'. . . On the other hand, train yourself with godly devotion as your aim. For physical training is beneficial for a little, but godly devotion is beneficial for all things, as it holds promise of the life now and the life that is to come . . .' - 1 Timothy 4:7, 8.
When I first started to study the bible, I realised that there was a huge amount of things that I needed to learn. It scared me a bit, but it also excited me, too, as I had always wanted to know more about my God and Creator. But, as time started to pass, and I delved ever deeper into the truths laid out in the Bible, I also became quite upset about myself, as I had started to look into my own heart, with an honest eye to all that I thought and felt about everything around me and, the more I learned of the perfection of Jehovah God, and of His Son, Christ Jesus, the more I saw the imperfections in myself!
It took me some time to open up to my spiritual brothers and sisters, as I thought they would despise the person I saw in myself but, as one loving sister told me, after I had broken down and cried to her about all of my faults, Jehovah God loves me as I am, faults and all - and all he has ever asked of humanity, is that we try our very best to serve him as whole-heartedly as we are able to; for us to do as Christ Jesus bade us - to love our neighbours; and to bring love and understanding into everything we do, in service to, and for, Jehovah God.
This made me stop and think, and I spent quite some time studying my bible, and earnestly praying to Jehovah God for his help, so that I could change my thinking, and my habits, and everything that might make him feel sad that I might do. In this, I took to heart the words found in Ephesians:
As you may imagine, this was quite a tall order for somebody so new to the truths of the bible as I was at that time and, despite all of the wise words of my spiritual brothers and sisters, I wanted to run along that path of knowledge, rather than walk. Because of this, I didn't realise that these lessons I needed to learn were things that would take time, effort, and a continuous vigilance, for me to bring into effect. But I was determined to change, as much as any of us can, and so I started on my journey towards that change, running.
Because I was so eager to learn, so desperate to take in all of this wonderful new knowledge, I did the one thing I had been warned not to forgot - that there is a balance that we need to learn to live by, in order that we are able to take in and absorb the knowledge that we all need, if we truly wish to serve Jehovah God to our best abilities!
It took some quiet, and loving, advice from my spiritual family, to remind me of that balance, and it also took me quite some time to work out the balance I needed between my service to Jehovah God, and the things that I needed to do make my loved ones happy. It was never easy, and it's something I still struggle with today, at times - but I also had a whole bible's worth of truths to work through, in order to find what was needed!
There is one chapter in the bible that, for me, speaks out for that balance needed, and reading it has helped me many times over the years.
That chapter is Ecclesiastes and, like so many people before me, I found exactly what I needed within it's words, in order to find the balance I need in my life. It says, in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
I know that I still have many lessons to learn, but I know that the biggest lesson I have taken from the bible, to date, is that Jehovah God loves us all, and has the patience to wait for us to serve Him as best as we can, whatever our circumstances.
To know that I was created by this wonderful, patient, and loving, God, is something that keeps me centered now, when nothing else can, and I find it such a privilege that He allows me to serve him however I am able to.
May you all find joy in your service to Jehovah God, and may it always fill your lives with joy and love.