Working for War or for Peace?
MEN and women today desirous of becoming Christian servants of Jehovah sometimes need to make employment adjustments so that in all aspects of their life they can truly reflect Christianity. While this can be a severe test on one’s faith and determination, God’s Word cautions: “Let your manner of life be free of the love of money.” And it adds the assurance: “For [God] has said: ‘I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.’” (Heb. 13:5) One way this works out was illustrated in an experience a man recently related.
In 1943 he began working for the department of his country’s government that handles defense and military matters. Shortly thereafter he was taken into the army as a soldier. In the course of World War II he was severely injured, losing one leg. Upon his release from the army he was again employed by the government department handling military and defense matters.
Over the years he received many promotions until he was offered and accepted the position of being responsible for the army’s program to provide ammunition for other countries. Thus he was responsible for and directing the supply of ammunition to many countries.
About this time a minister of Jehovah’s witnesses called at his home and began a free home Bible study with his wife. The husband did not oppose the study or become involved in it, for he was often traveling to various parts of the world and felt he had little time for the Bible. However, as his wife told him of the wonderful things she was learning, he began to attend Christian meetings with her, gave up smoking and even consented to sit in on the Bible study. In time he learned of the Bible’s description of those worshiping Jehovah: “And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” (Isa. 2:4) And he realized that servants of Jehovah are under divine command to walk in ways of peace, for Romans 12:18 reads: “As far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men.”
His wife and two sons dedicated their lives to God and were baptized. But he says about himself: “I knew that I was not in the proper employment in that I was feeding ammunition to countries that were fighting in wars all around the world.” There was a problem, though. He explains: “I asked myself, ‘What can a man with one leg do for a living, a man who has worked for only one employer for the past twenty-five years?’ I was making too much money to find a comparable job in civilian life. And furthermore, I couldn’t do manual labor. I searched, and looked, and asked people, and I surely did pity myself by this time.”
After delaying and delaying yet longer, he finally concluded that he would have to make a decision. He made the matter a subject of earnest prayer to God. He explains: “I then realized what I must do. I took steps to resign from my employment. I was not of retirement age, so I would have no income.” Though the government did decide to provide a small pension for him because of his years of work, it was hardly sufficient to live on. What would he do?
He himself says: “Then two weeks before my final day on the job, I answered a newspaper advertisement and was accepted as an executive in a company doing professional employment work. My last day on the government job was Friday, and on the following Monday I started my new career without losing one day.”
Soon afterward he attended a large assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses and symbolized his dedication to Jehovah by water baptism.
If your employment is contrary to what you know is acceptable to God and it is holding you back from taking up true worship, what will you do? If you show faith in God, will he really care for you?
The concluding observations of this man are: ‘Jehovah has richly blessed us. My family is growing closer together in the love that only Jehovah can instill in our hearts. We have not had to want for any of the necessities of life because of my change in employment. Now together we can all look forward to the wonderful blessings that lie just ahead in the New Order.’