“I went to college with many who claimed to be religious,” says Sylvia, who works in the health-care business. “Yet, they cheated on tests and took illegal drugs. Religion had no effect on their personal lives.”
A man named Lionel states: “My workmates lie and call in sick when they are not really sick. Religion is something that they have but don’t use
Religion does not exert a powerful moral influence in the lives of most people. Many today have “a form of godly devotion” but prove “false to its power.” (2 Timothy 3:5) Their religious leaders have not set the right example, nor have the clergy given their flocks the needed Scriptural counsel to live morally. Little wonder that many believe that God is not interested in the way they live.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH?
The Bible shows that God has feelings and that our conduct matters greatly to him. When the Israelites of old rebelled against God, “they would make him feel hurt.” (Psalm 78:40) However, there is great “joy in heaven” when a person sincerely changes his wrong behavior. (Luke 15:7) When a person comes to appreciate our heavenly Father’s beautiful qualities, his love for God will grow, motivating him to love what God loves and hate what God hates.
HOW DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES MEASURE UP?
Jehovah’s Witnesses “promote strong family ties and develop productive and honest citizens,” states The Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. The newspaper added: “Members believe in a strong moral code. They believe smoking, overdrinking, drug misuse, gambling, sexual promiscuity and homosexuality are spiritually damaging practices.”
Have religious leaders helped their flocks to apply God’s moral standards?
How does learning about God’s personality help the Witnesses? “Fraud is common in the health-care business,” says Sylvia, mentioned earlier. “It would be easy to go along with it. But understanding how Jehovah * feels about it helps me to do what is right. I am happy and have inner peace.” Sylvia is convinced that living in harmony with her religious convictions has improved her life.
^ par. 9 Jehovah is the name of God as revealed in the Bible.