Does the thought of dedicating yourself to Jehovah and getting baptized make you nervous? If so, this article will help you confront your fears.
In this article
What if I make a serious mistake after baptism?
Why the concern: Perhaps you know someone who got involved in serious wrongdoing and had to be removed from the congregation. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13) You might worry that this will happen to you.
“When I first thought about getting baptized, the idea of messing up scared me. I could just imagine how badly that would reflect on my parents.”—Rebekah.
Key scripture: “Let the wicked man leave his way . . . Let him return to Jehovah, who will have mercy on him, to our God, for he will forgive in a large way.”—Isaiah 55:7.
Besides, the fact is this: Even though you’re imperfect, you can resist temptation with God’s help. (1 Corinthians 10:13) After all, who decides how you will act? You? Or someone else?
“I feared that I would make a serious mistake after baptism, but then I realized that I would be making a mistake if I were to hold back from getting baptized. I realized that I shouldn’t let the what-ifs of tomorrow hold me back today.”—Karen.
The bottom line: If you choose to, you can avoid serious sins—as do the vast majority of Jehovah’s servants.—Philippians 2:12.
Need more help? See “How Can I Resist Temptation?”
What if I fear the responsibility that baptism will bring?
Why the concern: For instance, you might know of young ones who have moved far away from their family and friends to expand their service to Jehovah. You worry that people will expect you to do the same.
“A baptized Christian is eligible for greater privileges, but some people just aren’t ready to make themselves available or they don’t have the circumstances to do so.”—Marie.
Key scripture: “Let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.”—Galatians 6:4.
Think it through: Rather than compare yourself with others, focus on the words of Mark 12:30: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart.”
Note that you should serve Jehovah with your whole heart—not someone else’s. If you truly love Jehovah, you will find ways to serve him to the best of your ability.
“While baptism is a serious step, it’s not a heavy burden. If you surround yourself with good associates, they’ll be there to help you. Gradually taking on responsibilities will actually make you happier. By avoiding baptism, you would be doing yourself a disservice.”—Julia.
The bottom line: Build up your appreciation for the love that Jehovah has shown you. That will motivate you to give him your best in return.—1 John 4:19.
Need more help? See “How Responsible Am I?”
What if I feel unworthy to serve Jehovah?
Why the concern: Jehovah is the Sovereign of the universe; by comparison, humans are nothing! You may wonder if Jehovah even knows you exist.
“Because my parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was worried that I had just ‘inherited’ my friendship with Jehovah from them and that Jehovah hadn’t drawn me personally.”—Natalie.
Key scripture: “No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him.”—John 6:44.
Think it through: The fact that you are considering baptism may indicate that Jehovah is drawing you into an even closer friendship with him. Isn’t it only right to respond to that invitation?
Remember, too, that Jehovah—not you or anyone else—sets the standard for those whom he will draw. And his Word assures you that if you “draw close to God, . . . he will draw close to you.”—James 4:8.
“The fact that you know about Jehovah and have been drawn to him is evidence that he loves you. So when your mind tells you that you are unworthy to serve him, remind yourself that he doesn’t agree. And Jehovah is always right.”—Selina.
The bottom line: If you meet the Bible’s requirements for baptism, then you qualify to worship Jehovah. What is more, he deserves your worship.—Revelation 4:11.
Need more help? See “Why Should I Pray?”