“Brace Up Your Minds for Activity”
SOME persons are like electricity. They always seek the way of least resistance. Anything that requires physical or mental effort they will avoid if at all possible. They prefer to do what is easy for them and not what is fatiguing or difficult. The less that is required of them the better they like it.
This attitude is a grave mistake. It is not the road to physical, mental and spiritual advancement and health. A man is benefited by activity, not inactivity. What progress could an athlete make if he never exerted himself to do more than what was easy for him? It is only by continually striving for greater heights that a jumper can develop his body so that heights that were once difficult become easy. So it is in whatever activity a person engages. What requires great effort now will be easy later if he exerts himself.
The human body was not designed to be inactive. It must be exercised for it to maintain good health. But because exercise is exhausting and requires effort many people avoid it. Instead of climbing stairs, they ride the elevator. Instead of going for a long walk, they go for a ride. The longer they go without exerting themselves physically the more difficult it becomes for them to do physical tasks that are easy for physically fit persons.
The important part that physical activity plays in health was pointed out by an article that appeared in Science Digest of December, 1958. It said: “Health, endurance, nutrition and general well-being are all dependent on a common denominator—circulatory fitness. The only way to get it is by a systematic method of exercise.”
As physical activity is necessary for bodily health so is spiritual activity necessary for spiritual health. The apostle Peter recognized this fact. That is why he told his fellow Christians: “Brace up your minds for activity.” (1 Pet. 1:13) Their spiritual activity was the Christian ministry. Unlike the professed Christians of today who think that sitting in church once a week is enough religious exertion, the early Christians diligently studied God’s written Word and then preached it publicly.
The apostle Paul spoke of this activity when he said: “Let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.” (Heb. 13:15) His words reveal that all shared in the Christian ministry and that it was a regular part of their worship.
By this activity they made use of the knowledge they gained about God and his purposes. They talked with the people regarding his wonderful works, as foretold at Psalm 145:11, 12, which says: “About the glory of your kingship they will talk, and about your mightiness they will speak, to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts and the glory of the splendor of his kingship.”
It was not an easy thing for the early Christians to go out and talk with strangers about God’s works and purposes. It was fatiguing both mentally and physically. They had to brace up their minds by personal study of the Scriptures, that they might be able to reason with the people and give Scriptural proof for what they said. That required mental effort. It was physically tiring for them to walk from house to house and from one city to another as they did when preaching the Word of life. Christianity is not for persons who want things easy. It is for those who are willing to expend themselves in doing the will of God and in helping people to learn the way to eternal life and happiness. The early Christians were such people. This Christian activity was essential for their spiritual health. It kept them close to the supreme Sovereign and conscious of the divine will.
Spiritual activity is just as necessary today for maintaining spiritual health as it was then. Operating church bingo games, bazaars, raffles and so forth cannot be classed as spiritual activity. What constitutes that activity today is the same as what constituted it in the days of the early Christians. It is the public declaration of God’s doings and purposes. It is talking about his mighty acts and the glory of his kingship. This is the spiritual activity that brings spiritual health and divine approval.
It is not enough for a person to say that he has faith. He must prove his faith by exerting himself in the Christian ministry. He must brace up his mind through study of the Scriptures, and then he must become active in public preaching and teaching of God’s Word of truth. The Bible writer James makes it plain that the ministry is for all. He states: “Become doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning.” “Of what benefit is it, my brothers, if a certain one says he has faith but he does not have works? That faith cannot save him, can it? You see that a man is to be declared righteous by works, and not by faith alone.”—Jas. 1:22; 2:14, 24.
Activity in the Christian ministry is the work that proves a person’s faith. Christ set the example for his followers by engaging in it himself. He proved his faith in his Father by his works. He did not seek the easy way of inactivity but exerted himself in the work of public preaching and teaching of Scriptural truths. He instructed his disciples to do the same. As they followed in his footsteps of spiritual activity, so must Christians today. Their spiritual well-being depends upon it. That is why Jehovah’s witnesses stress it and build up the minds of people through Scriptural instruction. They provide a specific program of ministerial activity that fulfills Scriptural requirements.
We are living at a critical time in human history when the purposes of God are due to be carried out. It is a time for intensive activity on the part of Christians in proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom. By such work they prove their faith and worthiness of the divine gift of eternal life as subjects of that kingdom.
Whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste . . . continue considering these things.—Phil. 4:8.