16. Why do such qualities as long-suffering, love, and kindness touch people’s hearts? Give an example.
16 We also play a part in drawing people to Jehovah when we display such qualities as long-suffering, love, and kindness. Some who observe us may desire to learn about Jehovah, his purposes, and his people. The attitude and conduct of true Christians stand in sharp contrast with the mere outward show of godly devotion of those whose worship is often no more than a hypocritical ploy. Some religious leaders have become wealthy by defrauding their flocks, using much of the money thus obtained to acquire expensive homes and automobiles—and in one case, an air-conditioned dog kennel. Indeed, many who claim to be followers of Christ have no inclination to “give free.” (Matt. 10:8) Instead, like the wayward priests of ancient Israel, they “instruct just for a price”—and much of what they teach is unscriptural. (Mic. 3:11) Such hypocritical conduct does not reconcile anyone to God.
17, 18. (a) How do we bring honor to Jehovah when we reflect his qualities in our life? (b) What motivates you to persevere in fine works?
17 On the other hand, hearts are touched by genuine Christian teachings and good deeds done to neighbors. For instance, while preaching from door to door on one occasion, a pioneer was quickly dismissed by an elderly widow. She said that when he rang the doorbell, she was on a stepladder in the kitchen, trying to replace a lightbulb. “It isn’t safe for you to be doing that alone,” he said. The pioneer then changed the bulb and went on his way. When the woman’s son learned about what had happened, he was so impressed that he tried to find the brother in order to express his appreciation. Eventually, the son accepted a Bible study.
18 Why are you determined to persevere in fine works? Perhaps because you know that when we manifest zeal for our ministry and do things in keeping with God’s will, we honor Jehovah and may help others to gain salvation. (Read 1 Corinthians 10:31-33.) Zeal for fine works in preaching the good news and conducting ourselves in a godly way springs from a deep desire to demonstrate love for God and for fellow humans. (Matt. 22:37-39) If we are zealous for fine works, we will be richly rewarded with joy and satisfaction now. Moreover, we can look forward to the day when all mankind will display zeal for true worship in honor of our Creator, Jehovah.