Make Your Advancement Manifest
1 Think back to the time when you first heard the Kingdom message. Simple truths stirred your desire for knowledge and understanding. Soon you were able to see a need to make adjustments in your way of life because Jehovah’s ways are so much higher than your ways. (Isa. 55:8, 9) You made advancement, dedicated your life, and got baptized.
2 Even after making some spiritual progress, there were still weaknesses that had to be overcome. (Rom. 12:2) Perhaps you had fear of man, which made you reluctant to share in field service. Or perhaps you were falling short in displaying the fruitage of God’s spirit. Rather than hold back, you were determined to make advancement by setting theocratic goals for yourself.
3 Several years may now have passed since you made your dedication. In looking back, what advancement can you see in yourself? Have you achieved some of your goals? Do you have the same zeal you “had at the beginning”? (Heb. 3:14) Timothy was already a mature Christian with years of experience when Paul urged him: “Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, that your advancement may be manifest to all persons.”—1 Tim. 4:15.
4 Personal Examination Needed: When we ponder over our past course, do we find that we continue to have some of the weaknesses we had when we started? Have we failed to reach some of the goals we set? If so, why? Even though we had good intentions, we may have procrastinated. Perhaps we have allowed the anxieties of life or the pressures of this system to hold us back.—Luke 17:28-30.
5 While we can do little about the past, we can certainly do something about the future. We can make an honest appraisal of ourselves, determine where we are lacking, and then put forth a concentrated effort to improve. We may need to do better in displaying the fruits of God’s spirit, such as self-control, mildness, or long-suffering. (Gal. 5:22, 23) If we have difficulty getting along with others or cooperating with the elders, it is important that we cultivate humility and lowliness of mind.—Phil. 2:2, 3.
6 Can we make our advancement manifest by reaching out for privileges of service? With extra effort brothers may be able to qualify as ministerial servants or elders. Some of us may be able to enroll as regular pioneers. For many more, auxiliary pioneering may be a reachable goal. Others may strive to improve personal study habits, become more active participants in congregation meetings, or be more productive as congregation publishers.
7 It is, of course, up to each one of us to decide where we need to make advancement. We can be sure that our sincere effort to “press on to maturity” will add greatly to our joy and make us more productive members of the congregation.—Heb. 6:1.