Do not go beyond the things that are written.—1 Cor. 4:6.
James and John along with their mother approached Jesus and asked for a privilege that was beyond Jesus’ authority to give. Without hesitating, Jesus stated that only his heavenly Father could decide who would sit at Jesus’ right hand and at his left in the Kingdom. (Matt. 20:20-23) Jesus showed that he respected his limitations. He was modest. He never went beyond what Jehovah commanded him to do. (John 12:49) How can we imitate Jesus’ fine example? We imitate Jesus’ example of modesty by applying the Bible’s counsel found in today’s text. So when asked for advice, we never want to promote our own opinion or simply say the first thing that comes to our mind. Rather, we should direct attention to the counsel found in the Bible and in our Bible-based publications. In this way, we acknowledge our limitations. With modesty, we give credit to the “righteous decrees” of the Almighty.—Rev. 15:3, 4. w20.08 11-12 ¶14-15
Do not be overly righteous, nor show yourself excessively wise. Why should you bring ruin to yourself?—Eccl. 7:16.
If you ever feel that you need to give counsel to a friend, what points should you keep in mind? Before you approach your friend, ask yourself, ‘Am I being “overly righteous”?’ An overly righteous person judges others, not by Jehovah’s standards, but by his own, and he is probably not very merciful. If after examining yourself you still see the need to speak to your friend, clearly identify the problem and use viewpoint questions to help your friend to recognize his mistake. Make sure that what you say is based on the Scriptures, remembering that your friend is accountable, not to you, but to Jehovah. (Rom. 14:10) Rely on the wisdom found in God’s Word, and when counseling someone, imitate Jesus’ compassion. (Prov. 3:5; Matt. 12:20) Why? Because Jehovah will deal with us in the same way that we deal with others.—Jas. 2:13. w20.11 21 ¶13
Stop judging by the outward appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.—John 7:24.
Would you like people to judge you based on the color of your skin, the shape of your face, or the size of your body? Likely, you would not. How comforting it is to know, then, that Jehovah does not judge us by what human eyes can see! For example, when Samuel looked at the sons of Jesse, he did not see what Jehovah saw. Jehovah had told Samuel that one of Jesse’s sons would become king of Israel. But which one? When Samuel saw Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab, he said: “Surely here before Jehovah stands his anointed one.” Eliab looked like a king. “But Jehovah said to Samuel: ‘Do not pay attention to his appearance and how tall he is, for I have rejected him.’” The lesson? Jehovah continued: “Man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:1, 6, 7) We do well to imitate Jehovah when dealing with our brothers and sisters. w20.04 14 ¶1; 15 ¶3