A Work That Calls for Humility
1 God’s Word admonishes us to be “humble in mind, not paying back injury for injury . . . but, to the contrary, bestowing a blessing.” (1 Pet. 3:8, 9) That counsel certainly applies in the preaching work. Indeed, the Christian ministry can be a test of our humility.
2 Humility is a quality that helps us to endure unpleasant situations. When preaching, we approach strangers uninvited, knowing that some will respond in an unkind manner. To keep preaching in the face of such treatment takes humility. In one particularly difficult territory, two pioneer sisters went from door to door every day for two years without getting anyone to answer! However, they persevered, and today there are two congregations in that area.
3 Handling Rudeness: Humility will help us to imitate Jesus when others are unkind or impolite. (1 Pet. 2:21-23) At one home a sister met with verbal abuse, first by the wife and then by the husband, who ordered her off the property. The sister simply smiled and said that she hoped to talk to them at another time. This so impressed the couple that they listened to the next Witness who called and accepted an invitation to attend a meeting at the Kingdom Hall. The sister who had initially been rebuffed was there to greet them and to give them a further witness. We too may soften unreceptive ones by displaying “a mild temper and deep respect.”—1 Pet. 3:15; Prov. 25:15.
4 Avoid Arrogance: Our knowledge of the Bible provides no basis for looking down on people or referring to them in disparaging terms. (John 7:49) Rather, God’s Word counsels us “to speak injuriously of no one.” (Titus 3:2) When we are lowly in heart, as Jesus was, we refresh others. (Matt. 11:28, 29) A humble approach adds appeal to our message.
5 Yes, humility helps us to persevere in difficult territory. It can soften unreceptive ones, and it attracts others to the Kingdom message. Above all, it pleases Jehovah, who “gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.”—1 Pet. 5:5.