All of you are brothers.—Matt. 23:8.
One sense in which we are “brothers” is that all of us have descended from Adam. (Acts 17:26) But there is more. Jesus explained that his disciples were brothers and sisters because they recognized Jehovah as their heavenly Father. (Matt. 12:50) In addition, they had become members of one large spiritual family, united by love and faith. Thus in their letters, the apostles often referred to fellow disciples as ‘brothers and sisters.’ (Rom. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:17; 1 John 3:13) After making it clear that we should view one another as brothers and sisters, Jesus stressed the need for humility. (Matt. 23:11, 12) Undue pride among his apostles had led to some disunity. And pride of race could also have been a problem. Did the Jews have reason to be proud because they were descendants of Abraham? Many Jews had that deep-seated conviction. But John the Baptist told them: “God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones.”—Luke 3:8. w18.06 9-10 ¶8-9
A man of knowledge restrains his words.—Prov. 17:27.
When faced with frustrating situations or recurring personality conflicts, do we control our lips and our temper? (Prov. 10:19; Matt. 5:22) When provoked by others, we need to learn to “yield place to the wrath.” Whose wrath? Jehovah’s wrath. (Rom. 12:17-21) If we keep looking to Jehovah, we will show him due respect by yielding to his wrath, patiently waiting for him to take action when he deems it necessary. To do otherwise and avenge ourselves in some way would be tantamount to disrespecting Jehovah. Do we faithfully follow the latest directions that Jehovah has given us? If so, we will not rely on always doing things the way we have done them in the past. Rather, we will be quick to follow any new direction that Jehovah provides through his organization. (Heb. 13:17) At the same time, we will be careful that we “do not go beyond the things that are written.” (1 Cor. 4:6) In so doing, we keep our eyes fixed on Jehovah. w18.07 15-16 ¶17-18
Press on to maturity.—Heb. 6:1.
As you advance toward Christian maturity, you will find that principles become more important to you. That is because laws may apply to a specific situation, whereas principles are far broader in application. For example, a young child does not understand the dangers of bad associations, so a discerning parent will set rules to protect him. (1 Cor. 15:33) But as the child matures, his thinking ability develops, and he is able to reason on Bible-based principles. Thus, he can increasingly make wise decisions in choosing his associates. (1 Cor. 13:11; 14:20) When we reason on godly principles, our conscience increasingly becomes a more reliable guide, attuned to God’s thinking. Do we have everything we need to make wise decisions that please Jehovah? Yes. By making skilled use of the laws and principles found in God’s Word, we will be “fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Tim. 3:16, 17. w18.06 19 ¶14; 20 ¶16-17