Paying Fully What We Owe God
ARE we under obligation to Jehovah God? Do we owe anything to our Creator? Obviously, as intelligent creatures we must recognize that we are indebted to the One who created us and who sustains us. Since Jehovah God did create us, our hearts should be filled with gratitude to him for being alive. And certainly God our Creator has both the right and the wisdom to tell us what is for our greatest and most lasting good, mentally and physically. What that is he has set down in his Word, the Bible. If we are wise we will seek to pay our debts to God, since it means everlasting life in happiness for us to do so. Yes, we will be paying fully what we owe God.—Matt. 22:21.*
However, those who are Christian ministers are even more indebted to pay fully what they owe God, for have they not dedicated themselves to do his will and symbolized their dedication by water baptism, which of themselves are what we all owe to God? Have you made a dedication to God and been baptized? Now, how are you paying back God’s things to God? Niggardly, sparingly, reluctantly? Or are you paying back what you owe God generously, bountifully, eagerly? Remember, the apostle Paul stated: “He that sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and he that sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”—2 Cor. 9:6.
To pay back fully what we owe God means to give him exclusive devotion. (Ex. 20:5) It means progressing to maturity. How? By broadening out, by taking in solid spiritual food, by becoming ever more skillful in preaching the Word to others. And also by becoming ever more firmly set in a course of right Christian conduct, bringing forth the fruits of the spirit.—Gal. 5:21, 22; Heb. 5:14–6:3.
To pay back fully what we owe to God we must continually, yes, daily feed at God’s spiritual table. Daily? Yes, we should make room for taking in some spiritual food every day, even as we daily take time for physical food. We can do this if we buy out time for it that we would ordinarily spend reading the newspaper or secular magazines or watching TV. (Have you ever kept track of how much time in the course of a week you spend watching TV programs?) Be like the Bereans who “daily” searched the Scriptures.—Acts 17:11.
Paying what belongs to God, of course, also means regularly associating with fellow servants of God at congregation meetings, not being easily thwarted from doing so. But to do so fully we need to prepare in advance, come on time, share in commenting, and so forth. The 1967 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses tells of an eighty-three-year-old man who walked eighty-four miles to an assembly at which he was baptized. He did not have the money for bus fare, but he had the determination to get there! Are we fully determined always to attend the congregation meetings? As Jehovah’s great day approaches it becomes ever more imperative that we do not neglect assembling!—Heb. 10:23-25.
And what about our paying fully what we owe God by having a part in preaching this good news of his kingdom in all the world for a witness and by making disciples of people of all nations, teaching them the things that we have been taught? Remember, Christianity is a matter of ‘loving Jehovah our God with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole mind and with our whole strength.’ Here again we are faced with the challenge to buy out the opportune time for ourselves because the days are wicked. Could we be pioneers or other full-time preachers? Could we vacation pioneer? Is there really anything to hinder us from being an exemplary publisher, meeting and exceeding the congregation goals for the field ministry? Think of the praise that will go to Jehovah by our paying fully what we owe him in these respects, the blessings it will mean to our neighbor, yes, and the joys that will come to ourselves when we do.—Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20; Mark 12:29-31; Eph. 5:15, 16.
If we zealously obey God’s commands, if we fully pay back what we owe God, we will be truly happy; but will we have any grounds for boasting? Not according to Jesus, for he said that even “when you have done all the things assigned to you,” we can but say: “We are good-for-nothing slaves. What we have done is what we ought to have done.” Yes, we will merely be paying fully what we owe God.—Luke 17:7-10; Matt. 22:21.
But is there not a deep satisfaction and contentment in knowing that we have done our duty, met our obligations to the great Superior, Jehovah God? And do we not receive many blessings while doing so? And can we not look forward to receiving many more blessings in the coming new system of things? Surely, paying fully what we owe God is the wise, the just and the loving thing to do. Happy are all they that fully pay what they owe God!
For details see The Watchtower, August 1, 1966.