Do You Give a Reason for the Hope in You?
1 Recently a brother was asked, “Do you believe you have the only right religion?” He replied: “Of course I do. If I didn’t think so, I would join another.” Then he went on to explain kindly what the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses are and the Scriptural basis for them. He was following the admonition to “make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect.”—1 Pet. 3:15.
2 Daily, there are opportunities to give a reason for our hope. At work, fellow employees may wonder why you do not engage in their degrading conversations. At school, teachers or fellow students may ask why you do not celebrate holidays. Neighbors may inquire as to why you go to meetings so often. Such occasions may provide openings to apply the apostle Peter’s counsel. If you have prepared in advance to answer, you may help sincere questioners learn to serve Jehovah along with us.
REACHING THE HEARTS OF LISTENERS
3 In order to converse with people, it is necessary to establish a common ground. That is true whether we are in field service or conversing informally. An excellent Biblical example is recorded at Acts 17:22-31. Notice how the apostle Paul skillfully established a common ground at the outset and how he maintained it throughout the discussion. As a result, some were convinced of the truth.—See School Guidebook, pages 156-8, paragraphs 15-24.
4 As you go from door to door during the month of January, look for a common ground to establish discussions. We are faced with the same problems as the householders. These include concern for the safety of our children and for their future, the lack of real peace, increasing crime, and drug abuse. God’s Kingdom is the answer, so our Topic for Conversation highlights some of the blessings of the Kingdom.
5 Congregations that have any of the 192-page books designated for use in this campaign will offer them for a contribution of 50¢ each. When offering such publications, highlight specific information that focuses on God’s Kingdom. For example, you may want to feature the World Government book. On pages 9 to 13, it describes the world envisioned at Revelation 21:4. Life Does Have a Purpose discusses very similar material on page 31. If older publications are not available, any other 192-page publication may be offered for a contribution of $1.00 each.
ON RETURN VISITS
6 When you return to develop the interest shown, be prepared to explain in greater detail the reason for your hope. Build on the common ground you established previously with the householder. Listen to his views. Reason with him. Leave him with the anticipation that future calls will provide additional wholesome information on which he can also build hope.
7 Whenever the way is opened up to give a reason for the hope in us, we want to take advantage of it. Whether young or old, we should be able to give sound, clear, persuasive reasons for our faith. May all of us demonstrate strong faith by zealously giving a reason for our hope.