“Be Peaceable With All Men”
1. What Bible counsel should we apply when encountering householders who are upset?
1 Jehovah’s people are peace-loving, and our ministry is one of peace. (Isa. 52:7) At times, though, we encounter people who are upset because we have called at their door. What will help us to be peaceable in such situations?—Rom. 12:18.
2. Why is it important for us to have insight?
2 Have Insight: Although some react angrily because they oppose the truth, others may display irritation for reasons unrelated to our message. Perhaps we called at an inopportune time. The householder may be upset over personal problems. Even if it is the good news that has made him angry, we should remember that his response is likely because he has been misled. (2 Cor. 4:4) Having insight will help us to remain calm and not take his reaction personally.—Prov. 19:11.
3. How may we demonstrate respect for the householder?
3 Demonstrate Respect: Many in the territory have strongly held beliefs. (2 Cor. 10:4) They have a right to choose whether they will listen or not. Never would we want to belittle a householder’s beliefs or convey an attitude of superiority. If we are asked to leave, we should respectfully comply.
4. What does it mean to speak graciously?
4 Speak Graciously: Even if we are verbally abused, our reply should be mild and gracious. (Col. 4:6; 1 Pet. 2:23) Rather than being drawn into an argument, try to find common ground. Perhaps we can kindly inquire about the reasons for the householder’s objection. In order to avoid antagonizing him further, however, at times it is best not to try to continue the conversation.—Prov. 9:7; 17:14.
5. What benefits come from being peaceable in the ministry?
5 If we are peaceable, the householder may well remember our reaction and listen the next time someone tries to give him a witness. (Rom. 12:20, 21) Even if he seems firm in his opposition, one day he may become our brother. (Gal. 1:13, 14) Regardless of whether he ever takes an interest in the truth, we will honor Jehovah and adorn our teaching if we maintain our self-control and demonstrate peaceableness.—2 Cor. 6:3.