True Worship Calls for Firm Decisions
WHEN Jesus Christ was here on earth he made it clear that being one of his disciples required firm decisions involving real changes in one’s life. He said: “You may be sure, none of you that does not say good-bye to all his belongings can be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) This means—not that every person seeking to become Jesus’ disciple should get rid of his possessions—but that each one must look at all his material things as secondary, letting nothing stand in the way of his service to God as a faithful disciple of his Son.—Compare 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Hebrews 13:5.
Every year thousands upon thousands of people demonstrate that this is true in their case. They are willing to make tremendous changes in their way of life, changes that others consider to be disadvantageous, foolish.
A young woman from Brazil tells of the changes she was willing to make in order to live according to the guidelines contained in the Bible. Telling why she readily agreed to study the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses, she says:
“I had always thought of the Bible as a question mark—a mystery. At the time, however, I was very busy working for a career in the performing arts at the university. As I progressed in my Bible study, the theater doors were also opened more and more. At the VII National Amateur Theater Festival I received the prize for second-best actress.
“Because of my busy schedule I stopped studying the Bible for a while. But the Witness who had studied with me continued to call. She would encourage me to continue the Bible study, attend meetings and to read the Bible and Bible study aids.
“Little by little, my conscience began to prick me. I began to ask myself: ‘Could I ask for God’s blessing as I went on stage to perform a role that was contrary to Bible principles? Isn’t unclean conduct condemned by God?’
“I had a real mental battle, for I really loved the theater. I had many offers to work both inside and outside the university. Though it wasn’t an easy decision, I finally decided to leave the theater for Jehovah’s service.
“Now I am very happy; my conscience is at rest. I feel secure among my spiritual brothers and sisters, all of whom are using their talents to further the interests of God’s kingdom.”
In the case of this young woman true worship involved saying good-bye to a career in the theater, but she is far happier in pursuing her goal to be a loyal disciple of Jesus Christ.
Another young woman in Brazil found that to become a disciple of God’s Son, she had to change her conduct, choosing between financial benefits and obedience to God.
During the course of her Bible study with one of Jehovah’s witnesses, the wrongness of sexual intercourse between nonmarried people came under discussion. She said that she simply could not see anything wrong with it. Even when shown additional scriptures about God’s view on morals, she did not accept the Bible’s teaching.
The Witness studying with her realized that it would be pointless to push the matter any further. So she simply remarked that, in time, she would doubtless come to appreciate the Scriptural view and encouraged her to read various other Bible texts on the subject.
The young woman did read the scriptures and, the following week, admitted that God does not approve of fornication or adultery. She then confessed to living with a married man and being pregnant by him. This man was caring for all her financial needs, even providing a fine apartment by the sea for her. She wanted to know what she should do in this case. The Witness explained what the Bible has to say and made it clear that the decision was one that she would have to make.
The Bible’s counsel reached the woman’s heart. That very week she discontinued her relationship with the man. Soon her friends started to criticize her, saying that she was crazy to forsake the man who had provided well for her materially. Her relatives also encouraged her to continue her association with him, as he had also helped them out financially.
But she stuck to her decision. Some months later she gave birth to a baby boy and thereafter got baptized, determined to serve God as a disciple of his Son. Though she now has to support herself and the child, she rejoices in having a clean conscience before Jehovah.
Truly, while drastic changes may have to be made and one may seem to be a loser in the eyes of the world, the person who makes his decision to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ gains what is far more valuable. He gains a clean conscience before God and men and finds real contentment and satisfaction in doing God’s will.