Our Ministry—Characterized by Patience
1. How has Jehovah demonstrated patience with mankind?
1 Patience is a hallmark of God’s dealings with mankind. (Ex. 34:6; Ps. 106:41-45; 2 Pet. 3:9) One of the foremost examples of his loving patience can be seen in connection with the worldwide Kingdom-preaching work. Jehovah has worked with mankind for almost 2,000 years, and yet he continues to draw honesthearted ones to himself. (John 6:44) How can our ministry mirror Jehovah’s patience?
2. How may we show patience when working our territory?
2 House-to-House Ministry: We imitate Jehovah’s patience by preaching “without letup” in territory where individuals have not yet demonstrated interest. (Acts 5:42) We patiently endure indifference, ridicule, and opposition to our ministry. (Mark 13:12, 13) We also demonstrate patience by persisting in our efforts to water seeds of truth even when it is difficult to find interested ones at home.
3. Why is patience needed when making return visits and conducting Bible studies?
3 Bible Studies: Growing a plant requires patience. We can nurture it, but we cannot rush its growth. (Jas. 5:7) Similarly, spiritual growth occurs gradually and in stages. (Mark 4:28) Those we study with may find it hard to abandon false religious beliefs or unscriptural customs. We should not try to speed up growth by pressuring our students to make changes. Patience is required to allow a reasonable amount of time for God’s spirit to work on the heart of the student.—1 Cor. 3:6, 7.
4. How can patience help us to witness effectively to unbelieving relatives?
4 Unbelieving Relatives: Although we strongly desire that our unbelieving relatives learn the truth, we show patience by waiting for the right time to share our faith with them, being careful not to overwhelm them with too much information. (Eccl. 3:1, 7) In the meantime, we let our example speak for us, and we remain ready to express our faith with a mild temper and deep respect. (1 Pet. 3:1, 15) Indeed, a ministry characterized by patience will be more effective and will please our heavenly Father.