Things of Serious Concern
1 At Philippians 4:8 Paul says that we should ‘continue considering whatever things are of serious concern.’ And at Philippians 1:10 he encourages us to “make sure of the more important things.” He not only meant that we should think about or ponder these serious and important matters, but had in mind that thereafter we would carry them out or put them into practice. (Php 1 vs. 9) This would be in harmony with James’ counsel to “become doers of the word, and not hearers only.” (Jas. 1:22) What are some things we should regard as being of “serious concern”?
CONCERN FOR FIELD SERVICE
2 Do you not agree that scheduling time to be in the field service with others is a matter of serious concern? (Mark 13:10) For many, weekends are about the only time they have for field service, and for many elders and ministerial servants, it is about the only time available to be with the publishers. The trend in the world is to spend entire weekends in recreation. But was that the self-sacrificing course of our Model and Exemplar, Christ Jesus? Is it the course of moderation? Recreation in moderation does provide certain benefits, but balance is required so as to provide maximum benefits and avoid harmful results. It is spiritually weakening to get away from “the more important things.”
3 Walking from door to door usually produces benefits similar to recreation. There is exercise and a change of pace. There is association with family members and other publishers who need encouragement and training. Precious Scriptural truths are impressed on the mind. Others are given the opportunity to hear the good news and a warning of God’s vengeance. Satisfying memories remain to provide peace of mind for days thereafter. “My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work,” said Jesus. His mind was on the more important things. (John 4:34) John, too, had things of serious concern in mind when he said: “He that does the will of God remains forever.”—1 John 2:17.
ASSOCIATION AND STUDY
4 Good association is also a matter of serious concern. After mentioning those he found to be good association, Paul said: “Only these are my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and these very ones have become a strengthening aid to me.” (Col. 4:11) Surely Paul did not have in mind being with these fellow workers in large, late evening parties where partaking of food and drink immoderately would be easy and supervision difficult. Getting together with a few others, possibly in the home with family members present, usually produces superior results in upbuilding discussions and interchanges of encouragement. In such an atmosphere, wholesome conversation and experiences replace loud, distasteful music. Children can be included and Christian personalities molded. This can contribute to effective and zealous field service the next morning, whereas late partying in large groups usually discourages it.
5 Personal study is another matter of serious concern today. For most of us, finding time for this is not easy but requires following Paul’s advice at Ephesians 5:15, 16: “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked.” Are you willing to pay the price? Television viewing may be one place where time could be ‘bought out.’ It means weighing out what is ‘the more important thing.’ Television viewing can at times be relaxing and even educational, but reading the Bible and the Society’s literature can be more so, and in a spiritually superior way.—Compare Romans 8:5, 6.
6 The psalmist said: “To do your will, O my God, I have delighted.” (Ps. 40:8) Caring first for the more important things is a delight for genuine Christians. Yes, working hard at the truly important things, Kingdom interests, brings true satisfaction and joy.