Are You Reflecting the Glory of Jehovah?
“We . . . reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah.”—2 CORINTHIANS 3:18.
WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?
Why is it possible for us to reflect Jehovah’s glory even though we are sinful?
How do our prayers and our meetings help us to reflect God’s glory?
How can we keep on glorifying Jehovah?
1, 2. Why is it possible for humans to imitate Jehovah’s qualities?
IN ONE way or another, all of us are like our parents. We probably have heard someone say to a boy, ‘You are just like your father’ or to a girl, ‘You remind me of your mother.’ And children often try to imitate what their parents do. But what about us? Can we imitate our heavenly Father, Jehovah? Although we have not seen him, we can learn about his wonderful qualities by what we see in the things he created. We can also learn about God’s qualities by studying the Bible and meditating on what we read, especially on what his Son, Jesus, said and did. (John 1:18; Romans 1:20) So it is possible for us to imitate Jehovah’s qualities, and in that way we can reflect his glory.
2 Before God created humans, he knew that they would be able to do his will, imitate his qualities, and glorify him. (Read Genesis 1:26, 27.) As Christians, we want to imitate the qualities of our God. If we do so, we have the great honor to reflect his glory. We can reflect God’s glory no matter what our culture or race is or how much education we have. Why? Because “God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.
3. How do we feel as we serve Jehovah?
3 Anointed Christians reflect Jehovah’s glory. The apostle Paul, who was one of them, wrote: “All of us, while we with unveiled faces reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) Paul was speaking of the time when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. Moses’ face was shining with rays of light because Jehovah had spoken with him. (Exodus 34:29, 30) We have not had the same experience as Moses had, and when people look at our faces, they do not see rays of light. But they can see the joy we feel when we speak about Jehovah, his qualities, and his wonderful purpose for mankind. So whether we are of the anointed or of the other sheep, we are like polished metal mirrors of ancient times in the sense that we reflect Jehovah’s glory in our life and ministry. (2 Corinthians 4:1) Are you reflecting Jehovah’s glory by living in a way that pleases him and by regularly participating in the preaching work?
WE DESIRE TO REFLECT JEHOVAH’S GLORY
4, 5. (a) Like Paul, what fight do we have inside of us? (b) How does sin affect humans?
4 As Jehovah’s servants, we want to reflect his glory in everything we do. But we often do what is wrong even though we wish to do what is right. Paul also had this problem. (Read Romans 7:21-25.) He clearly explained why we have to fight against our wrong desires: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Because Adam sinned, all humans are born as slaves to sin, which is like a cruel king who rules over them.—Romans 5:12; 6:12.
5 What is sin? It is anything that is the opposite of Jehovah’s qualities, of what he likes, and of what he wants from us. Sin damages a person’s relationship with God. Sin prevents us from reflecting God’s glory, just as something can prevent an archer from hitting his target. Sometimes we sin because we choose to. Other times we sin by mistake. (Numbers 15:27-31) Sin has a very strong influence on us, and it separates us from our Creator. (Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 59:2; Colossians 1:21) Most humans live in a way that completely separates them from God, so they miss the wonderful opportunity to reflect God’s glory. Nothing has a worse effect on humans than sin.
6. Why is it possible for us to reflect Jehovah’s glory even though we are sinful?
6 Although we are born with sin, Jehovah has given us a hope. (Romans 15:13) When he gave Jesus as a ransom sacrifice, Jehovah made it possible for us to be set free from sin. Because of our faith in that sacrifice, we are no longer “slaves to sin,” and we can reflect Jehovah’s glory and be his friends. (Romans 5:19; 6:6; John 3:16) If we continue to be God’s friends, we can be sure that he will bless us now. And in the future, he will make us perfect and give us everlasting life. It is a great honor that God thinks we can reflect his glory even though we are still sinful.
WHAT HELPS US TO REFLECT GOD’S GLORY?
7. What do we need to admit if we want to reflect God’s glory?
7 As sinful humans, we all have weaknesses. If we want to reflect God’s glory, each one of us needs to know what our own weaknesses are. (2 Chronicles 6:36) We need to admit that we have those weaknesses and then fight against them so that we can glorify God. For example, if we are sinning by viewing pornography, we must admit that we need help from the elders and then ask them to help us. (James 5:14, 15) This is the first thing we should do if we really want to glorify God. We must always make sure that we are living in the way that Jehovah requires of us. (Proverbs 28:18; 1 Corinthians 10:12) No matter what our weaknesses are, we must keep fighting against them so that we can reflect God’s glory.
8. Although we are not perfect, what should we do?
8 Jesus was the only human who always did what was pleasing to God and perfectly reflected God’s glory. Although we are not perfect like Jesus, we should try hard to imitate his example. (1 Peter 2:21) Jehovah notices not only our progress but also our efforts to glorify him, and he blesses these efforts.
9. How does the Bible help us to reflect God’s glory better?
9 The Bible can help us to understand how we can better reflect God’s glory. We need to study the Bible well and meditate on what it says. (Psalm 1:1-3) When we read the Bible daily, we learn what changes we need to make so that we can become better Christians. (Read James 1:22-25.) What we learn from the Bible strengthens our faith. It also strengthens our desire to avoid serious sin and to please Jehovah.—Psalm 119:11, 47, 48.
10. How can prayer help us to do better in Jehovah’s service?
10 If we want to reflect God’s glory, we also need to “persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) We should pray for Jehovah’s help to serve him in a way that he accepts. We can ask him for holy spirit, for more faith, and for strength to resist temptation. We can also ask him to help us become good teachers of the Bible. (Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:13; 17:5; 2 Timothy 2:15) We need to trust in the help of our Father, Jehovah, in the same way that a child trusts his father. If we ask Jehovah to help us do better in his service, we can be sure that he will help us. We must never feel that our prayers might annoy Jehovah. So let us use our prayers to praise him, to thank him, and to ask him to guide us especially when we are in difficult situations. We can also ask Jehovah to help us glorify him with our service.—Psalm 86:12; James 1:5-7.
11. How do our meetings help us to reflect God’s glory?
11 God has given “the faithful and discreet slave” the responsibility of caring for his precious sheep. (Matthew 24:45-47; Psalm 100:3) The faithful slave class wants to help all of us to reflect Jehovah’s glory. One way that we can learn to do this is by attending our meetings. Our meetings help us to make adjustments in our life and to improve our Christian qualities, just as a tailor would adjust our clothes and improve our appearance. (Hebrews 10:24, 25) That is why we should arrive at meetings on time. If we have the habit of arriving late at the meetings, we will not benefit from all the help we could get from them.
LET US IMITATE GOD
12. How can we imitate God?
12 We can reflect Jehovah’s glory only if we “become imitators of God.” (Ephesians 5:1) One way to imitate Jehovah is to learn to think as he does. When we try to do things our own way and not according to God’s thinking, we dishonor him and cause trouble for ourselves. Since we live in Satan’s world, we must work hard to hate what Jehovah hates and to love what Jehovah loves. (Psalm 97:10; 1 John 5:19) There should be no doubt in our heart that the only right way to serve God is to do all things for his glory.—Read 1 Corinthians 10:31.
13. Why must we hate sin? What will we do if we hate sin?
13 We should hate sin because Jehovah hates it. If we hate sin, we will stay as far away as possible from anything that could make us sin. For example, we must stay away from apostasy. Those who become apostates no longer glorify God. (Deuteronomy 13:6-9) So we should completely avoid apostates or anyone who says that he is a brother but who is dishonoring God. We should avoid them even if they are family members. (1 Corinthians 5:11) We gain no benefit in trying to prove that apostates and others who criticize Jehovah’s organization are wrong. In fact, we should not even want to know what they say, whether it is in their literature or on the Internet, because this could damage our relationship with Jehovah.—Read Isaiah 5:20; Matthew 7:6.
14. What is one of the most important ways to imitate Jehovah? Why?
14 One of the most important ways to imitate Jehovah is to show love. (1 John 4:16-19) In fact, the love we have among ourselves proves that we are disciples of Jesus and servants of Jehovah. (John 13:34, 35) Because we are imperfect, sometimes it may be hard to show love. But we must try to be loving at all times. Our efforts to show love and other Christian qualities will help us to avoid sinning and doing unkind things.—2 Peter 1:5-7.
15. If we love others, how will we treat them?
15 Love makes us want to do good things for other people. (Romans 13:8-10) For example, if a husband and a wife love each other, they will always be faithful to each other. If we love the elders and respect their work, we will be obedient and submissive to them. Children who love their parents obey and respect them and do not say bad things about them. If we love others, we will not think that they are less important than we are or speak to them without respect. (James 3:9) And elders who love God’s sheep treat them with tenderness.—Acts 20:28, 29.
16. How does love help us in our ministry?
16 Love should also be evident in our ministry. Because of our great love for Jehovah, we will not be discouraged when people do not listen to us or are not interested. Instead, we will keep on preaching the good news. We will prepare well for the ministry and try to become good teachers of God’s Word. If we truly love God and people, we will not preach just because we have to. We will think of the preaching work as a great honor, and we will do it with joy.—Matthew 10:7.
KEEP ON GLORIFYING JEHOVAH
17. Because we understand that sin prevents us from reflecting God’s glory, what do we need to do?
17 Most people in the world do not realize how serious sin is. But we do. For this reason, we know that we need to fight against our tendency to sin. We know that we need to train our conscience so that it will help us to do what is right as soon as we start to desire something that is wrong. (Romans 7:22, 23) As humans we are weak, but God can give us the strength to do what is right in any situation.—2 Corinthians 12:10.
18, 19. (a) What helps us to win the fight against Satan and his demons? (b) What should we strongly desire to do?
18 Because we want to glorify Jehovah, we must fight against Satan and his demons. We can win our fight against them with the help of the “suit of armor from God.” (Ephesians 6:11-13) Satan does everything he can to take away from Jehovah the glory that Jehovah alone should receive. Satan also tries hard to destroy our friendship with God. That is why it is a great defeat for Satan when we and millions of other imperfect men, women, and children remain faithful and glorify God. So let us continue to praise Jehovah, like the heavenly creatures who say: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”—Revelation 4:11.
19 Let us always have a strong desire to keep on glorifying Jehovah. He is very happy when he sees so many of his servants doing their best to imitate him and reflect his glory. (Proverbs 27:11) We should feel like David, who praised Jehovah with all his heart and sang: “I will glorify your name to time indefinite.” (Psalm 86:12) Obedient humans will be able to reflect the glory of Jehovah perfectly and praise him forever. It will be wonderful to live at that time. Are you reflecting the glory of Jehovah God now, with the hope of doing so for all eternity?
SOME EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED
To reflect the glory of Jehovah: To imitate Jehovah’s qualities and glorify him
To glorify Jehovah: To honor Jehovah with our conduct and our ministry so that others may praise him even more
Apostates: People who rebel against true worship and abandon it
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It is a great honor that God thinks we can reflect his glory even though we are sinful
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Jehovah sees not only our progress but also our efforts to glorify him, and he blesses them
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If we hate sin, we will stay as far away as possible from anything that could make us sin
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Are you reflecting Jehovah’s glory in these ways?