What Are We Doing to Help One Another?
1 As we all know, being a Christian involves much more than publicly preaching the good news. Among other things, it also includes showing love for our Christian brothers and sisters. Not only the appointed servants are responsible to give attention to the building up of those who are already publishers. Whether we are appointed servants or not, the fact that we “love one another” identifies us as followers of Jesus. (John 13:34, 35) This trait is prominent among Jehovah’s witnesses. But is there room for us individually to “widen out” in our concern for our brothers? (2 Cor. 6:11-13) There are so many areas in which help can be given.
2 Some need assistance to get to the meetings. Is there someone that you know who needs such aid? A circuit servant reports that in a rural congregation in Maryland only a few of the publishers have cars. But those few, with genuine interest in the rest, often make four or five trips in order to get everyone to the Kingdom Hall for meetings. It is obvious that they really care about one another, and that is the way it should be, isn’t it?
3 If yours is a household that has a regular family study, you know what a blessing that can be! Perhaps you prepare your Watchtower lesson together. Not only does it enable you to benefit more fully from the congregation meetings; it also contributes directly and noticeably to your spiritual growth. However, there may be in your congregation newly associated families that do not yet have a regular family-study time. Is there such a family that you could invite to join your household for study from time to time? We know a family of six that has welcomed to their midst a young brother whose parents do not share his faith, and each time after he is with them he talks about it enthusiastically for days.
4 An invitation to share in the service is something else that upbuilds. If you are planning to go out on calls alone, could you “widen out,” perhaps making a phone call in advance to invite another publisher to go with you? It takes only a few minutes to arrange. Even if you are planning to go to a regular meeting for field service, it could be beneficial to get in touch with another publisher ahead of time, offering to call for him. It may be just the encouragement that he needs, and his appreciative response will increase your own happiness in the service. A sister who herself started out in the service just last year has found this to be true. When planning her service she regularly includes others, working with quite a number each week. She herself has vacation pioneered, but even when she is not able to do that she offers to work with others who are vacation pioneering, perhaps for the first time, to help them make a success of it.
5 In every congregation there are those who need help to become effective in their field service. What help can you offer? Do you find it easy to place magazines? Then why not offer to take along someone who does not get the same results and show him how you do it? Some may do well in drawing householders into conversation; others would be grateful to learn how. Perhaps your delight is in conducting home Bible studies. Invite someone to go with you and learn to share that pleasure. Not all of us have the same abilities, but, no matter who we are, there are ways that we can help one another.—Rom. 12:6-8.
6 The fact that we are personally in need of help in some respect does not mean that we cannot also give help to others. For example, an elderly sister in Brooklyn finds it very difficult to walk and she is grateful that a nearby family takes her with them by car to the meetings. But she is also alert to her opportunities to help. One morning each week she cares for their young boy who is not well so that the mother can more easily share in the field service. She also invites certain hardworking publishers to stop at her house for a quick lunch, knowing that her preparation can help them to get a full day in the service.
7 The disciple James reminds us that true worship includes the showing of special consideration for “orphans and widows in their tribulation.” (Jas. 1:26, 27) Those who are experiencing hardship need encouragement. A phone call, a card or a personal visit is appreciated when one is confined due to illness. No one else should have to ask us to show such interest in one another; it is something natural for those who love one another.
8 Of course, we are all busy. Our schedules are usually full. But to a considerable extent, our concern for one another can be shown by including others in the things we already do—going to meetings, sharing in the field service, and studying. Much can also be done by using the time before and after meetings in a meaningful way, showing genuine interest in others. Other visits can often be made on the way to do shopping or on the way home from service. Rich blessings are ours when we do things for one another. “Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to us in the faith.”—Gal. 6:10.