Safeguard Thinking Ability for the Ministry
WHAT is the greatest privilege a human can receive? That of the Christian ministry. To discharge this sacred trust wisely and faithfully, to be able to work out its details in our daily lives, we need practical wisdom and thinking ability. Hence the wise king’s command that we safeguard these.—Prov. 3:21.a
Thinking ability consists of five basic mental processes: (1) taking in knowledge of certain facts and principles; (2) analyzing, comparing and associating the various facets of this knowledge with one another; (3) drawing conclusions from such discerning study; (4) storing them up in the memory for future use; (5) drawing on such knowledge for practical application to the work at hand.
The first essential for developing our thinking ability is to take in knowledge from God’s Word. “When wisdom enters into your heart and knowledge itself becomes pleasant to your very soul, thinking ability itself will keep guard over you, discernment itself will safeguard you, to deliver you from the bad way.” (Prov. 2:10-12; 1:7) The world, in its independent thinking, ignores God and his purposes for man as though he were not the Creator. That is as unrealistic as for an aviator to ignore the law of gravity. It simply “does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jer. 10:23.
For us to have the knowledge needed for our ministry we must be eager to learn. “Keep seeking for it as for silver.” Analyze what you learn; be sure you understand it.—Prov. 2:4.
Correct thinking also requires us to get the sense of knowledge, drawing conclusions as to its application in our own life. So be awake, alert and “pay attention to how you listen.”—Luke 8:18.
Particularly is it imperative that we retain what we take in. Observe accurately and vividly events and illustrations; make them live. Impress principles and abstract ideas upon your mind by means of association. By meditation and by talking to others, at home, at meetings and in the field ministry, we will be arousing our “clear thinking faculties by way of a reminder.”—2 Pet. 3:1, 2.
When you take in knowledge do not fail to put it to practical use. If we want to be able to do that we may not wait until faced with a problem. We must make it a habit to think soundly and decisively beforehand. As we read of the faithful course taken by one, we should weigh the principles involved and determine then and there to take the same course under such circumstances.—Jas. 5:11.
In the light of fulfilled Bible prophecy our ministry assumes an ever greater importance and urgency. The increasing of lawlessness makes integrity-keeping ever more difficult. Jehovah God has given us both the ministry and our thinking ability. Let us show appreciation of these by safeguarding our thinking ability for the ministry.
Questions From Readers
● A man divorces his wife on unscriptural grounds. After the divorce is granted it becomes known to the wife and the congregation that just before the divorce the man was guilty of adultery. Would such an act of adultery free either the man or the woman Scripturally to remarry?
In this case the crucial question, according to the Holy Scriptures, is, Who divorces whom, and on what grounds? Who has the right to divorce? According to the Scriptures the moral status of the husband does not serve as the determining factor that grants him the right to divorce his wife. To the contrary, the moral status of the one divorced is what determines the right of the divorcer to bring about the dissolution of the marriage ties. According to the inspired Scriptures it is the unclean marriage mate that is given the bill of divorce by the clean, unadulterous, innocent marriage mate. The language of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is unmistakable in this regard.
This Deuteronomic law was the one submitted to discussion by the Pharisees in Matthew 19:3-9. Jesus told the Pharisees that God had not given the first man Adam the right to divorce his wife Eve on any grounds. In reply the Pharisees referred to this Deuteronomic law by asking: “Why, then, did Moses prescribe giving a certificate of dismissal and divorcing her?” This Mosaic law specifically cites the uncleanness of the wife who was divorced, not any uncleanness of her husband, the divorcer. Jesus showed the proper respect for restrictions on the right to divorce the marriage mate when he said: “Moses, out of regard for your hardheartedness, made the concession to you of divorcing your wives, but such has not been the case from the beginning. I say to you that whoever divorces his wife except on the grounds of fornication and marries another commits adultery.” Since Jesus was here following up his reference to the Mosaic law, he was talking about a wife’s being divorced on grounds other than her fornication, her adultery, her uncleanness, not that of her husband. It was for this reason that Joseph of Nazareth thought of privately divorcing his fiancée, Mary, because he thought there was uncleanness in her; and only divine intervention prevented this divorce. So it is the guilty one that must be divorced. The guilty one is not the one who should do the divorcing.