Consider Others Superior
11. If partiality of any kind exists in a Christian’s heart, what can he do?
11 On the other hand, if a Christian was partial to one race or nationality, he would probably betray this by words or actions. In turn, this could cause injured feelings, especially in a congregation made up of people of various ethnic backgrounds. Surely, no Christian would want to place such a strain on the unity of God’s people. (Psalm 133:1-3) So if any partiality exists in a Christian’s heart, he can well pray: “Search through me, O God, and know my heart. Examine me, and know my disquieting thoughts, and see whether there is in me any painful way, and lead me in the way of time indefinite.”—Psalm 139:23, 24.
12. Why should we not boast in ourselves or in others of our ethnic background?
12 It is good to take the realistic view that all of us are imperfect humans who could have no standing with God at all were it not for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:8–2:2) What, then, makes us differ from others? Since we have nothing that we did not receive, why should we boast in ourselves or in others of our ethnic background?—Compare 1 Corinthians 4:6, 7.
13. How can we contribute to the unity of the congregation, and what can be learned from Philippians 2:1-11?
13 We can contribute to the unity of the congregation if we acknowledge and show appreciation for the good qualities of others. The Jewish apostle Paul gave all of us food for thought when he told the Gentile Philippians: “Make my joy full in that you are of the same mind and have the same love, being joined together in soul, holding the one thought in mind, doing nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with lowliness of mind considering that the others are superior to you.” The proper attitude for us to display toward fellow humans of any race or nationality was exemplified in Jesus Christ. Though he was a mighty spirit creature, he “came to be in the likeness of men” and humbled himself to the point of death on a torture stake for sinful humans of every race and nation. (Philippians 2:1-11) As Jesus’ followers, then, should we not be loving, humble, and compassionate, acknowledging that others are superior to us?
Listen and Observe
14. How may we be helped to consider others as superior to us?
14 We may be helped to consider others as superior to us if we really listen when they speak and carefully observe their conduct. For example, we may honestly have to admit to ourselves that a fellow elder—perhaps of another race—has surpassed us in ability to give effective counsel in the Theocratic Ministry School. We may discern that it is his spirituality, not necessarily his diction or way of speaking, that enables him to get good results in helping fellow believers to become competent Kingdom proclaimers. And it is obvious that Jehovah is blessing his efforts.
15. What may we note when we listen to the statements of fellow worshipers?
15 When we converse with our brothers and sisters or listen to their comments at meetings, we may perceive that some of them have a better grasp of certain Scriptural truths than we do. We may discern that their brotherly love appears stronger, they seem to have more faith, or they give evidence of greater trust in Jehovah. So whether they are of our ethnic background or not, they incite us to love and fine works, help to strengthen our faith, and motivate us to trust more fully in our heavenly Father. (Proverbs 3:5, 6; Hebrews 10:24, 25, 39) Jehovah has obviously drawn close to them, and so should we.—Compare James 4:8.
20. How can our respect for fellow believers of every race and nation be increased?
20 Unquestionably, Jehovah blesses and sustains his witnesses of every nation and race. He is not partial, and as his dedicated servants, we have no excuse or reason to show partiality. Moreover, our respect for our brothers and sisters of every race and nation will increase if we consider ways in which they are superior to us. They too apply heavenly wisdom, which does not make partial distinctions but yields excellent fruitage. (James 3:13-18) Yes, and their kindness, generosity, love, and other godly qualities provide us with fine examples.