Maintain Unity in the Congregation
When we are among fellow believers, we feel as King David did: “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) Our unity is not an accident. Each of us plays a role in maintaining it.
1. What is remarkable among God’s people?
If you attend a congregation meeting in another land, you may find that you cannot understand the language, but in many ways you will feel at home. Why? Because we study the Bible using the same publications everywhere. And we strive to show love for one another. No matter where we live, we all “call on the name of Jehovah, to worship him in unity.”—Zephaniah 3:9, footnote.
2. What can you do to promote unity?
“Love one another intensely from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22) How can you apply this counsel? Rather than focusing on the imperfections of others, look for their good qualities. Instead of associating with only those who share your interests, try to get to know brothers and sisters who come from different backgrounds. We can also work hard to root out any feelings of prejudice we may have.—Read 1 Peter 2:17.a
3. What will you do when you have a disagreement with a fellow Christian?
We are united, but we are also imperfect. Sometimes we disappoint or even hurt one another. So God’s Word tells us to “continue . . . forgiving one another,” adding: “Just as Jehovah freely forgave you, you must also do the same.” (Read Colossians 3:13.) We have hurt Jehovah countless times, and yet he has forgiven us. So he expects us to forgive our brothers. If you realize that you have hurt someone, take the initiative to settle matters.—Read Matthew 5:23, 24.b
Look for ways that you can contribute to the unity and peace of the congregation.
4. Overcome prejudice
We want to love all our brothers. But we may struggle to accept someone who seems different from us. What can help? Read Acts 10:34, 35, and then discuss these questions:
Jehovah accepts as his Witnesses all sorts of people. How should that affect your view of others who come from a background different from yours?
What kinds of prejudice common in your area do you want to avoid?
Read 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, and then discuss this question:
How do you think you could draw closer to brothers and sisters of a different background?
5. Forgive freely and make peace
Jehovah forgives us freely even though he will never need us to forgive him. Read Psalm 86:5, and then discuss these questions:
How great is Jehovah’s forgiveness?
Why are you grateful for his forgiveness?
What situations could make it difficult for us to get along with others?
How can we imitate Jehovah and remain united with our brothers and sisters? Read Proverbs 19:11, and then discuss this question:
When someone annoys or offends you, what could you do to make the situation better?
Sometimes we offend others. When that happens, what should we do? Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.
In the video, what did the sister do to make peace?
6. Look for the good in your brothers and sisters
When we get closer to our brothers and sisters, we get to know their strengths and their weaknesses. How can we focus on their strengths? Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.
What can help you to see the positive qualities of your brothers and sisters?
Jehovah focuses on our good qualities. Read 2 Chronicles 16:9a, and then discuss this question:
How does knowing that Jehovah focuses on your good qualities make you feel?
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “Before I forgive someone, he has to earn my forgiveness.”
Why should we be eager to forgive others?
You can help to maintain unity in the congregation by being forgiving and showing love for all your brothers and sisters.
How can you overcome prejudice?
What will you do if you have a disagreement with a fellow Christian?
Why do you want to imitate Jehovah’s example of forgiving others?
Learn how one of Jesus’ illustrations can help us to avoid judging others.
Do we need to apologize if we feel we have not done anything wrong?
“Apologizing—A Key to Making Peace” (The Watchtower, November 1, 2002)
See how two men who grew up in a racist society found real unity.
Consider ways you can deal with personal conflicts before they disturb the peace of the congregation.
“Settle Differences in a Spirit of Love” (The Watchtower, May 2016)