the information superhighway, along with everyone else.
Now JW’s are all connected to the world wide web and the Watchtower utilizes it in a big way. No one goes anywhere without their device. The downside for the organization is that there is a free flow of information. Some of it is not very encouraging.
For example, when Jehovah’s Witnesses watch a member of the Governing Body sitting before authorities in Australia lying and obfuscating, it can be very discouraging. Or, how many tens of thousands of JW’s have seen the viral footage of a Governing Body member in a liquor store on Sunday morning with a cart loaded with expensive scotch? Again, not very encouraging unless, perhaps, you were invited to the party at Warwick.
No doubt Jehovah’s Witnesses are also discouraged because fewer and fewer people are receptive to the Watchtower’s message they carry. Quite likely a contributing factor in that is, again, the Internet. Over the years I have received quite a few emails from people who are studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses and are very wary of going forward because of what they have read online. I try to encourage them to stick with the program and learn as much as they can. I try to provide honest and truthful answers to their questions.
On the other hand, some long-time JW’s who have been stumbled and who have become totally disgusted with the Watchtower are greatly encouraged when they digest the information presented on The Watchman’s Post and on my YouTube channel. Some people, of course, are skeptical; but others allow God’s word to speak to them in a way that is not possible when the Scriptures are filtered through the Watchtower. I wish I were able to reach more, as I am fully convinced of the things presented here.
But whether people listen or refuse, as a facilitator, I hope to be judged as having been faithful over the few things entrusted to me.