Presenting the Good News—With Reasonableness
1 At Titus 3:2 we are encouraged to “be reasonable, exhibiting mildness toward all men.” This is true whether we are dealing with government officials, as referred to in Paul’s letter to Titus, or with householders to whom we preach. The Kingdom Interlinear Translation helps us to appreciate that to be reasonable means to be “yielding.” To be yielding means “lacking rigidity or stiffness . . . flexible.”
2 Being reasonable or “yielding” does not mean that we compromise as to what is the truth or that we put forth no effort at all to cope with objections. No, we endeavor to handle objections skillfully to the extent we can, at the same time not insisting that the householder listen if he tells us he is acquainted with our work and does not want to hear what we have to say.—Josh. 24:15.
3 When a person says he is busy, we could say: “I wanted to discuss briefly a free Bible study arrangement you may be interested in. I would like to leave this folder and you can read it over when you have more time.” If the folder is accepted, you could inquire, “When would it be convenient for me to call again to discuss matters briefly with you?” By doing things in this way, what have you accomplished? First of all, you have briefly stated the purpose of your visit, as well as shown the householder that you have taken into consideration what he has said. If nothing else, your considerateness should leave a good impression. He may agree to a return visit, or possibly be more inclined to take time to listen the next time someone calls. Your “yielding” at the present is with a view to greater accomplishment in the long run.
4 Suppose a person really is busy. We could suggest in a kindly way that he take some time to listen. But would it be reasonable to ignore his circumstances when he asks to be excused on that occasion? We know we would not appreciate it if someone came to our door when we were busy preparing to go to our meetings and insisted on talking about his religion. Would you feel kindly toward him if he failed to take into consideration your circumstances? And, what if you did agree to a brief discussion and he overstayed his visit?
5 Many times we call on persons who are well acquainted with our work and they just simply do not want to talk to us. In such a case we do well to remember what is stated at Matthew 10:13. And, if we are kind and considerate, even though a person is abrupt, possibly we can leave him in a better frame of mind toward the work of Jehovah’s witnesses than he was in before. That would be a fine accomplishment, and it may pave the way for a witness to be given at some future time.
6 We do not appreciate it when someone “pushes” us or fails to consider our feelings, do we? So, it is good for us to be reasonable, not rigid, insisting that a person immediately accept our viewpoint. By our explaining things clearly and simply, to the extent possible, and by employing teaching methods, along with a reasonable approach, we know it will be easier for righthearted persons to understand and act on the Kingdom message.