What Is Your Custom?
1 Christian meetings are an essential part of our worship of Jehovah. The apostle Paul fittingly urges us not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together, “as some have the custom.”—Heb. 10:25.
2 Do you have similar sentiments about associating with your brothers at Christian meetings? What does your custom reveal in this regard? Do you regularly attend all the meetings, including the Congregation Book Study? Or do you find that you customarily miss meetings? What place do meetings have in your life? Are you encouraging others to attend meetings regularly? Have you been encouraging Memorial attenders to be regular in their meeting attendance?
3 Regardless of our daily routine, Paul’s advice cannot be minimized. Although it is understood that from time to time a Christian may have to miss a meeting because of poor health or other circumstances beyond his control, it certainly should not be his custom. (Rom. 2:21) With so many obligations to take care of, which may include a number of theocratic activities, a Christian needs to make sure of the more important things. (Phil. 1:10) Meetings are included among the more important things for a Christian and are essential for our spiritual well-being.
ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
4 When Paul wrote the Romans, he said that he was longing to see them. Why? In order to impart some spiritual gift so that they would “be made firm.” (Rom. 1:11) He felt that association was important, yes, needed, since he continued, saying: “That there may be an interchange of encouragement.” Or as the footnote in the Reference Bible states: “To be encouraged together.” (Rom. 1:12) Even Paul, an apostle, recognized his need for encouragement through Christian association.
5 In like manner, at our meetings we should incite one another to love and fine works. A friendly smile and a warm greeting can have a positive effect on others. Upbuilding comments, well-prepared parts on the program, seeing others progress spiritually, and just being among the brothers there at the meetings can be very encouraging. Even if we are tired at the end of the day, usually we will find that we feel much better after attending the meeting. Christian friendship and the love our brothers express for us will encourage us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1) By listening attentively to God’s Word, we can be prepared to hold fast the public declaration of our hope without wavering. Truly, there are many blessings that come from being at the meetings.
6 Now as never before, we must hold fast our faith and incite others to love and fine works. We do not want to fall into the custom or habit of forsaking the gathering of ourselves together. We should make a conscientious effort to encourage and help others, including Memorial attenders, to be at the meetings regularly. In this way, we will show our love for others and our appreciation for Christian meetings.