“Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”
1, 2. (a) How does Satan try to mislead people? (b) What will help us to draw close to God?
JEHOVAH GOD created humans with the need to have a close relationship with him. But Satan wants us to think that we do not need Jehovah. Satan has been trying to make humans believe this ever since he lied to Eve in the garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:4-6) And since then, many people have thought that humans do not need God.
2 We do not need to make the same mistake. The Bible has explained to us the ways Satan tries to mislead people. (2 Corinthians 2:11) He tempts us to make choices that will separate us from Jehovah. The previous article explained how we can make good choices about our work, our entertainment, and our family. This article will talk about four more things that Satan uses to tempt us: electronic devices, health concerns, money, and pride. If we make good choices in these areas, we can “draw close to God.”
COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES
3. In what different ways can a person use computers and similar devices?
3 More and more people are using computers and other electronic devices. When we use these devices in the right way, they can be very helpful. But when we use them in a wrong way, they can separate us from our heavenly Father. Computers can help us. Our brothers use computers to write and publish The Watchtower. Computers can help us do research and communicate, and they can be fun to use. But if we really like computers, we might spend too much time thinking about them and using them. There are many advertisements that tell us we must have every new device that is made. One young man wanted a certain computer so much that he secretly had one of his kidneys removed and sold it so that he could buy the computer. What a sad thing to do!
4. How did one brother change his bad habit of using the computer too much?
4 It is even worse to allow electronic devices to harm our relationship with Jehovah. We could spend too much time using them or use them in wrong ways. One brother named Jon, who is almost 30, said that he was spending too much time on the computer instead of studying. * (See footnote.) He often stayed up late using the Internet. He said that the more tired he was, the harder it was to stop chatting or watching videos, even some bad ones. He wanted to change this habit, so he programmed his computer to shut itself off automatically at the time when he is supposed to go to bed.
5, 6. (a) What must parents do for their children? (b) How can parents make sure that their children have good association?
5 Parents, you do not have to control everything your children do, but you do need to control how they use their computers. Do not allow them to go to immoral or spiritistic Web sites, play violent games, or associate with bad people on the Internet. If you let them do whatever they want just so they do not bother you, they might think that these things are not wrong. As parents, it is your job to protect your children and teenagers from anything that could separate them from Jehovah. Even animals will fight when someone threatens their young. Parents too need to protect their children from danger.
6 Help your children to associate with Christians of all ages who make good choices. And remember, your children need you to spend time with them! Laugh, play, and work with them. That will help you all to stay close to Jehovah. *
7. Why do we all want to stay healthy?
7 We often ask how others are feeling. People have been getting sick ever since Adam and Eve listened to Satan and separated themselves from Jehovah. Satan is happy that we get sick because when we are sick, it is more difficult to serve Jehovah. And if we die, we cannot serve him at all. (Psalm 115:17) So we want to do what we can to stay healthy. * (See footnote.) And we should care about the health of our brothers and sisters.
8, 9. (a) How can we make sure that health is not the only thing we think and care about? (b) Why is it good for us to stay joyful?
8 However, our health should not be the only thing we think and care about. Some spend more time talking about certain diets, health treatments, or health and beauty products than they spend preaching about God’s Kingdom. They may really believe that they are helping others. But we do not use the Kingdom Hall, our assemblies, or our conventions to sell products or advertise our ideas about health. Why not?
9 We meet together to discuss the Bible and to have the joy that comes from God’s holy spirit. (Galatians 5:22) It is not the purpose of the meetings to talk about health treatments and products, even if someone else wants to talk about them. We could make others lose their joy. (Romans 14:17) Let people make their own decisions about how they will care for their health. No one, not even doctors, can cure all sicknesses. And it does not help us to worry about our health all the time. (Luke 12:25) Instead, the Bible says that “a heart that is joyful” can help us to feel better.
True beauty comes from having “the joy of Jehovah”
10. (a) What does Jehovah think makes a person beautiful? (b) When will we have complete health?
10 Similarly, we need to care about how we look. But we do not need to try to look younger than we really are. The Bible says: “Gray-headedness is a crown of beauty when it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31) Jehovah thinks that the kind of person we are inside is more important than the way we look, and we too should think that way. (Read 1 Peter 3:3, 4.) So do we need to risk our health or our life by getting dangerous medical treatments or having surgeries only to improve the way we look? No matter how old we are or how healthy we are, true beauty comes from having “the joy of Jehovah.” (Nehemiah 8:10) In the new world, we will be completely healthy and look young again. (Job 33:25; Isaiah 33:24) Until then, we need to make wise choices and have faith in Jehovah’s promises. This will help us to enjoy our life now and not make health our main concern.
11. How can money separate us from Jehovah?
11 It is not wrong to have money or to try to make money. (Ecclesiastes 7:12; Luke 19:12, 13) But if we love money, it will separate us from Jehovah. (1 Timothy 6:9, 10) “The anxiety of this system” means worrying too much about getting the things we need. This anxiety can separate us from Jehovah. “The deceptive power of riches” means we can be fooled into believing that money will make us happy and safe. (Matthew 13:22) Jesus said that “no one” can slave for God and riches.
12. In what ways do people try to make a lot of money quickly? How can we avoid making bad choices?
12 If we think that money is the most important thing, we might be tempted to do wrong. (Proverbs 28:20) Some have wanted to make a lot of money quickly, so they bought lottery tickets. Some brothers get involved in businesses that are supposed to make them money quickly, and they even promise others in the congregation that they too can make a lot of money. At other times, brothers have asked members of the congregation for a loan for a business and promised to pay back a lot more money. If we are greedy, we might accept a business offer that could cause us to lose a lot of money. So be careful not to become greedy. It is usually not possible to make a lot of money quickly.
13. How does Jehovah want us to view money?
13 If we put first “the kingdom and his righteousness,” Jehovah will bless our hard work to obtain what we really need. (Matthew 6:33; Ephesians 4:28) He does not want us to fall asleep during the meetings because we are working too hard. He does not want us to be worrying about money when we are in the Kingdom Hall. Many people in the world think that they have to do everything they can to make money. They do not want to have to work later in life. They often tell their children to do the same thing. But Jesus showed that this is unreasonable. (Read Luke 12:15-21.) Gehazi thought that he could be greedy and still have a good relationship with Jehovah.
14, 15. Why is it unwise to think that money will make us secure? Give an example.
14 Eagles have drowned because they tried to catch a fish that was too heavy. Something similar can happen to us if we try hard to become rich. An elder named Alex explained that he is normally very careful with his money. He does not even like to waste shampoo. But he thought that if he could make some extra money, he could quit his job and pioneer. So he studied how to buy and sell stocks and used all his money to buy what he could. He even borrowed money to buy more stocks! But the stocks he bought became worthless. Alex said: “I was determined to get my money back.” He thought that if he waited, the stocks would become valuable again.
15 Alex found it difficult to think about anything but his stocks. It was difficult for him to keep his service to Jehovah first, and he could not sleep well. But the stocks never got their value back. Alex lost all his money and had to sell his house. He says that he caused a lot of trouble for his family. But he learned an important lesson. He said that anyone who trusts that Satan’s system will provide real security and happiness will be very disappointed. (Proverbs 11:28) If we put all our trust in our money or our ability to make money, we are really putting our trust in Satan, who is “the god of this system.” (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Timothy 6:17) Alex has now made changes in his life so that he can again spend more time preaching the good news. This has made him and his family happier and has helped them to draw closer to Jehovah.
16. How can pride be good? What can happen if we think too much of ourselves?
16 We should take pride in the fact that we are Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Jeremiah 9:24) Because of this, we always try to make good decisions and follow God’s high standards. But we must be careful not to become prideful and think that we know better than Jehovah, because this can separate us from him.
If we think too much of ourselves, pride can separate us from Jehovah
17, 18. (a) Who is described in the Bible as being humble? Who had too much pride? (b) What did one brother do so that pride would not separate him from Jehovah?
17 The Bible tells us about people who were prideful and those who were humble. King David humbly asked Jehovah for guidance, and Jehovah blessed him for this. (Psalm 131:1-3) But Jehovah punished Kings Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar because they were prideful. (Daniel 4:30-37; 5:22-30) We sometimes are in situations that could be difficult for us if we are prideful. Ryan, a 32-year-old ministerial servant, moved to a new congregation. He thought that he would be recommended as an elder very soon. But even after a year, he had not been made an elder. Did Ryan become prideful and get angry with the elders for not making him an elder? Did he stop going to the meetings and let his pride separate him from Jehovah and the congregation? What would you have done if you were in this situation?
18 Ryan did research on how to wait for something good. (Proverbs 13:12) “I began to realize that I needed to learn patience and humility. I needed to let Jehovah train me.” Ryan started to think more about helping others in the congregation and the people he met in the ministry. Soon he had several good Bible studies. “When I was appointed as an elder a year and a half later, it came as a surprise,” he says. “I had stopped worrying about it because I was enjoying my ministry so much.”
STAY CLOSE TO JEHOVAH!
19, 20. (a) How can we make sure that the things we do will never separate us from Jehovah? (b) What examples do we have of people who stayed close to Jehovah?
19 The seven things we discussed in these two articles are not always wrong. We take pride in being Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can enjoy a happy family life and good health. Work and money are necessary so that we can take care of ourselves and our family. Recreation is good for us, and electronic devices can help us. But we have to remember that if we do anything at the wrong time, in the wrong amount, or in the wrong way, we can separate ourselves from Jehovah.
20 Satan wants you to separate yourself from Jehovah. But you can work hard to protect yourself and your family! (Proverbs 22:3) Draw close to Jehovah, and stay close to him. There are many examples in the Bible of people who did this. Enoch and Noah “walked with the true God.” (Genesis 5:22; 6:9) Moses believed in God as if he could see him. (Hebrews 11:27) Jesus always did what his Father wanted him to do, and He blessed him for it. (John 8:29) Imitate these examples. “Always be rejoicing. Pray incessantly. In connection with everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Never let anything separate you from Jehovah!