Saturday, December 3
The thoughts of a man’s heart are like deep waters, but the discerning man draws them out.—Prov. 20:5.
To listen attentively to others, we need to be humble and patient. It is worth the effort for at least three reasons. First, we will be less likely to jump to wrong conclusions about people. Second, we can discern feelings and motives in our brother, and that will help us to be more empathetic. And third, we may help the person to learn something about himself. Sometimes we do not really understand even our own emotions until we express those emotions in words. Some of our brothers and sisters find it difficult to talk about their feelings because of their background, culture, or personality. It may take time for them to feel comfortable speaking to us, but only when they do will we be able to discern their true feelings. If we imitate Jehovah by being patient, we can earn their confidence. Then, when they are ready to share their feelings, we should listen attentively. w20.04 15-16 ¶6-7
Sunday, December 4
You will be catching men alive.—Luke 5:10.
Fish usually stay in an area where the water conditions suit them and where there is plenty of food. Does it matter at what time a fisherman does his work? Regarding the best time to catch literal fish, note what a local Witness on a Pacific island said when he invited a missionary to go fishing. The missionary said, “I’ll meet you at nine o’clock tomorrow morning.” The brother replied, “You do not understand. We go when it is the right time for the fish, not when it is the right time for us.” Likewise, fishers of men in the first century went to places where the “fish” would be and at a time when they were likely to be there. For example, Jesus’ followers preached at the temple and in the synagogues, from house to house, and in the marketplace. (Acts 5:42; 17:17; 18:4) We too need to be familiar with the habits of people who live in our assigned territory. We need to be flexible and preach where and when we are most likely to find people.—1 Cor. 9:19-23. w20.09 4 ¶8-9
Monday, December 5
Speaking the truth, let us by love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ.—Eph. 4:15.
One way to build a friendship with Jesus is to support the arrangements of the Christian congregation. We strengthen our connection to Jesus as the head of the congregation when we cooperate with those who are appointed to care for us. (Eph. 4:16) For example, we are now trying to make sure that all Kingdom Halls are used to full capacity. To that end, some congregations have been merged with other congregations. This arrangement has resulted in considerable savings of dedicated resources. At the same time, however, it has required that some publishers adjust to the new circumstances. Those faithful publishers may have served with a certain congregation for many years and may have grown close to the brothers and sisters there. But now they are being asked to serve in a different congregation. How pleased Jesus must be to see these loyal disciples cooperate with this arrangement! w20.04 24 ¶14