Proving Ourselves Approved by Accepting Responsibility
THE mature Christian is concerned with proving himself approved by God. Why? Because he knows that without that approval he stamps himself as a failure and cannot hope to get life everlasting in God’s new world. He therefore takes to heart the words of the apostle Paul: “Keep proving what you yourselves are . . . we are not disapproved.”—2 Cor. 13:5, 6.*
That this old world is not concerned with proving itself approved is apparent by its flight from responsibility. Look where we will we see evidence of it. Its prevalence is underscored by such expressions as “Carry the can” and “Passing the buck.” This refusal to accept responsibility is especially to be seen in the field of religion. The leaders of Christendom have refused to accept the responsibility of teaching the people the Word of God and as a result religious illiteracy is widespread. Because parents refuse to accept the responsibilities that come with parenthood juvenile delinquency is rampant.
One of the big tasks of the Christian minister is to persuade the persons whom he meets in the field ministry to accept responsibility by being willing to discuss religion, by obtaining Bible literature, by having the minister make return visits upon them and by having a Bible study in their home. Some agree to a Bible study in their home, but when it becomes apparent that they have an obligation to tell others about it, they too flee responsibility by dropping the study in their home.
Not that the matter of accepting responsibility is fully met when a Christian begins to preach the good news. That is only the beginning. He must continually prove himself to be approved by accepting whatever responsibility comes his way. If he can arrange his affairs so as to accept the full-time ministry he is under obligation to accept this responsibility. If he is able to serve where the need for Kingdom preachers is greater he must meet that obligation. And then there are organizational privileges for the male ministers in the local congregation that cannot be refused with impunity.
In fact, every Christian minister should seek to improve his ministry so that he will be in line to be offered more responsibility. Love, not vain ambition, should cause him to want to be used more fully because of the added privileges of helping others. Let none refuse, saying it cannot be done. Let him remember that Jehovah was not well pleased when Moses gave that excuse. Rather, let him have faith that God’s spirit will enable him to discharge faithfully the added responsibility he accepts, even as it has helped others.
True, organizational privileges are limited. But every Christian minister can accept the responsibility of seeing that each householder in his certain area has received the witness. That means keeping a house-to-house record. Further, he must accept responsibility by calling back on all who have shown interest, endeavoring to nourish that interest so that it will result in another person’s taking his stand for Jehovah and his kingdom.
There is much joy and satisfaction in store for those who prove themselves approved by accepting responsibility, both now and in the coming new world. And by each one’s accepting his responsibility the result will be a strong, effective organization of united worshipers, effectively guiding people of goodwill in the way of life.
For details see The Watchtower, March 15, 1962.