Declaring Our Hope Unwaveringly in Meetings
A PERSON of good will drinks in the truth that is handed to him at the door or on revisiting him. As he grows in knowledge and understanding he begins to feed himself at the home Bible study, but still only with milk. Advancing still more he attends the congregational meetings, where he feeds on more solid spiritual food. Then, as he reaches maturity, he prepares well for these meetings so that he can take part in them and help feed others. Where do you fit in?
Paul counseled: “Let us hold fast the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for he is faithful that promised. And let us consider one another to incite to love and right works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.”—Heb. 10:23-25, NW.a
Yes, we must do more than just gather together; we must make “public declaration of our hope” in the congregation, incite one another to love and right works and give encouragement. Jesus ‘declared God’s name to his brothers and in the midst of the congregation praised him with song.’ (Heb. 2:12, NW) By each one of us commenting there is an interchange of encouragement.
Then too, by commenting we are heeding the command: “Keep testing whether you are in the faith, keep proving what you yourselves are.” (2 Cor. 13:5, NW) We may think we understand a matter, but we prove to ourselves that we really do when we explain it to others. Note also Paul’s counsel to Timothy: “Ponder over these things, be absorbed in them, that your advancement may be manifest to all persons.” How can our advancement be made manifest to all persons in the congregation if we fail to comment as opportunity affords?—1 Tim. 4:13-15, NW.
Of course, to declare our hope unwaveringly at meetings, to build up others, we must prepare our lessons in advance. Only then shall we have something helpful to say and be able to say it with confidence. Do not let fear of making a mistake keep you silent. Better speak up and be corrected than give expression to wrong thoughts when preaching from house to house. By practice you will become more proficient in commenting. How often have you commented at the congregational meetings in the past month? Are you unwaveringly declaring your hope in these meetings at every opportunity?
a For details see The Watchtower, January 1, 1956.