Faithful and Loyal to God’s Organization
WHAT fine qualities faithfulness and loyalty are! Yet, look where we will, how lacking they are in the world today! Because of this all Christian ministers of Jehovah must be on guard against being influenced by such gross selfishness. Most timely, therefore, is our theme for the month of July based on the words found at Revelation 2:10 and; 1 Timothy 2:8: “Prove yourself faithful even to death, and I will give you the crown of life.” “I desire that in every place the men carry on prayer, lifting up loyal hands.”*
What does it mean to be faithful? It means to be dependable, true to one’s agreements. It means ‘unswerving adherence to a person, vow or pledge.’ Chief of all the many faithful examples recorded in the Word of God is that of Jesus Christ.—Rev. 1:5; 3:14.
Today we have a close imitator of Jesus’ faithfulness in the “faithful and discreet slave,” who in modern times has for more than eighty years been faithfully discharging his obligation to feed all Christ’s “domestics” with “their food at the proper time.” This slave gives special training to traveling representatives, missionaries and congregation overseers, as well as directing a campaign of education for the individual ministers by means of circuit servant visits, five weekly meetings, various assemblies and by publishing Bibles and Bible-study aids, chief among the latter being The Watchtower. This “faithful and discreet slave” is the visible representative of God’s universal organization.—Matt. 24:45-47.
All dedicated Christian ministers are stewards, and it is required of stewards, the apostle Paul tells us, that they be found faithful. To be faithful to God we must be faithful to his visible organization. For most of these ministers their association with God’s organization is primarily with the local congregation. What does it mean to be faithful to it?—1 Cor. 4:2; 1 Pet. 4:10.
It means being dependable in bearing one’s share of the burdens of the local congregation. It means being regular in meeting attendance, giving both one’s spiritual and material support. It means being willing to accept an assignment and then proving oneself dependable by properly preparing for it and carrying it out, regardless of how humble a part it may be. It also means being dependable in the little details of the field ministry.—Luke 16:10.
Loyalty also is required. Loyalty may be said to go beyond faithfulness. It emphasizes tenacity and continuance of heartfelt devotion. Loyalty to God is shown by us when we lovingly stick to him and his organization both when it is easy and when it is difficult, “through thick and thin.” Loyalty is a loving devotion that acts as a powerful adhesive.
Jehovah God being The loyal One, it is but fitting that he should require loyalty of us. (Rev. 15:4) However, we cannot be loyal to God without being loyal to his visible earthly organization, the “faithful and discreet slave,” and the local Christian congregation which represents that “slave.”
For us to be loyal to God’s organization we must be jealous about its interests, always quick to come to its defense should any speak ill of it and ever ready to protect it against any who would seek to harm it by stealing or damaging its property. More than that, loyalty to God’s organization means backing up the local congregation committee representing it, as when that committee takes action against any who would sow division or practice uncleanness. Rather than feeling so sorry for those wrongdoers we should have feeling for the ones who have the difficult burden of weighing matters and then needing to take action. Loyalty to God’s organization also means giving the local servants whole-souled support, being always submissive, never making the mistake of taking ourselves too seriously, as Aaron and Miriam once did.—Num. 12:1-15.
Loyalty to God’s organization also means being loyal to our individual Christian brothers. Do not indulge in unfavorable talk about them nor give a listening ear to others that do. Rather, come to the defense of the one thoughtlessly or willfully maligned and steer the conversation into more upbuilding channels.—1 Pet. 4:8.
In all such ways we can be faithful and loyal to God’s organization, thereby contributing to the advancement of God’s work in the earth and assuring ourselves of his approval.
For details see The Watchtower, August 1, 1964.