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19 hours ago, Anna said:
On 4/11/2021 at 3:01 AM, xero said:

No. It's better to say "Yes. I DO think I'm better at X, Y  or Z than another person. 

It's all about being politically correct.

I prefer not to compare people or things. I don't compare myself to others.  If I'm going to compare myself it will be to Bible standards.  Xero seems to be pointing people toward being competitive, which i don't think is good.  I think Jesus told the disciples not to do it. 

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I liked your KH building experience. We've all had that experience when we would have made different decisions if we were in charge, and then we are glad we weren't. But I can't seem to fit your musing on conscience into what I thought was the most common use of the term "conscience" in the Bible. Of course, it might be right anyway, depending on what you mean by consequences. For example: Let's say that you would love the experience of eating roast beef a couple times a week, but depe

Correctly handling the "Word of Truth", is the same as correctly handling a saw, a hammer, a level, or any other tool.  WORDS are the tools with which we think. If we use tools in a wrong way, what we build will be crap. If we use words in a wrong way, what we think will be crap. My considered dogged opinion is that Sen-yor Chavez is on the verge of hysterical panic.

In the 1970's it was common for Bethelites to order Bible commentaries like Matthew Henry's and Barnes' Notes on the NT and various Bible translations. Later, they also allowed orders for Jay Green's Hebrew Interlinear and William Whiston's Josephus. Bethelites paid for them, but the price was fairly low because all requests were ordered through a one of Dean Songer's assistants. Then there was a meeting in 1979, and all such books became impossible to order, and anyone who already had them

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14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I could be wrong, but I think what you're trying to say is that I should start a discussion about 1914, the Kingdom, and 607 BCE, and the parousia. :)

Would that discussion include that 'new book' mentioned on this forum about The Sealing of the 144,000. :) 

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On 4/11/2021 at 11:01 AM, xero said:

No. It's better to say "Yes. I DO think I'm better at X, Y  or Z than another person. ...You absolutely need to admit of this, as failure to do so is a lie.

Yes, but I have done this, and just look how it turned out for me:

On 4/11/2021 at 10:19 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

I’m smartest.

This seemed  like a slam-dunk. CC had made a list of all the nincompoops, and I was not on it!  Surely, I was right to beat my chest! He didn’t include me on the list!

On 4/11/2021 at 11:20 PM, César Chávez said:

I didn't since it would be too repetitious!

So it would have been better for me to take the lowest spot at the table. Then he would have entered he room, noticed my abasement, and said, “Apostatefriend, move up higher.” Instead, he says, “You’re so stupid you shouldn’t even be in the room!”

So I like the verse on how it is better for someone else to praise you rather than you do it yourself. Especially because we live in such a heady society, where people simply assume intellect trumps all else, do I think its well not to blow your own horn in this regard, even if you truly do have a horn to blow.

I followed the rise and eventual passing away in death of a certain truly brilliant brother in my area. He had amazing ability, everything he tried he succeeded at, the deeds he did in behalf of the truth were lasting and far outstrip any deficiencies—few will be aware of any. All will think he conducted himself modestly given his talents, including me. I admitted before his passing that I had always been a little afraid of him, because if I said something I thought clever, he instantly responded with something ten times as clever.

He came to regret having been not more low-key than he had been, even though given his talent, it would have been an almost impossible job. Here and there one could find stories of persons who thought he had ran roughshod over them in some matter or other. Even most of these would acknowledge it was for the best, but they still felt it.

The direction for many years has been for no one to dominate at group meetings such as bodies of elders, and there is no better way to implicitly dominate than to call attention to how you are the smartest one in the room, regardless of whether you are or not. Contemporary counsel has been to apply that Philippians 2:3 verse of considering the other person superior. Even if one has the capability to dominate, the counsel is to resist that capability, to draw others out, so that all decisions truly represent the entire body and not just the ones who have obvious talent.

Though it is not directly related, I’ll throw the following in because it is on our Bible reading this week. Jehovah blocks Moses from entering the promised land for his address to the complaining Israelites:

“Hear, now, you rebels! Must we bring out water for you from this crag?”
  ....Jehovah later said to Moses and Aaron: “Because you did not show faith in me and sanctify me before the eyes of the people of Israel, you will not bring this congregation into the land that I will give them.”  

Seems harsh. But if seen in the following way, it seems less harsh, and it ties in with not being quick to carry on about your perceived talents:

If the circuit overseer gives a great talk and you say afterwards, “Great talk!” he will murmur something modest about how it is not really he, but Jehovah. He will do this even though he is perfectly capable, after all these years, of giving a great talk whether Jehovah is around or not. So how does it play, then, when the man Moses takes full credit for what no human in 1000 years would be able to do?

Even so, maybe it seems harsh. But Moses is being trained for the “real life” of 1 Timothy 6, not this one. He is being trained in accord with the words that to whom more is given, more is expected.
 

 

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4 hours ago, xero said:

Better yet, in the form of a short equation, like E = MC**2."   . . .  Also you have to steel-man your opponent. If you can't do that, you're less convincing as you appear to not understand the opposition.

Good suggestions.

Of course, without getting into any of the specific details of those topics here, I think those suggestions can be properly discussed under this heading about individual and collective conscience.

Let's say that after consideration of the Bible principles involved along with prayer and meditation, a Witness conscientiously believes that he should speak up about a potentially wrong teaching.

Let's say, for example, it was anywhere from 1966 through 1973, and the Witness saw too much improper speculation about the end of 6000 years of human existence in 1975, or the length of a generation after 1914. Or let's say it was 1919 through 1925 and the Witness/BibleStudent saw too much improper speculation about 1925. Or anywhere from 1878 through 1914, when he or she saw too much improper speculation about what would happen in 1914. Or let's say it was 1929 through 1962 and the Witness saw that there was too much emphasis on the misapplication of Romans 13:1-7.

The conscience of an individual Witness might tell him he must speak up whenever he sees brothers going astray.

(Romans 15:14) . . .Now I myself am convinced about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are also full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and that you are able to admonish one another.

But there is also a "collective" conscience, or at least the "sense of what's right and what's wrong" held by the majority within a group. If we've been in business or corporate settings, we know that we are often just playing our parts as rank-and-file employees, not "partners." Therefore, our own sense of what's right and what's wrong is something we will often keep to ourselves. But the company might allow an anonymous "suggestion box" where comments and criticisms are supposedly welcomed. But there are still potential repercussions for speaking up even in a supposedly anonymous format. When the company CIO comes to you and says: "We know that had to be you who made that comment" we must always be prepared to give a reason for the hope within us, even in a secular setting.

Rather than speak up in a congregational setting, I prefer for now to just get my thoughts spelled out on a semi-anonymous forum. A forum where I can be dismissed easily as a crackpot by those who need that kind of protection for themselves. Being too clear can be seen as too pushy, too proud, too presumptuous. And accepting the inevitable wild chaos and mudslinging by those who are afraid of the criticism is another protection for those other readers who are not ready or willing to think about a doctrine.

But most Witnesses, I think, will be quick to think (or say) that anyone who thinks they can "admonish one another" when not bureaucratically assigned to make such admonishments is doing the wrong thing, not waiting on Jehovah, not being a good "corporate" citizen. He or she is being presumptuous even though every one of the wrong teachings I mentioned above was a case of the corporation speaking presumptuously. In retrospect, the corporation took passengers on an uncomfortable "trip to Abilene."

Immediately, many Witnesses will start making analogies to Uzzah, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and compare to David's attitude about Saul.

But in the Christian setting we have a different analogy before us. There is no more organization in the seat of Moses where criticisms of that organization should remind us of Korah, for example. Effectively, all of us now make up the household of faith, as brothers. It's Jesus, not the organization, that is now in the place of Moses.

(Hebrews 3:5, 6) . . .Now Moses was faithful as an attendant in all the house of that One as a testimony of the things that were to be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ was faithful as a son over God’s house. We are His house if, indeed, we hold on firmly to our freeness of speech . . .

Effectively, we are all the corporation, the body. Even the least among us. As a body, or organization, we belong to one another.

(Romans 12:3-5)  so we, although many, are one body in union with Christ, but individually we are members belonging to one another.

(1 Corinthians 12:22-27) . . .On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary, 23 and the parts of the body that we think to be less honorable we surround with greater honor, so our unseemly parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 . . . 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but its members should have mutual concern for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all the other members suffer with it; . . .

I think some will jump on the phrase "no division in the body" and think this means "groupthink" is OK. But it's obvious, in context, that it really means there should be no specific members of the body who divide themselves off to give the impression they are superior to the others. Practically this means that in some ways, Brother Lett should see "Brother Cesar Chavez" as superior to himself, and vice versa. Sister Anna should see you as superior, and you should see Anna as superior to you. It also means that you should be able to criticize Anna and Brother Lett and CC, just as they should be able to criticize you. Then we all accept each other's criticism and admonishment to the extent that it fits scripture and conscience.

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7 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Yes, but I have done this, and just look how it turned out for me:

This seemed  like a slam-dunk. CC had made a list of all the nincompoops, and I was not on it!  Surely, I was right to beat my chest! He didn’t include me on the list!

So it would have been better for me to take the lowest spot at the table. Then he would have entered he room, noticed my abasement, and said, “Apostatefriend, move up higher.” Instead, he says, “You’re so stupid you shouldn’t even be in the room!”

So I like the verse on how it is better for someone else to praise you rather than you do it yourself. Especially because we live in such a heady society, where people simply assume intellect trumps all else, do I think its well not to blow your own horn in this regard, even if you truly do have a horn to blow.

I followed the rise and eventual passing away in death of a certain truly brilliant brother in my area. He had amazing ability, everything he tried he succeeded at, the deeds he did in behalf of the truth were lasting and far outstrip any deficiencies—few will be aware of any. All will think he conducted himself modestly given his talents, including me. I admitted before his passing that I had always been a little afraid of him, because if I said something I thought clever, he instantly responded with something ten times as clever.

He came to regret having been not more low-key than he had been, even though given his talent, it would have been an almost impossible job. Here and there one could find stories of persons who thought he had ran roughshod over them in some matter or other. Even most of these would acknowledge it was for the best, but they still felt it.

The direction for many years has been for no one to dominate at group meetings such as bodies of elders, and there is no better way to implicitly dominate than to call attention to how you are the smartest one in the room, regardless of whether you are or not. Contemporary counsel has been to apply that Philippians 2:3 verse of considering the other person superior. Even if one has the capability to dominate, the counsel is to resist that capability, to draw others out, so that all decisions truly represent the entire body and not just the ones who have obvious talent.

Though it is not directly related, I’ll throw the following in because it is on our Bible reading this week. Jehovah blocks Moses from entering the promised land for his address to the complaining Israelites:

“Hear, now, you rebels! Must we bring out water for you from this crag?”
  ....Jehovah later said to Moses and Aaron: “Because you did not show faith in me and sanctify me before the eyes of the people of Israel, you will not bring this congregation into the land that I will give them.”  

Seems harsh. But if seen in the following way, it seems less harsh, and it ties in with not being quick to carry on about your perceived talents:

If the circuit overseer gives a great talk and you say afterwards, “Great talk!” he will murmur something modest about how it is not really he, but Jehovah. He will do this even though he is perfectly capable, after all these years, of giving a great talk whether Jehovah is around or not. So how does it play, then, when the man Moses takes full credit for what no human in 1000 years would be able to do?

Even so, maybe it seems harsh. But Moses is being trained for the “real life” of 1 Timothy 6, not this one. He is being trained in accord with the words that to whom more is given, more is expected.
 

 

I agree in all points, but like you I look at myself and realize there are some things about me that won't go away. One of them is that I get bored. When I get bored I stir things up. It doesn't matter how many times I think "maybe I shouldn't have done or said that" I know it's futile, I AM going to do it again. I've just given up hiding my deficiencies, and when someone tells me I've overstepped or did or said something out of the way. I don't beat myself up over it, or make rules or vows that "I'll never do that again" (because I've discovered I always will). Instead, I've just become INCREDIBLY AWESOME at "taking counsel".

Bro 1 - "Pssst! Look! Here comes xero! Man he is so awesome at taking counsel!"

Bro 2 - "Right. And he needs it."

Bro 1 - "Maybe he does that so he can become like a bug-zapper for overzealous elders who want to bother the sheep about trifles? They're too busy counseling him and enjoying the experience to over-counsel the flock."

Bro 2 - "Maybe. Maybe he's just an egotistical narcissist who likes the attention."

Bro 1 - "Could be, but then again, the flock still gets a break."

Bro 2 - "You have a point there."

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JWI - I can say "all in a perfect world"

You reminded me of this commercial

Now how in the world am I to contemplate how their conduct turns out, if the ones having the brilliant ideas are keeping it to themselves? These should be like Mikey and sacrifice themselves on behalf of the flock. It's what Jesus would do. :)

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4 hours ago, xero said:

I believe we had an article, or was it a letter, I don't remember right now where failure to discipline was referred to as mistaken kindness. The same could be said about not speaking your mind. Failure to do so shields both you and the ones you could be speaking to from what you really feel is the truth. (You could be very wrong, but not speaking up could take everyone on a trip to Abilene). On the other hand, there's no need to tell people things they obviously already know. In this case they just shouldn't be shielded from the consequences of their own actions.

 

... video ends with "....will help you and your team make better group decisions".

In WTJWorg GB makes group decisions for all JW's in Organization. Lower levels of "groups" stays in Abilene Paradox, until individuals comes to state of "rebellion" and spiritually or literally trying to get out of "group dynamics". Conscience is involved too.

 

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We used to have a sister who was unbalanced but quite brilliant who'd make interesting observations (not in any WT) during the WT and it was fun seeing the conductor (an old cowboy type, nod his head and let it go). But he never stopped calling on her. Everyone would wake up whenever she was called on. "I wonder what the 'new light's' going to be this week?"

 

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JWI - On the other hand, one never knows. It could be that Jehovah is letting an operation of error go to anyone for their ultimate benefit, whether that be an individual who feels in good conscience they must depart, or whether it's an individual who decides to remain and sees no issue, or whether it's an individual who thinks unity is more important than being right and is wrong about this as well or even if it is an organization, for that matter.

His will is going to be done on earth as it is in heaven with or without us. We all have to decide where we're going to draw lines and understand that drawing lines has consequences. Can we do more good inside or outside? Is the good being done more to us inside or outside?

I have to say more and more that it doesn't appear to go well for those who choose to go it alone. None of these appear to becoming spiritual giants. Some may have started out well, but the same things that made them useful inside the congregation can trip them up outside when they find so many praising them for their brilliance and insight (are they really that brilliant or insightful?).

Remember the slave who said to his master "I really love my master" and had his ear bored with an awl? (Exodus 21:5)

Some could be like this. They recognize an element of slavery, an element of tyranny, but these also recognize they wouldn't have what they have w/o it.

Not everyone considers it this way, but once again... musing aloud

 

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1 hour ago, xero said:

We used to have a sister who was unbalanced but quite brilliant who'd make interesting observations (not in any WT) during the WT and it was fun seeing the conductor (an old cowboy type, nod his head and let it go). But he never stopped calling on her. Everyone would wake up whenever she was called on. "I wonder what the 'new light's' going to be this week?"

 

You said, unbalanced. What is/was unbalanced about her?

You said, brilliant. In what she is/was brilliant?

After your explanation i would be able to better understand her "interesting observations"... and perhaps "an old cowboy type" reasons to not stop her "individual dynamic". 

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There are at least nine types of people in the world.

Those who can't connect the dots.

Those who can but won't connect the dots.

Those who connect the dots, but connect the wrong dots.

Those who can't even see the dots to bother with the question of connecting them.

Those who can and do connect the dots.

Those who imagine there are dots to connect and connect these.

Those who imagine there are dots, but perversely refuse to connect the dots in their imagination.

Those who imagine there are dots, but connect the wrong ones in their imagination.

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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric merci pour cet exposé.
      Bonne journée Michel
      1LE BATEAU.pdf
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    • Eric Ouellet

      La sagesse est plus précieuse que l’or et la crainte envers Jéhovah est notre salut.
       
      La vraie sagesse de Dieu est un cadeau inestimable, car seul ceux qui obéissent et suivent ces préceptes en recoivent les bienfaits. En Psaume 111:10 déclare ceci: “La crainte de Jéhovah est le commencement de la sagesse.”
      Qu’est-ce que cela veut dire? La sagesse est la capacité d’utiliser efficacement sa connaissance et son intelligence pour résoudre un problème, éviter un danger, atteindre un objectif. Elle sous-entend un bon jugement. Le commencement, la première partie, le fondement de cette sagesse, c’est la crainte de Jéhovah. Pourquoi cela? Bien que toute création est l’œuvre de ses mains et dépend de lui. Il a accordé aux humains le libre arbitre, mais pas la faculté de diriger leurs pas avec succès sans tenir compte de sa direction (Josué 24:15; Jérémie 10:23). Nous ne connaîtrons le succès durable qu’à la condition de bien saisir ces idées fondamentales sur la vie, et de nous y conformer. Si notre connaissance de Jéhovah nous donne la ferme conviction que la volonté divine est promise au succès, et qu’il tiendra sa promesse de récompenser ses fidèles, alors la crainte pieuse nous poussera à agir sagement. — Proverbes 3:21-26; Hébreux 11:6.
      Prenons un exemple: Il y a quelques dizaines d’années, un jeune homme fréquentait l’université de Saskatchewan, au Canada. Au programme de sa formation figurait la biologie, et on lui a enseigné l’évolution. Après avoir été diplômé, il s’est spécialisé dans la physique nucléaire, profitant d’une bourse pour continuer ses études à l’université de Toronto. Au cours de ses études, il a constaté dans la structure des atomes révélaient des témoignages stupéfiants d’un ordre et d’une finalité extraordinaire . Mais personnes ne répondait pas à ces questions: Qui a conçu tout cela? Quand? Et pourquoi? Sans ces réponses, pouvait-il utiliser sagement ses connaissances dans un monde remplis interrogations ? Qu’est-ce qui le guiderait? Le nationalisme? Le désir de gratifications matérielles? Avait-il acquis la vraie sagesse?
      Peu après avoir été diplômé, cet homme ainsi que sa femme se sont mis à étudier la Bible avec les Témoins de Jéhovah. Dans la Parole de Dieu, ils ont peu à peu trouvé les réponses qui leur manquaient. Ils ont appris à connaître le Créateur, Jéhovah Dieu. En étudiant ce qui est arrivé à Moïse à la mer Rouge, à Daniel et à ses compagnons à Babylone, ils ont appris l’importance de craindre Dieu, et non les hommes (Exode 14:10-31; Daniel 3:8-30). Cette crainte pieuse mêlée d’un amour sincère pour Jéhovah a commencé à les animer. Rapidement, leur vie a changé. Enfin cet homme connaissait Celui dont il avait étudié l’œuvre en biologie. Il a progressivement compris le dessein de Celui dont il avait constaté la sagesse dans ses cours de physique. Au lieu d’employer sa connaissance à élaborer des instruments de destruction, il a choisi, avec sa femme, d’aider autrui à aimer Dieu et son prochain. Ils ont entrepris le service de prédicateurs du Royaume de Dieu à plein temps. Par la suite, ils ont suivi les cours de Galaad, l’École biblique de la Société Watchtower, et ont été nommés missionnaires.
      Bien entendu, tout le monde ne peut pas être missionnaire. Mais tous nous pouvons bénéficier de la sagesse fondée sur la crainte de Jéhovah. Si nous cultivons cette sagesse, nous ne consacrerons pas le meilleur de notre vie à étudier les philosophies humaines, qui n’échafaudent que des suppositions sur le but de la vie. Nous nous appliquerons à l’étude de la Bible, livre inspiré de Jéhovah Dieu, la Source de la vie, celui qui peut nous donner la vie éternelle (Psaume 36:9; Colossiens 2:8). Au lieu de nous rendre esclaves d’un système commercial chancelant, au bord de la ruine, nous écouterons Jéhovah, qui nous conseille de nous contenter de la nourriture et du vêtement, et d’accorder à nos relations avec lui la priorité dans notre existence (1 Timothée 6:8-12). Au lieu de nous comporter comme si notre avenir dépendait d’une belle situation dans le monde actuel, nous croirons la Parole de Jéhovah, qui nous affirme que le monde est en train de passer, de même que le désir du monde, alors que celui qui fait la volonté divine demeure pour toujours. — 1 Jean 2:17.
      Dans le livre de Proverbes 16:16, Salomon nous encourage par cette déclaration certaine: “Acquérir la sagesse [la sagesse qui commence par la crainte de Jéhovah], oh! combien cela vaut mieux que l’or! Et acquérir l’intelligence est préférable à l’argent.” Poussés par cette sagesse et cette intelligence, nous considérerons l’accomplissement de la volonté de Dieu comme le premier centre d’intérêt de notre vie. Et quelle activité Dieu a-t-il confiée à ses Témoins en cette période de l’histoire humaine? Faire connaître son Royaume par la prédication et aider les personnes sincères à devenir de vrais disciples de Jésus Christ (Matthieu 24:14; 28:19, 20). Il s’agit d’une activité dont on retire une satisfaction véritable et un grand bonheur. C’est donc à propos que la Bible dit: “Heureux l’homme qui a trouvé la sagesse, et l’homme qui acquiert le discernement.” — Proverbes 3:13.
      Elle nous retient de commettre le mal
      Un deuxième bienfait que nous procure la crainte de Dieu est qu’elle nous retient de commettre le mal. Celui qui respecte profondément Dieu ne détermine pas par lui-même ce qui est bien et mal. Il ne tient pas pour mauvais ce que Dieu déclare bon, ni ne considère comme bon ce que Dieu déclare mauvais (Psaume 37:1, 27; Ésaïe 5:20, 21). De plus, celui que motive la crainte pieuse ne se contente pas de savoir ce que Jéhovah déclare bon ou mauvais. Une telle personne aime ce que Jéhovah aime et elle hait ce que Jéhovah hait. En conséquence, elle agit en harmonie avec les préceptes divins. Ainsi, comme le dit Proverbes 16:6, “par la crainte de Jéhovah, on se détourne du mal”. Cette crainte pieuse devient une motivation puissante qui permet d’atteindre des résultats qu’on n’obtiendrait pas même si une personne commence tout juste à l’éprouver, la crainte pieuse peut lui donner le courage de ne pas faire quelque chose qu’elle regretterait le restant de ses jours. Au Mexique, par exemple, une femme enceinte a demandé à une chrétienne Témoin de Jéhovah ce qu’elle pensait de l’avortement. La chrétienne lui a lu plusieurs versets bibliques, puis lui a tenu ce raisonnement: “Pour le Créateur, la vie est très importante, même la vie de ceux qui ne sont pas encore nés.” (Exode 21:22, 23; Psaume 139:13-16). Des examens laissaient entendre que le bébé serait anormal. Néanmoins, après ce qu’elle avait vu dans la Parole de Dieu, cette femme a décidé de garder son enfant. Son médecin a refusé de la revoir, et son mari l’a menacée de la quitter, mais elle a tenu bon. Elle a finalement donné naissance à une magnifique petite fille, normale et en bonne santé. Par gratitude, elle a recherché les Témoins et s’est mise à étudier la Parole de Dieu avec eux. Moins d’un an après, son mari et elle se faisaient baptiser. Quelques années plus tard, à une assemblée de district, tous deux ont été enchantés de rencontrer la chrétienne qui avait parlé à la femme la première fois. Ils lui ont présenté leur jolie fillette de quatre ans. Incontestablement, le respect de Dieu et le désir puissant de ne pas lui déplaire exercent une grande influence.
      La crainte pieuse peut nous garder d’un grand nombre de mauvaises actions (2 Corinthiens 7:1). Cultivée avec soin, elle est capable d’aider quelqu’un à mettre un terme à des péchés cachés, connus de lui seul et de Jéhovah. Elle peut l’aider à se libérer de la dépendance de l’alcool ou de la drogue. Un ancien drogué d’Afrique du Sud a raconté: “Au fur et à mesure que j’apprenais à connaître Dieu, la crainte de le décevoir ou de lui déplaire grandissait en moi. Je savais qu’il m’observait, et je désirais ardemment son approbation. Cela m’a incité à me débarrasser de la drogue qui était en ma possession en la jetant dans les toilettes.” La crainte pieuse a aidé des milliers de personnes de la même manière. — Proverbes 5:21; 15:3.
      La crainte salutaire de Dieu nous préserve également de la crainte de l’homme. La plupart des humains connaissent, à des degrés divers, la crainte de l’homme. Les apôtres de Jésus Christ l’ont abandonné et se sont enfuis lorsque les soldats se sont emparés de lui dans le jardin de Gethsémané. Plus tard, dans la cour du grand prêtre, désarçonné et en proie à la crainte, Pierre a nié faire partie des disciples de Jésus et même le connaître (Marc 14:48-50, 66-72; Jean 18:15-27). Mais grâce à l’aide qu’ils ont reçue, les apôtres ont retrouvé leur équilibre spirituel. Par contre, aux jours du roi Jéhoïakim, Urie, fils de Schémaïah, fut terrassé par la crainte au point d’abandonner son service de prophète de Jéhovah et de fuir le pays, ce qui ne l’empêcha pas d’être capturé et tué. — Jérémie 26:20-23.
      Comment vaincre la crainte de l’homme? 
      Après nous avoir prévenus que “trembler devant les hommes, voilà ce qui tend un piège”, Proverbes 29:25 ajoute: “Mais celui qui se confie en Jéhovah sera protégé.” La réponse tient donc dans la confiance en Jéhovah. Cette confiance s’appuie sur la connaissance et l’expérience. L’étude de sa Parole nous démontre que les voies de Jéhovah sont droites. Nous découvrons des événements attestant qu’il est digne de confiance, que ses promesses sont sûres (y compris celle de la résurrection), qu’il est amour et qu’il est tout-puissant. Lorsqu’ensuite nous agissons conformément à cette connaissance, accomplissant ce que Jéhovah demande et rejetant fermement ce qu’il condamne, nous commençons à constater dans notre propre cas qu’il prend soin de ses serviteurs avec amour et que l’on peut compter sur lui. Nous acquérons personnellement la certitude que sa puissance est à l’œuvre pour que s’accomplisse sa volonté. Notre confiance en lui s’accroît, de même que notre amour pour lui et notre désir sincère de ne pas lui déplaire. Cette confiance est bâtie sur un fondement solide. Elle est un rempart contre la crainte de l’homme.
      Notre confiance en Jéhovah, alliée à la crainte pieuse, nous rendra fermes en faveur du bien dans le cas où un employeur menacerait de nous renvoyer si nous refusions de participer à des pratiques commerciales malhonnêtes (voir Michée 6:11, 12). Grâce à cette crainte pieuse, des milliers de chrétiens persévèrent dans le vrai culte malgré l’opposition de membres de leur famille. Elle donne aussi aux jeunes le courage de se faire connaître comme Témoins de Jéhovah à l’école, et elle les affermit face aux moqueries de leurs camarades de classe qui méprisent les principes bibliques. Ainsi, une adolescente Témoin de Jéhovah a dit: “Ce qu’ils pensent m’est bien égal. L’important, c’est ce que pense Jéhovah.”
      La même conviction donne aux vrais chrétiens la force de rester attachés aux voies de Jéhovah lorsque leur vie est en jeu. Ils savent qu’ils risquent d’être persécutés par le monde. Ils sont conscients que les apôtres ont été fouettés et que même Jésus Christ a été frappé et tué par des hommes méchants (Marc 14:65; 15:15-39; Actes 5:40; voir aussi Daniel 3:16-18). Mais les serviteurs de Jéhovah sont assurés qu’il peut leur donner la force d’endurer, qu’avec son aide ils peuvent remporter la victoire, que Jéhovah récompensera sans faute ses fidèles, si besoin en les ressuscitant dans son monde nouveau. Leur amour pour Dieu ajouté à la crainte pieuse les pousse puissamment à éviter toute action qui pourrait lui déplaire.
      C’est parce qu’ils étaient animés d’une telle motivation que les Témoins de Jéhovah ont supporté les horreurs des camps de concentration nazis dans les années 30 et 40. Ils ont pris à cœur le conseil de Jésus consigné en Luc 12:4, 5: “D’autre part, je vous le dis à vous, mes amis: Ne craignez pas ceux qui tuent le corps, et qui après cela ne peuvent rien faire de plus. Mais je vais vous indiquer qui vous devez craindre: craignez celui qui, après avoir tué, a le pouvoir de jeter dans la Géhenne. Oui, je vous le dis, Celui-là, craignez-le.” Par exemple, Gustav Auschner, un Témoin qui avait été interné dans le camp de concentration de Sachsenhausen, a écrit plus tard: ‘Les SS ont exécuté August Dickmann et ont menacé de nous passer tous par les armes si nous refusions de signer un document par lequel nous abjurions notre foi. Pas un seul n’a signé. Notre crainte de déplaire à Jéhovah était plus forte que la crainte de leurs balles.’ La crainte de l’homme mène aux compromis, mais la crainte de Dieu nous affermit pour faire le bien.
      La préservation de la vie
      Noé a connu les derniers jours du monde antédiluvien. Jéhovah avait décidé de détruire le monde d’alors en raison de la méchanceté des humains. Toutefois, en attendant, Noé a vécu dans un monde où régnaient la violence, l’immoralité sexuelle choquante et le mépris de la volonté divine. Noé a prêché la justice, et pourtant “ils ne s’aperçurent de rien jusqu’à ce que le déluge vînt et les emportât tous”. (Matthieu 24:39.) Noé n’a cependant pas renoncé à l’activité que Dieu lui avait confiée. Il fit “selon tout ce que Dieu lui avait ordonné. Ainsi fit-il”. (Genèse 6:22.) Qu’est-ce qui a permis à Noé, année après année et jusqu’au déluge, de toujours agir comme il convenait? Hébreux 11:7 répond: “Par la foi, Noé, divinement averti de choses qu’on ne voyait pas encore, fit montre d’une crainte pieuse.” Pour cette raison, sa femme, ses fils, leurs femmes et lui ont été sauvés du déluge.
       Notre époque ressemble de bien des manières à celle de Noé (Luc 17:26, 27). De nouveau un avertissement est lancé. Révélation 14:6, 7 parle d’un ange qui vole au milieu du ciel et invite les gens de toute nation et tribu et langue à ‘craindre Dieu et à lui donner gloire’. Quel que puisse être le comportement du monde autour de vous, obéissez à ces paroles, puis transmettez l’invitation à autrui. À l’instar de Noé, agissons avec foi et manifestons une crainte pieuse. Par cela, des vies peuvent être sauvées: la vôtre et celle de nombre de vos semblables. Lorsque nous considérons les bienfaits dont profitent ceux qui craignent le vrai Dieu, nous ne pouvons que souscrire aux paroles du psalmiste divinement inspiré qui chanta: 
      “Heureux est l’homme qui craint Jéhovah, dans les commandements de qui il prend grand plaisir!” — Psaume 112:1.

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    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      I can not open study material 
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    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Can not open weekly study material 
      · 3 replies
    • Deborah T. Calloway  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you so much for the meeting work book. I really appreciate your hard work 
      · 0 replies
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