They Mustered Up Boldness
IT IS not always easy to muster up boldness in order to preach. In fact, the apostle Paul said that on one occasion, he did so “with a great deal of struggling.” (1 Thessalonians 2:2) Is the ‘struggle’ to preach worth the effort? There is no guarantee of spectacular experiences, but God’s people are often glad that they mustered up boldness. Consider some examples.
An eight-year-old girl named Tara listened intently as her teacher told the class that during World War II, Jewish concentration camp inmates had to wear a yellow Star of David for identification. Tara wondered if she should speak up. “I prayed with my eyes open,” she recalls. Then she raised her hand and said that Jehovah’s Witnesses were in those camps too, and they had to wear a purple triangle. The teacher was interested and thanked her. Tara’s comment opened the way for further discussions with the teacher, who later even showed her entire class the video Jehovah’s Witnesses Stand Firm Against Nazi Assault.
In Guinea, West Africa, a young unbaptized publisher named Irène wanted to make progress in her ministry. The missionary who studied the Bible with her encouraged her to try placing the Watchtower and Awake! magazines with fellow students at school. Irène was hesitant because her classmates had been unreceptive. However, moved by the missionary’s encouragement, Irène decided to approach first the student who had seemed the most opposed. To Irène’s surprise, the girl was responsive and eagerly accepted the magazines. Other students followed suit. Irène placed more magazines that month than she had in the preceding five combined.
In Trinidad an elder felt quite hesitant about approaching the principal of a school to show her the educational value of the Awake! magazine. Nonetheless, he mustered up the boldness. He says: “I prayed as I entered the compound. I could not believe it when the principal was extraordinarily pleasant.” She accepted the Awake! magazine on “What Hope for Today’s Youths?” and even agreed to use it in teaching class. Since then, she has accepted 40 magazines covering various issues.
As a youth, Vaughn always found preaching difficult. “I would get nervous, my palms would sweat, and I would speak fast—I couldn’t slow down.” Nevertheless, he became a full-time minister. Still, it was not always easy for him to speak up. Once, after a discouraging day of job hunting, he wanted to witness to someone on the train, “so at least some good could come out of a bad day.” But he felt intimidated by the important-looking businessmen on the subway train. Finally, he mustered up boldness to speak to an elderly man next to him. A long conversation resulted. “You have such good questions for a young person,” the businessman said, asking, “Are you a theologian?” Vaughn replied, “No, I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” “Ah,” the man smiled. “Now I understand.”
All these Witnesses—and countless others—are glad that they mustered up boldness to preach. Will you do the same?
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