Train Your Perceptive Powers
1 Few, if any, of us get through life without facing momentous decisions. Some decisions seriously affect our future and our happiness, perhaps even our relationship with God. For example: The doctor insists that if you do not have a blood transfusion you will die. Or you are ordered to compromise and break your Christian neutrality. That “nice” worldly boy at school asks you for a date. The coach wants you on the team. Friends invite you to pioneer with them. You face serious decisions indeed!
2 When confronted with serious decisions, people react in different ways. Some procrastinate. Others want someone else to shoulder the responsibility of making the decision—perhaps mother, father, a friend, the elders or the Society. Some become physically ill from indecision! But there are others who are prepared to make proper decisions, having had “their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.” (Heb. 5:14) Paul says these are “mature people.” They have reached the point where they can make mature decisions on serious matters without having others tell them what to do. How have they been able to do so? Two phrases used by Paul in Hebrews 5:14 that give the clue are: “through use” and “solid food.”
3 Our perceptive powers are trained through use as we feed our minds regularly on the solid spiritual nourishment found in the Bible. In addition, we are helped to make right decisions if we take full advantage of the wholesome provisions from the “discreet slave.” Experience in making right decisions on a day-to-day basis trains us to make proper decisions on more important issues that involve the doing of God’s will.
4 Can you think of individuals mentioned in the Bible who relied on the solid food of God’s Word to aid them in making right decisions? What about Jesus when faced with three temptations at a time when he was weak from 40 days of fasting? In each case Jesus demonstrated that his perceptive powers had been trained to distinguish right and wrong. His ready response to the Tempter Satan was based on God’s Word.—Matt. 4:1-11.
5 There was also the time when the first-century governing body was faced with the question of circumcision. Through use of the spiritual guidance at Amos 9:11, 12, the disciple James was helped to convince all concerned that circumcision is not a Christian requirement.—Acts 15:7, 13-19.
A REAL HELP WHEN NEEDED
6 We are living at a time when pressures from Satan’s doomed system abound. Decisions must be made on many matters due to the vicious assaults of the angry god of this system of things. But our God Jehovah has provided us with the needed help. There is hardly a question that could be raised that has not been dealt with in The Watchtower at some time or other during its 104 years of publication. By using handy indexes, we can tap this great source of solid spiritual food to help us meet the challenge of Satan’s temptations. The Watch Tower Publications Index volumes from 1930 through 1982 contain 1,568 pages of references for our help!
7 Do you have personal subscriptions to both Awake! and The Watchtower? Does your home theocratic library contain these valuable helps? Many old-timers can point to volumes of these magazines that they have received over the years. They have kept their personal copies for future reference along with other literature provided by the Society.
8 Knowing the value of these trustworthy journals, The Watchtower and Awake!, we can convincingly recommend them to our neighbors. Having already become familiar with the subscription presentation during October, we can present it with even greater skill and enthusiasm now during November. Your neighbors also need to have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong if they are to survive. So, present this vital spiritual food to them, as their lives depend upon it!—1 Tim. 4:16.