Take your stand against him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by the entire association of your brothers in the world.—1 Pet. 5:9.
The apostle Peter wrote those words to encourage Christians to endure the hardships heaped on them by Satan. The experiences of “those who have endured” teach us how to remain steadfast and remind us that our faithful course will be rewarded. (Jas. 5:11) Perhaps you face bitter opposition, even persecution, from enemies of true worship. Or you are a congregation elder or a circuit overseer who feels the weight of your heavy responsibilities. Meditate on the example of Paul. He faced numerous “things of an external kind” by vicious persecutors, and he felt daily pressure on account of his anxiety for the congregations. (2 Cor. 11:23-29) Yet, he refused to give up, and his example strengthened others. (2 Cor. 1:6) When you endure hardship, remember that your example is likely encouraging others to endure. w16.04 2:11, 14
Go, . . . and make disciples of people of all the nations, . . . teaching them.—Matt. 28:19, 20.
Whether people agree with us or bitterly oppose us, few would deny that as a group Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their preaching activities. It may even be that you have met people in your ministry who have stated that while they disagree with our beliefs, they respect us for the work we do. As we know, Jesus foretold that the good news of the Kingdom would be preached in all the inhabited earth. (Matt. 24:14) Many religious groups feel that they are preaching the Gospel, or good news. However, their efforts are often limited to personal testimonies, church services, or programs broadcast through the media—whether by means of television or on the Internet. Others point to their charitable activities or their endeavors in the fields of medicine and education. How do these claims measure up when compared with what Jesus commanded his disciples to do? w16.05 2:1, 2
I appeal to Caesar!—Acts 25:11.
Since 1914, human governments have become rivals to God’s Kingdom, which will soon execute judgment on the nations by destroying them. (Ps. 2:2, 7-9) God lets the world’s political structure remain because it provides a measure of stability that, in turn, helps us to preach the good news of the Kingdom. (Rom. 13:3, 4) God even directs us to pray concerning those in authority, especially when their decisions might affect our worship. (1 Tim. 2:1, 2) We appeal to government authorities for fair treatment, as the apostle Paul did. Although the Bible teaches that God’s adversary, Satan, has authority over political systems, it does not say that he directly controls each leader or official. (Luke 4:5, 6) We should therefore avoid implying that a particular official is controlled by the Devil. Instead, when dealing with “governments and authorities,” we “speak injuriously of no one.”—Titus 3:1, 2. w16.04 4:5, 6
Keep perceiving what the will of Jehovah is.—Eph. 5:17.
You may wonder, ‘How can we know what Jehovah approves of if his Word provides no specific command on the matter?’ In the absence of a direct Bible law, how can we perceive the will of God? By praying to him and accepting his guidance by holy spirit. Consider how Jesus perceived what his Father wanted him to do. On two reported occasions, Jesus first prayed and then miraculously provided food for large crowds. (Matt. 14:17-20; 15:34-37) Yet, he refused to turn stones into bread when he was hungry and was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. (Matt. 4:2-4) Because he was familiar with his Father’s thinking, Jesus knew that he should not turn the stones into bread. Yes, Jesus realized that it was not God’s will that he use such power for his own personal benefit. By refusing to do so, he showed that he was relying on Jehovah for guidance and sustenance. w16.05 3:7, 8
All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial.—2 Tim. 3:16.
Some portions of the Bible were initially directed to one individual or group. That is why, before reading God’s Word, we do well to pray for an open mind and for wisdom to discern the lessons that Jehovah wants us to learn. (Ezra 7:10; Jas. 1:5) As you read a Bible passage, take time to pause and ask yourself such questions as these: ‘What does this tell me about Jehovah? How can I apply this information in my life? How can I use it to help others?’ When we reflect on such questions, we will surely get more out of our Bible reading. As an example, think about the Scriptural qualifications for Christian elders. (1 Tim. 3:2-7) Since the majority of us do not serve as elders, we might initially think that this passage would have little application to our own life. However, this list of qualifications can benefit all of us in a number of ways. w16.05 5:7, 8
Look! As the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.—Jer. 18:6.
When the Jewish exiles entered ancient Babylon, they saw a city filled with idols and found a people enslaved to wicked spirits. Nevertheless, faithful Jews, such as Daniel and his three companions, refused to be molded by the world of Babylon. (Dan. 1:6, 8, 12; 3:16-18) Daniel and his companions were determined to give exclusive devotion to Jehovah as their Potter. And they succeeded! Daniel lived in Babylon nearly all his life; yet, God’s angel said that he was a “very precious man.” (Dan. 10:11, 19) In Bible times, a potter might press the clay into a mold so that it would take on the shape he desired. True worshippers today recognize Jehovah as the Universal Sovereign, the one having authority to mold peoples and nations. (Jer. 18:6) God also has the authority to mold us personally. However, he recognizes our free will and wants us to submit to him voluntarily. w16.06 2:1, 2
Let your way of life be free of the love of money.—Heb. 13:5.
Satan uses his world’s commercial system to seduce us into believing that having material things beyond our actual needs is necessary for the enjoyment of life. He is adept at appealing to “the desire of the eyes.” (1 John 2:15-17; Gen. 3:6; Prov. 27:20) The world offers every kind of material thing, from the superb to the absurd, some of which look very enticing. Have you ever purchased something, not because you needed it, but because it caught your eye in an advertisement or a store display? Did you later realize that you could have lived the rest of your life without it? Such nonessential things only complicate our life and weigh us down. They can ensnare us and distract us from our spiritual routine of studying the Bible, preparing for and attending meetings, and sharing regularly in the ministry. Remember, the apostle John warned: “The world is passing away and so is its desire.” w16.07 1:3, 4
Just as there are many “gods” . . . , there is actually to us one God.—1 Cor. 8:5, 6.
The first-century Christian congregation was made up of Jews, Greeks, Romans, and people of other nationalities. They had different religious backgrounds, customs, and sensibilities. Because of that, some had difficulty accepting the new way of worship or fully relinquishing their former ways. The apostle Paul found it fitting to remind them that Christians have one God, Jehovah. What about the situation in the Christian congregation today? The prophet Isaiah foretold that “in the final part of the days,” people of all nations would flock to Jehovah’s elevated place of true worship. They would say: “[Jehovah] will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” (Isa. 2:2, 3) How happy we are to see this prophecy undergoing fulfillment before our eyes! The result is that many congregations have become multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual, giving praise to Jehovah. w16.06 3:15, 16
He raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus.—Eph. 2:6.
It is difficult to imagine the wonders that Jehovah has in store for anointed Christians when they are seated on thrones to rule with Christ in heaven. (Luke 22:28-30; Phil. 3:20, 21; 1 John 3:2) They will make up “the New Jerusalem,” the bride of Christ. (Rev. 3:12; 17:14; 21:2, 9, 10) They will share with Jesus in “the healing of the nations,” directing obedient humans to the means to become free from the burden of sin and death and raising them to perfection. (Rev. 22:1, 2, 17) One of the greatest earthly demonstrations of Jehovah’s marvelous kindness will be the resurrection of humans from “the Grave.” (Job 14:13-15; John 5:28, 29) Faithful men and women of old who died before Christ’s sacrificial death, as well as all those “other sheep” who die faithful during the last days, will be brought back to life to continue serving Jehovah.—John 10:16. w16.07 4:13-15
At such a time as this, you are sleeping and resting!—Mark 14:41.
To “keep awake” spiritually means more than just having good intentions. A few days before the incident in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told those same disciples to make supplication to Jehovah. (Luke 21:36) So to remain spiritually watchful, we too must stay alert in prayer. (1 Pet. 4:7, ftn.) Since Jesus said that the end will come “at an hour that [we] do not think to be it,” this is no time to doze off spiritually, no time to pursue the illusions and fantasies that Satan and his world offer and that our flesh craves. (Matt. 24:44) Through the pages of the Bible, God and Christ tell us what they have in store for us in the immediate future and how we can keep on the watch. We have to pay attention to our spirituality, to our relationship with Jehovah, and to Kingdom priorities. We must be aware of time and events so that we can be ready for what is coming. (Rev. 22:20) Our life is at stake! w16.07 2:15-17
Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely.—Col. 3:13.
A solid marriage is made up of two people who make allowances for each other’s imperfections. They ‘continue putting up with each other and forgiving each other freely.’ Yes, both mates will make mistakes. When that happens, however, there are opportunities to learn from these errors, to be forgiving, and to let love have full sway as “a perfect bond of union.” (Col. 3:14) Moreover, “love is patient and kind. . . . It does not keep account of the injury.” (1 Cor. 13:4, 5) Misunderstandings should be cleared away as soon as possible. A Christian couple, therefore, should try to settle any issue between them before the day ends. (Eph. 4:26, 27) Sincerely saying “I am sorry for hurting you” takes humility and courage, but it goes a long way in solving problems and drawing marriage partners closer together. w16.08 2:6
I will give you good instruction.—Prov. 4:2.
Declaring the good news of the Kingdom was Jesus’ primary assignment. However, he took time to train others to be shepherds and teachers. (Matt. 10:5-7) Although Philip was busy as an evangelizer, he no doubt helped his four daughters to become effective in sharing Scriptural truths with others. (Acts 21:8, 9) How important is such training today? Worldwide, the number of people accepting the good news is growing. New ones who are not yet baptized need to grasp the importance of personal Bible study. They must also be taught to preach the good news to others and to teach them the truth. In our congregations, brothers need to be encouraged to work hard in order to qualify for appointment as ministerial servants and elders. By means of “good instruction,” mature Christians can help new ones to make spiritual progress. w16.08 4:1, 2
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the knees that are shaking.—Isa. 35:3.
Serving shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters promotes unity. It also builds lasting friendships and increases mutual confidence in the coming blessings under God’s Kingdom. As we strengthen the hands of others, we help them to battle discouraging circumstances and to maintain a positive and hopeful view of the future. (Isa. 35:4) Moreover, doing that for others helps us to keep our spiritual focus and to feel the reality of what God has in store for us. Yes, it strengthens our hands too. Seeing how Jehovah on different occasions supported and protected his faithful servants in the past should build our faith and trust in him today. So when you face pressures and problems, “do not let your hands drop down”! (Zeph. 3:16) Instead, reach out to Jehovah in prayer, and allow his mighty hand to strengthen you and lead you to Kingdom blessings.—Ps. 73:23, 24. w16.09 1:16-18
There is a time for every activity and every action.—Eccl. 3:17.
When making decisions about what to wear, God’s servants take into account the above. It is understandable that different climates and the change of seasons influence what we wear. So do varying circumstances and living conditions. Jehovah’s standards, however, do not fluctuate with the weather. (Mal. 3:6) In warmer climates, it can be particularly challenging to make sure that our style of dress is respectable and sensible and that it shows good judgment. Hence, our brothers and sisters appreciate it when we refrain from wearing clothes that are so tight or so loose that they are revealing. (Job 31:1) Also, when relaxing at the beach or at a swimming pool, the style of swimwear we use should be modest. (Prov. 11:2, 20) Even if many in the world wear revealing swimwear, we who serve Jehovah are concerned about being a credit to the holy God we love. w16.09 3:11, 12
Who do you say I am?—Matt. 16:15.
Jesus was not afraid to ask his followers what they believed. Imitate his example. It is best, in a relaxed setting, to invite your children to express their feelings. If a child is unsure about some teaching, try not to react too strongly or to respond as if you were on the defensive. Patiently help him to reason on the matter. It is helpful to view your child’s sincere questions as an indication that he cares and wants to understand. Even at 12 years of age, Jesus asked serious questions. (Luke 2:46) Get to know your children well—their thinking, their feelings, their concerns. Never assume that they have faith simply because they attend Christian meetings and share in the field service with you. Include spiritual discussions in your daily activities. Pray with and for your children. Try to be aware of any tests to their faith, and help them to deal with these. w16.09 5:3-5
Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.—Matt. 5:3.
Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses today are taking an active part in the fulfillment of the vision to declare the good news “to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.” (Rev. 14:6) Are you among those who are learning another language? Are you perhaps serving as a missionary or a need-greater in a foreign land, or have you begun attending meetings in a foreign-language congregation in your homeland? As God’s servants, all of us need to give priority to our spiritual health and that of our family. At times, though, we may find it difficult to engage in meaningful personal study because of our busy routine. But those serving in a foreign field face yet other challenges. In addition to learning a new tongue, those serving in a foreign field also need to make sure that they regularly feed their heart with solid spiritual food.—1 Cor. 2:10. w16.10 2:1-3
Those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.—Matt. 26:52.
Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to rejoice in their hope despite intense and ongoing persecution. For example, many of our brothers and sisters are imprisoned in Eritrea, Singapore, and South Korea, in most cases because of acting in harmony with Jesus’ words not to take up the sword. Most of Jehovah’s people have not had to endure severe persecution. Their tests of faith have been different. Many have had to endure poverty or have suffered during civil wars or natural disasters. Others are like Moses and the patriarchs in that they have given up a life of worldly ease or fame. They fight hard to resist being tempted to live a materialistic, self-centered lifestyle. What is it that enables them to do this? Their love for Jehovah and their strong faith in the promise that he will correct all injustices and reward his faithful servants with everlasting life in a new world of righteousness.—Ps. 37:5, 7, 9, 29. w16.10 3:15, 16
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are discouraged.—Ps. 34:18, ftn.
When Jeremiah was afraid and discouraged, Jehovah built up that faithful prophet’s confidence. (Jer. 1:6-10) And just imagine how encouraged the elderly prophet Daniel was when God sent an angel to strengthen him. That angel called Daniel a “very precious,” or “highly esteemed,” man! (Dan. 10:8, 11, 18, 19; ftn.) Could you similarly encourage publishers, pioneers, and older brothers and sisters whose strength is failing? God did not feel that because he and his dear Son had worked together for ages, there was no need to commend and encourage Jesus when he was on earth. Instead, on two occasions Jesus heard his Father speak from heaven and say: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” (Matt. 3:17; 17:5) God thus commended Jesus and assured him that he was doing well. Jehovah also sent an angel to strengthen Jesus when he was in anguish on the night before his death.—Luke 22:43. w16.11 1:7, 8
Do not be quick to take offense.—Eccl. 7:9.
It is not easy to control our emotions when we feel that we have been slighted or treated unjustly. It can be devastating if we are mistreated because of our ethnic background, the color of our skin, or some other physical difference. How much greater the pain is if it is caused by a fellow Christian! How wise it is to apply the Bible’s counsel to control our temper and avoid being quick to take offense! (Prov. 16:32) No doubt all of us need to work at being less sensitive and more forgiving. Jehovah and Jesus take forgiveness very seriously. (Matt. 6:14, 15) Do you need to be more forgiving or to give attention to controlling your emotions? People who fail to control their emotions often become bitter. As a result, others may not want to be around them. A bitter individual can exert a bad influence in the congregation.—Lev. 19:17, 18. w16.11 3:4-6
What fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness?—2 Cor. 6:14.
Thirsting for Bible truth, Charles Taze Russell and a few associates began their systematic study of the Bible in the late 1800’s. Initially, Brother Russell’s goal was to ascertain which of the prevailing religions was teaching the truth. He had carefully compared the teachings of many different religions, even non-Christian religions, with what the Bible says. He soon realized that not one of those religions completely adhered to God’s Word. At one point, he met with a number of local clergymen in hopes that these men would accept the truths that Russell and his associates had discovered from the Bible and teach them to members of their congregations. The clergymen were not interested. The Bible Students would have to face the facts: There could be no partnership with those determined to hold on to false religion. w16.11 4:14
Present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.—Rom. 6:19.
Our appreciation for God’s undeserved kindness involves more than avoiding adultery, drunkenness, or other sins that some in Corinth had been guilty of. (1 Cor. 6:9-11) Accepting God’s undeserved kindness means not only avoiding sexual immorality but also fighting any tendency to enjoy lewd entertainment. Presenting our members as slaves to righteousness will not only keep us from drunkenness but also move us to shun drinking to the point of almost being drunk. It may require considerable effort for us to fight against such wrong practices; still, it is a fight that we can win. Our goal should be to avoid gross sins as well as wrongs that are not as flagrant. We will not be able to do that perfectly. Nevertheless, we should strive to do so, even as Paul did. He urged his brothers: “Do not let sin continue to rule as king in your mortal bodies so that you should obey their desires.”—Rom. 6:12; 7:18-20. w16.12 1:16, 19-21
The fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.—Gal. 5:22, 23.
Jesus promised that our Father in heaven will not fail to give holy spirit to those asking Him. (Luke 11:10-13) The fruitage of the spirit, positive qualities that are produced by God’s active force, reflects the very personality of the almighty God. (Col. 3:10) As you cultivate the fruitage of that spirit, your relationship with others will improve. Thus, you will find that many situations that could otherwise cause anxiety do not arise. Admittedly, you will need humility to yield to “the mighty hand of God” and to “throw all your anxiety on him.” (1 Pet. 5:6, 7) But as you cultivate humility, you will be on a path that results in God’s favor and support. (Mic. 6:8) By maintaining a realistic estimate of your physical, mental, and emotional abilities, you will be less likely to become overwhelmed by anxiety, for you will be relying on God. w16.12 3:7, 12
Noah [was] a preacher of righteousness.—2 Pet. 2:5.
As “a preacher of righteousness,” Noah faithfully proclaimed the warning message he had been given. No doubt, doing so helped Noah keep his faith strong. In addition to preaching, he also used his physical and mental abilities to accomplish the God-assigned work of building an ark. (Heb. 11:7) Like Noah, we strive to have “plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58) Such work may include the construction and maintenance of facilities for worship, volunteering to assist at assemblies and conventions, or caring for assignments at a branch office or a remote translation office. Above all, we stay busy in the preaching work, knowing that this work strengthens our hope for the future. Indeed, sharing in the preaching work fortifies our resolve not to give up in the race for life.—1 Cor. 9:24. w17.01 1:8, 9
Each one will carry his own load.—Gal. 6:5.
One of the limitations on our freedom is that we must respect the right that others have to make their own decisions in life. Why? Since we all have the gift of free will, no two Christians will always make exactly the same decision. This is true even in matters that involve our conduct and worship. When we recognize that each Christian must “carry his own load,” we will respect the right that others have to use their own gift of free will, including when making personal decisions in matters of lesser importance. (1 Cor. 10:32, 33) Jehovah has given us the gift of free will and with it true freedom. (2 Cor. 3:17) We treasure this gift because it allows us to make decisions that reveal to Jehovah how much we love him. May we continue to show our appreciation for this precious gift by using it in a way that honors God and by respecting the way that others choose to use their gift. w17.01 2:15, 17, 18
I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me, I speak these things.—John 8:28.
We win people’s hearts, not by boasting or drawing undue attention to ourselves, but by displaying a “quiet and mild spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:3, 4; Jer. 9:23, 24) Vain sentiments in our hearts will eventually show up in our actions. We might drop hints, for example, implying that we enjoy special privileges, possess inside information, or have special relationships with responsible brothers. Or we might explain things in such a way that only we get the credit for ideas or accomplishments that others also contributed to. Jesus set a wonderful example. A good portion of what he said was either a quotation from or an allusion to the Hebrew Scriptures. He modestly spoke that way so that his hearers would know that what he said was coming from Jehovah and was not the product of his own intellect or wisdom. w17.01 4:12
As for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it.—Gen. 2:17.
It was not hard for Adam and Eve to understand this law; nor was it a hardship for them to obey it. After all, they had more food available than they could eat. Satan the Devil, using a serpent, fooled Eve into disobeying her Father, Jehovah. (Gen. 3:1-5; Rev. 12:9) Satan made an issue of the fact that God’s human children were not allowed to eat “from every tree of the garden.” It was as if he were saying: ‘You mean you cannot do what you want?’ Next, he told a blatant lie: “You certainly will not die.” Then he tried to convince Eve that she need not listen to God, saying: “God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened.” Satan implied that Jehovah did not want them to eat the fruit because doing so would enlighten them. Further, Satan made this false promise: “You will be like God, knowing good and bad.” w17.02 1:8, 9
Jehovah your God will raise up for you from among your brothers a prophet like me. You must listen to him.—Deut. 18:15.
Isaiah foretold that this One would become “a leader and commander.” (Isa. 55:4) And Daniel was inspired to write about the coming of “Messiah the Leader.” (Dan. 9:25) Finally, Jesus Christ identified himself as “the Leader” of God’s people. (Matt. 23:10) Jesus’ disciples followed him willingly, and they affirmed that he was Jehovah’s choice. (John 6:68, 69) What convinced them? At Jesus’ baptism, John the Baptizer saw “the heavens being parted and, like a dove, the spirit coming down upon him.” (Mark 1:10-12) For the rest of Jesus’ earthly ministry, God’s holy spirit empowered Jesus to perform miracles and to speak with divine authority. (Acts 10:38) In addition, holy spirit produced in Jesus perfect fruitage, including love, joy, and stalwart faith. (John 15:9; Heb. 12:2) No other leader provided such convincing evidence. Jesus was Jehovah’s choice. w17.02 3:15, 16
Remember those who are taking the lead among you.—Heb. 13:7.
At Pentecost 33 C.E., the apostles began to take the lead in the Christian congregation. On that occasion, “Peter stood up with the Eleven” and shared lifesaving truths with a large crowd of Jews and proselytes. (Acts 2:14, 15) Many of them became believers. Thereafter, these new Christians “continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles.” (Acts 2:42) The apostles managed the financial resources of the congregation. (Acts 4:34, 35) They cared for the spiritual needs of God’s people, stating: “We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4) And they assigned experienced Christians to advance the evangelizing work in new territories. (Acts 8:14, 15) In time, other anointed elders joined the apostles in administering the affairs of the congregations. As a governing body, they gave direction to all the congregations.—Acts 15:2. w17.02 4:4
Render to all their dues: . . . to the one who calls for honor, such honor.—Rom. 13:7.
Most imperfect humans are strongly influenced by the spirit of Satan’s world. That is why people tend to idolize certain men or women rather than just show them appropriate honor and respect. They place religious and political leaders, sports figures, entertainment stars, and other celebrities on pedestals, often considering them to be almost superhuman. Hence, young and old alike look to them as role models, perhaps imitating their mannerisms, dress, or conduct. True Christians refrain from such a distorted view of honoring humans. Christ is the only human who ever lived whom we can consider a perfect role model. (1 Pet. 2:21) God would not be pleased if we extended to humans more honor than they are due. We need to bear in mind this basic truth: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) Truly, no human warrants the kind of honor that borders on idolatry. w17.03 1:6-8
Asa’s heart was complete with Jehovah all his life.—1 Ki. 15:14.
Each of us can examine his heart to see if it is fully devoted to God. Ask yourself, ‘Am I determined to please Jehovah, to defend true worship, and to protect his people from any corrupting influence?’ For example, what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person? What would your heart move you to do? Like Asa, you can show that you have a complete heart by fully relying on God when you are faced with opposition, even some that may seem insurmountable. You may be teased or ridiculed at school for taking a stand as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or colleagues at work may taunt you for taking days off for spiritual activities or for not often working overtime. In such situations, pray to God, just as Asa did. (2 Chron. 14:11) Remain firm for what you know is right and wise. Remember that God strengthened and helped Asa, and He will strengthen you. w17.03 3:6-8
All who are hasty surely head for poverty.—Prov. 21:5.
God’s Word counsels us not to be hasty when we need to make an important decision. When we take the time to weigh carefully all the aspects or facts related to a decision, we will likely be more successful. (1 Thess. 5:21) Before determining a course of action, a family head ought to take the time to research the Scriptures and Christian publications, as well as to consider the opinions or views of others in his family. Recall that God urged Abraham to listen to what his wife had to say. (Gen. 21:9-12) Elders too should take time to do research. And if they are reasonable, modest men, they will not fear losing respect if new, relevant information comes to their attention that indicates a need to reconsider what they had already decided. They should be ready to adjust their thinking and decisions when appropriate, and all of us do well to follow that example. This can promote peace and order in the congregation.—Acts 6:1-4. w17.03 2:16