Safeguard Thinking Ability for the Ministry
WHAT is the greatest privilege a human can receive? That of the Christian ministry. To discharge this sacred trust wisely and faithfully, to be able to work out its details in our daily lives, we need practical wisdom and thinking ability. Hence the wise king’s command that we safeguard these.—Prov. 3:21.*
Thinking ability consists of five basic mental processes: (1) taking in knowledge of certain facts and principles; (2) analyzing, comparing and associating the various facets of this knowledge with one another; (3) drawing conclusions from such discerning study; (4) storing them up in the memory for future use; (5) drawing on such knowledge for practical application to the work at hand.
The first essential for developing our thinking ability is to take in knowledge from God’s Word. “When wisdom enters into your heart and knowledge itself becomes pleasant to your very soul, thinking ability itself will keep guard over you, discernment itself will safeguard you, to deliver you from the bad way.” (Prov. 2:10-12; 1:7) The world, in its independent thinking, ignores God and his purposes for man as though he were not the Creator. That is as unrealistic as for an aviator to ignore the law of gravity. It simply “does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jer. 10:23.
For us to have the knowledge needed for our ministry we must be eager to learn. “Keep seeking for it as for silver.” Analyze what you learn; be sure you understand it.—Prov. 2:4.
Correct thinking also requires us to get the sense of knowledge, drawing conclusions as to its application in our own life. So be awake, alert and “pay attention to how you listen.”—Luke 8:18.
Particularly is it imperative that we retain what we take in. Observe accurately and vividly events and illustrations; make them live. Impress principles and abstract ideas upon your mind by means of association. By meditation and by talking to others, at home, at meetings and in the field ministry, we will be arousing our “clear thinking faculties by way of a reminder.”—2 Pet. 3:1, 2.
When you take in knowledge do not fail to put it to practical use. If we want to be able to do that we may not wait until faced with a problem. We must make it a habit to think soundly and decisively beforehand. As we read of the faithful course taken by one, we should weigh the principles involved and determine then and there to take the same course under such circumstances.—Jas. 5:11.
In the light of fulfilled Bible prophecy our ministry assumes an ever greater importance and urgency. The increasing of lawlessness makes integrity-keeping ever more difficult. Jehovah God has given us both the ministry and our thinking ability. Let us show appreciation of these by safeguarding our thinking ability for the ministry.
For details see The Watchtower, February 15, 1960.