“Let All Your Affairs Take Place With Love”
1 “Your members are a true delight; conducting themselves with the utmost courtesy and respect.” That observation came from a convention and visitors bureau in a United States city that hosted one of our district conventions. It does our hearts good to receive such commendation for how we conduct ourselves in public. This shows that as a whole we are ‘letting all our affairs take place with love.’ (1 Cor. 16:14) At the same time, there are some matters of concern that if not addressed will detract from the good reputation of God’s people.
2 Problems With Rooming Reservations: In each convention city, a Rooming Department is established to negotiate with hotels for reasonable rates so that everyone can afford to attend the convention. Our brothers expend considerable time and effort in our behalf. The managers of some hotels have at first hesitated to agree to a lower rate because of their negative experiences with other religious groups. When our Rooming Department has assured them that our delegates will cooperate with the hotel, many establishments have been happy to list rooms for us.
3 Last year several hotels complained that they had an unusually large number of last-minute cancellations. Why was this? Some delegates had booked rooms at two hotels but failed to send in a deposit to the first one or to notify them that they were canceling their reservation in favor of another hotel. In other cases, some brothers had reserved more than one room at a hotel, thinking that they were doing a favor for others who were traveling with them. But upon arrival they accepted only one room and canceled the rest. The hotels that were involved said that this had never happened before with Watchtower delegates.
4 This causes serious problems for the hotels and for our convention organization. Hotels reserve a certain number of rooms for our delegates and are led to believe that they have all been filled, only to find at convention time that they have empty rooms. If the problem persists, it may become a point of contention with these hotels when negotiating for future conventions. To avoid this, reservations are to be made only for hotel rooms that will definitely be used. Additionally, one night’s deposit must be made to guarantee each room reserved. Doing so will also hold the room for late arrival. With this in mind, have you already sent your deposit to the hotel where you are booked to stay?
5 Some of the hotels offering a complimentary breakfast have complained that our brothers are abusing the arrangement by taking large amounts of food items with them even after they have eaten at the hotel. When a hotel provides food in the morning for its guests, it is to be regarded as what it is—a complimentary breakfast for those who are staying there. It is not intended that we take these food items with us to eat later or to share with friends at the convention. If we abuse this provision, it could result in the hotel’s canceling this service, wanting higher room rates, or refusing to negotiate with us in the future.
6 Working What Is Good Toward All: Good manners and exemplary conduct are motivated by love for Jehovah and for our neighbors. (Matt. 22:37-39; Jas. 3:13) The Bible urges us to be loving and considerate toward all people. (Gal. 6:10) That principle certainly applies when we stay at hotels. An unwillingness to cooperate taints our reputation, endangers our arrangement to get reduced rates, and creates hard feelings among brothers. If a hotel decides no longer to offer good rates, others attending the convention in that city may be seriously affected, especially if they are unable to afford a higher room rate.
7 When a choice room is reserved in advance and canceled at the last minute, it means that another brother was deprived of having it when he attempted to make a reservation. This may require that he travel farther or accept less desirable accommodations. Is that loving or considerate? How much better to show love and work what is good toward others by having their best interests in mind rather than our own!—Matt. 7:12; John 13:34, 35.
8 We eagerly anticipate attending the “Doers of God’s Word” District Convention. Have you made all your preparations, including hotel reservations and travel arrangements? May our conduct at the hotels and in the convention city always reflect the truth that is in our hearts and our love for our Creator.