Monday, September 19, 2011

Excuses That Are Not Acceptable to God


“It is too difficult.” Especially for those who are timid by nature, it may seem that sharing in the preaching work is just too difficult. Consider, though, what can be learned from the example of Jonah. He received an assignment that he found extremely difficult—Jehovah told him to declare Nineveh’s impending doom. It is not hard to see why Jonah found it daunting to carry out that task. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and the Assyrians had the reputation of being very cruel. Jonah may have wondered: ‘How will I fare among those people? What will they do to me?’ Before long, he ran away. Yet, Jehovah did not accept Jonah’s excuse. Instead, Jehovah again assigned him to preach to the Ninevites. This time, Jonah courageously fulfilled his assignment, and Jehovah blessed the outcome.—Jonah 1:1-3; 3:3, 4, 10.

If you think that the assignment to preach the good news is too difficult for you, remember that “all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27) You can be sure that Jehovah will strengthen you when you keep on asking him for his help and that he will bless you when you muster up the courage to carry out your ministry.—Luke 11:9-13.

“I do not want to.” What can you do if you lack the heartfelt desire to carry out your Christian ministry? Keep in mind that Jehovah can act within you and affect your desires. Paul stated: “God is the one that, for the sake of his good pleasure, is acting within you in order for you both to will and to act.” (Phil. 2:13) Hence, you can ask Jehovah to make you want to do his will. King David did just that. He entreated Jehovah: “Make me walk in your truth.” (Ps. 25:4, 5) You can do the same by earnestly praying that Jehovah will move you to want to do what is pleasing to him.

Admittedly, when we are tired or discouraged, we may at times have to force ourselves to attend a meeting  or to share in the ministry. If that is the case, should we then conclude that we do not truly love Jehovah? Not at all. Faithful servants of God in the past also had to strive hard to do God’s will. For instance, Paul stated that he ‘pummeled his body,’ as it were, so that he would obey God’s commands. (1 Cor. 9:26, 27) So even when we have to force ourselves to carry out the ministry, we can be sure that we will be blessed by Jehovah. Why? Because we compel ourselves to do God’s will for the proper reason—out of love for Jehovah. By doing so, we provide an answer to Satan’s claim that God’s servants would deny Him if they were put to the test.—Job 2:4.

“I am too busy.” If you do not share in the ministry because you feel that you are too busy, it is critically important that you reconsider your priorities. “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom,” Jesus stated. (Matt. 6:33) To follow that guiding principle, you may need to simplify your lifestyle or take time away from entertainment and use it for the ministry. Of course, entertainment and other personal pursuits have their place, but they are not a valid excuse for neglecting the ministry. A servant of God reserves the first place in his life for Kingdom interests.

“I am not good enough.” You may feel that you are not qualified to be a minister of the good news. Some faithful servants of Jehovah in Bible times felt that they were not good enough to handle tasks that Jehovah assigned to them. Take Moses as an example. When he received a specific commission from Jehovah, Moses said: “Excuse me, Jehovah, but I am not a fluent speaker, neither since yesterday nor since before that nor since your speaking to your servant, for I am slow of mouth and slow of tongue.” Although Jehovah reassured him, Moses replied: “Excuse me, Jehovah, but send, please, by the hand of the one whom you are going to send.” (Ex. 4:10-13) What was Jehovah’s reaction?

Jehovah did not exempt Moses from carrying out the assignment. However, Jehovah did appoint Aaron to assist Moses in handling the task. (Ex. 4:14-17) Moreover, in the years that followed, Jehovah stood by Moses and provided him with whatever he needed to succeed in fulfilling his God-given assignments. Today, you can be confident that Jehovah will move experienced fellow believers to help you too in carrying out your ministry. Above all, God’s Word assures us that Jehovah will qualify us for the work he has commanded us to do.—2 Cor. 3:5; see the box “The Happiest Years of My Life.”

“Someone hurt my feelings.” Some stop sharing in the ministry or attending congregation meetings because of hurt feelings, reasoning that Jehovah will surely accept this excuse for their spiritual inactivity. While it is understandable that we are upset when someone hurts our feelings, is it really a valid excuse to stop sharing in Christian activities? Paul and his fellow believer Barnabas may have had hurt feelings after a disagreement between them led to “a sharp burst of anger.” (Acts 15:39) But did either of them quit sharing in the ministry on account of it? By no means!

Similarly, when you have been hurt by a fellow believer, keep in mind that your enemy is not your imperfect Christian brother but Satan, who wants to devour you. The Devil will not succeed, though, if you “take your stand against him, solid in the faith.” (1 Pet. 5:8, 9; Gal. 5:15) If you have such faith, you will by no means “come to disappointment.”—Rom. 9:33.

Why not check the Scriptures here? 


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Christian view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, absolute truth, beneficial for teaching and disciplining mankind.