The Rewards of Tact and Fearlessness
CHRISTIAN ministers know that being “made perfect in love” enables them to remain free of the restraint that fear would exercise over them. (1 John 4:18) An illustration of this is a case in Kansas. A zealous witness of Jehovah had a wife who had fallen into a state of spiritual apathy and inactivity. The Witness trying to help her relates an experience that taught this inactive one the value of being fearless yet tactful:
“One Sunday morning I called to find out when the husband wanted me to drive him to the neighboring town for the talk that he was scheduled to give that afternoon, for they had no automobile. As I came up the sidewalk, his wife ran out and met me, telling me they had guests. She asked me to be careful and not to mention the Bible since her guests were bitterly opposed. I assured her that I would be careful and tactful.
“When we entered the house, there they were seated at the table, having a late breakfast, a woman and her nineteen-year-old son. I accepted the invitation to have coffee, but the Witness and his wife seemed uneasy, as though they were afraid I would say something about the Bible. The guests said they were nightclub entertainers and had come to spend the summer here because the smog in the city was affecting their lungs.
“The mother said she could not see the sense of a city, as they were cold, hard and as unfriendly as the stones of which they were made. The son agreed and said he often wondered how far back cities went in the past. I noted that he liked history, so I said: ‘Well, it is strange that you should mention that, for I have just been reading a history of the origin of cities. It shows that one of the first ones was built by a very wicked man who became the first human to bring other humans under him in a government arrangement.’ They asked where the city was built. I replied that the book said that it was built in Asia on a plain called Shinar in Mesopotamia. Now they wanted to know when, and I told them that everything indicated that it was not too long after the Flood.
“The son now asked me bluntly if I really believed that there was a Flood. I told him that recorded history shows that every nation and tribe on earth has legends about a great flood that covered the entire earth, but the only authentic and sensible account I ever read was in the Bible. Since this was the first mention of the Bible in our conversation, I quickly added, ‘But maybe you do not believe the Bible.’
“‘We do not know anything about the Bible, so we do not know whether we believe it or not,’ answered the mother.
“The Witness now moved into the conversation and turned their attention to world governments by men and why we need God’s kingdom. They listened as though they were starved for Bible knowledge. Finally he said he had to get ready for his talk that afternoon. Immediately I told them that I was driving him there and asked them if they would like to join us. They accepted the invitation readily. They came to hear his talk and they asked many questions. That evening these ‘opposers’ came to my home for dinner and we continued our discussion until late.
“They came to the weekly group Bible study and so did the spiritually inactive wife. She was just beaming. She said that her house was like an assembly all week. The guests stayed on and attended all the meetings in the Kingdom Hall. We had a family Bible study with them twice a week, and by midwinter they were baptized. Three years later the young man became the presiding minister in a small-town congregation. His mother entered the full-time preaching work. Later the mother told me that she was always dreary in this old system of things and had searched history for some clue to the future.”
How happy all of them are that perfect love threw out fear on that summer day in Kansas!