They will listen to my voice.—John 10:16.
Jesus compared his relationship with his followers to the close bond between a shepherd and his sheep. (John 10:14) That comparison is appropriate. The sheep know their shepherd and respond to his voice. A traveler experienced this firsthand. He reported: “We wanted to film some sheep and tried to make them come near. But they did not follow us because they did not know our voices. Then a small shepherd boy came along; hardly had he called them when they followed along.” The experience of that traveler reminds us of Jesus’ words regarding his sheep—his disciples. He said: “They will listen to my voice.” But Jesus is in heaven. How can we say that we are listening to him? A key way we show that we are listening to our Master’s voice is by applying his teachings in our life.—Matt. 7:24, 25. w21.12 16 ¶1-2
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.—Rom. 3:23.
The apostle Paul had been a headstrong, harsh persecutor of Christians. But later, he acknowledged his shortcomings and was willing to change his attitude and personality. (1 Tim. 1:12-16) With Jehovah’s help, Paul became a loving, compassionate, humble shepherd. He chose to trust in Jehovah’s forgiveness rather than dwell on his failings. (Rom. 7:21-25) He did not expect to be perfect. Instead, he worked hard to improve his Christian personality and humbly relied on Jehovah’s help to accomplish his work. (1 Cor. 9:27; Phil. 4:13) Elders are not appointed because they are perfect. Jehovah, though, does expect them to admit their mistakes and to cultivate a Christian personality. (Eph. 4:23, 24) An elder should examine himself in the light of God’s Word and make any needed adjustments. Then Jehovah will help him to be happy and successful.—Jas. 1:25. w22.03 29-30 ¶13-15
Stop judging.—Matt. 7:1.
What should we do if we detect that we have judged a fellow believer? We must remember that we are to love our brothers. (Jas. 2:8) We should also earnestly pray to Jehovah, begging him to help us to stop judging. We can work in harmony with our prayers by taking the initiative to speak with the person we have been critical of. We might ask him to work with us in the field ministry or to join us for a meal. As we get to know our brother better, we can try to follow the example of Jehovah and Jesus by looking for the good in him. In this way, we show that we are listening to the fine shepherd’s command to stop judging. Just as literal sheep listen to the voice of their shepherd, Jesus’ followers listen to his voice. Whether we are part of the “little flock” or the “other sheep,” may we continue to listen to and obey the voice of the fine shepherd.—Luke 12:32; John 10:11, 14, 16. w21.12 19 ¶11; 21 ¶17-18