In likemanner,if you areinvited to giveatalk,do notﬂood the au-
diencewith negative information just because an abundance of it is
available. If a speaker dwells at length on the failure of human rul-
ers, reports of crime and violence, and the shocking prevalence of
immorality, the eﬀect can be depressing. Introduce negative aspects
of a subject only if they serve a useful purpose. A limited amount
of such material may emphasize the timeliness of your talk. It may
also identify major factors contributing to a situation and thus be
used to show why thesolutionsetout intheBibleis practical.Where
possible,be speciﬁcwithout dwelling at length on the problems.
It is usually neither possible nor desirable to eliminate
all negative material from a talk. The challenge is to pre-
sent the mixture of good and bad in such a way that the
overall eﬀect is positive. To achieve this, you must deter-
mine what to include, what to leave out, and where to
place the emphasis. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus
admonished his listeners to avoidtheself-serving ways of
the scribes and Pharisees, and he cited a few examples to
illustrate the point. (Matt. 6:1, 2, 5, 16) However, instead
of dwelling on the negative examples of those religious
leaders, Jesus emphasized understanding the true ways of
God and living by these.(Matt.6:3,4,6-15,17-34)The ef-
fect was overwhelmingly positive.
Keep the Tone Positive. If you are assigned to give a talk in
your congregation about some aspect of Christian activity, endeav-
or to be constructive rather than critical. Make sure that you are do-
ing what you encourage others to do. (Rom. 2:21, 22; Heb.13:7) Let
love,notirritation,motivatewhatyou say.(2 Cor.2:4) Ifyou arecon-
ﬁdent that your fellow believers want to please Jehovah, what you
say will reﬂect that conﬁdence, and this will have a beneﬁcial eﬀect.
Notice how the apostle Paul expressed such conﬁdence, as recorded
at 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:4, 5; and Philemon 4,
At times it is necessary for elders to caution against unwise con-
duct.But humility will help them deal with their brothers in a spirit
ofmildness. (Gal. 6:1) Theway thatthings are said should show that
those in the congregationare viewed withrespect. (1 Pet.5:2,3) The
HOW TO DO IT
Upbuilding and Positive
Bible counsels younger men to be especially awareof this.(1 Tim.4:
12;5:1, 2;1 Pet.5:5) When it is necessary to reprove,to discipline,to
set things straight, this should be done on the basis of what the Bi-
bleitself says.(2 Tim.3:16) Application of Scripture should never be
forced or bent to support some idea about which the speaker may
have strong feelings. Even when corrective counsel is needed, the
tone of the talk can be kept positive if emphasis is placed primarily
on how to avoid getting involved inwrongdoing, how to solve prob-
lems, how to overcome diﬃculties, how to correct a wrong course,
and howJehovah’s requirements safeguard us.—Ps.119:1, 9-16.
When preparing your talk, give special thought to how you will
conclude each mainpoint and the talkas awhole.What you say last
is often remembered longest. Will it bepositive?
When Conversing With Fellow Believers. Servants of Jehovah ap-
preciate opportunities for fellowship at Christian meetings. These
aretimesofspiritual refreshment.TheBibleurges us to havein mind
“encouraging oneanother”whenwegatheratour places of worship.
(Heb.10:25) Thatis donenotonly by talks and commentsduring the
meetings but also by conversation before and after the meetings.
While it is normal for conversation to concern our everyday lives,
thegreatestencouragementcomes from discussing spiritualmatters.
These include experiences that we enjoy in sacred service. Showing
wholesome interest in one another is also upbuilding.
Because of the inﬂuence of the world around us, care is needed.
When writing to Christians in Ephesus, Paul said: “Now that you
haveputawayfalsehood,speaktrutheach oneofyouwith his neigh-
bor.” (Eph. 4:25) Speaking truth instead of falsehood includes not
glorifying the things and peoplethattheworld idolizes.Likewise,Je-
sus cautioned against “the deceptive power of riches.” (Matt.13:22)
So when speaking with one another, we need to be careful not to
promote that deception by glamorizing the possession of material
things.—1 Tim. 6:9,10.
When counseling on the need to be upbuilding, the apostle Paul
urges us not to judge or belittle a brother who might refrain from
certain things because of “weaknesses in his faith,” that is, because
he does not grasp the full scope of Christian freedom. Indeed, for
our conversation to upbuild others, we must take into account their
Upbuilding and Positive
background and the extent of their spiritual growth. How sad it
would be “to put before a brother [or a sister] a stumbling blockor a
cause for tripping”!—Rom.14:1-4,13,19.
Those who cope with serious personal problems—for example,
chronic illness—appreciate upbuilding conversation. Such a person
may put forth much eﬀort to attend meetings. Those aware of his
situation may ask: “How do you feel?” He will no doubt appreci-
ate their concern. However, the state of his health may not be the
subject he ﬁnds most encouraging to talk about. Words of appre-
ciation and commendation may do more to warm his heart. Do
you see evidence of his continued love for Jehovah and his endur-
anceundera diﬃcult situation? Do you feel encouraged when heof-
fers comments?Might itbemore upbuilding to draw attentionto his
strengths and to what he contributes to the congregation instead of
to his limitations?—1 Thess.5:11.
For our conversation to upbuild, it is especially important to
take into account Jehovah’s view of what is being discussed. In an-
cient Israel, those who spoke against Jehovah’s representatives and
complained about the manna experienced God’s severe displeasure.
(Num. 12:1-16; 21:5, 6) We give evidence that we have beneﬁted
from thoseexamples when we showrespect for the elders and appre-
ciation for the spiritual food provided through the faithful and dis-
creet slave class.—1 Tim. 5:17.
Finding beneﬁcial things to talk about when with our Christian
brothersis rarely aproblem.However,ifsomeone’s remarks are over-
ly critical, take theinitiative to steer the conversation in an upbuild-
Whether we are witnessing to others, speaking from the platform,
or talking with fellow believers, may we exercise discernment so as
to bring forth out of the treasure of our hearts “whatever saying is
good for building up as the need may be, that it may impartwhat is
favorableto the hearers.”—Eph. 4:29.
Call on someone who is disabled or conﬁned to his home. Initiate an
upbuildingconversation. Be empathetic, but keep your comments positive.
Plan ahead in order to achieve this.
Upbuilding and Positive
EFFECTIVE teaching includes the use of repetition.When an impor-
tant point is stated more than once, those in attendance are more
likelyto remember it.If the ideais restatedinaslightly diﬀerentway,
they may even be ableto understand it more clearly.
If your listeners do not remember what you say, your words will
not inﬂuence what they believe or how they live. They
will probably continue thinking about points to which
you give special emphasis.
Jehovah, our Grand Instructor, sets the pattern for us
in his use of repetition. He gave the Ten Command-
ments to the nation of Israel. Through an angelic spokes-
man, hecaused thenationto hear thosecommandments
at Mount Sinai. Later he gave them to Moses in writ-
ten form. (Ex. 20:1-17; 31:18; Deut. 5:22) At Jehovah’s di-
rection, Moses restated those commandments to the na-
tion before they entered the Promised Land, and by means of holy
spirit,Moses made arecordof that, as found atDeuteronomy 5:6-21.
Among the commandments given to Israel was the requirement that
they love and serve Jehovah with their whole heart, soul, and vital
force. This too was stated again and again. (Deut. 6:5; 10:12; 11:13;
30:6) Why? Because, as Jesus said, it was “the greatest and ﬁrst com-
mandment.” (Matt. 22:34-38) Through the prophet Jeremiah, Jeho-
vahreminded the people of Judah morethan 20 times aboutthe se-
riousness ofobeyinghim inallthethingsthathecommandedthem.
(Jer. 7:23; 11:4; 12:17; 19:15) And through Ezekiel, God stated more
than 60 times that the nations “will have to know that I am Jeho-
Intherecord of theministry of Jesus, wealso observe eﬀective use
ofrepetition.Thereare,for example,thefourGospels—each onecov-
ering important events that are reported in one or more of the oth-
er Gospels but viewing these events from slightly diﬀerent angles.
What doyou need to do?
State more than once the points that you especially want
your audience to remember.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
ory aid, repetitioncanbe
In his own teaching, Jesus covered the same basic point of instruc-
tion onmorethan one occasionbut indiﬀerentways.(Mark9:34-37;
10:35-45;John 13:2-17)Andwhileon the MountofOlives afewdays
before his death, Jesus used repetition to emphasize this vital coun-
sel: “Keep on the watch, . . . because you do not know on what day
your Lord is coming.”—Matt.24:42; 25:13.
In theField Ministry. When you witness to people, you hope that
they will remember what you say.Eﬀectiveuseof repetition canhelp
to achievethat goal.
Frequently, repetition at the time a matter is being dis-
cussedwillhelp impress iton aperson’s mind.Thus,after
reading ascripture,you could emphasize itby pointing to
akey portion of it and asking, “Did you notice how that
text is worded?”
The ﬁnal sentences in a conversation can also be used
eﬀectively. For example, you might say: “The main point
that I hope you will remember from our conversation is
.. .” Then restate it simply. It might be something like
this:“God’s purposeis thattheearthbetransformedinto
aparadise. That purpose is sure to be realized.” Or possi-
bly: “The Bible clearly shows that we are living in the
last days of this system of things. If we are going to sur-
vive its end, we need to learn what God requires of us.”
Or itcould be:“As we have seen, the Bible oﬀers practical
counsel on how to cope with problems of family life.” In
some cases you may simply repeat a quotation from the Bible as the
point to be remembered. Of course, doing this eﬀectively requires
On return visits, including Bible studies, your use of repetition
may involve review questions.
When a person ﬁnds it diﬃcult to understand or to apply Bible
counsel,you may need to bring thesubjectup on more than oneoc-
casion.Endeavor to approachitfrom various angles. Thediscussions
do not have to be lengthy butshould encourage the student to keep
thinking about the matter. Remember,Jesus used this sort of repeti-
tion in helping his disciples overcome the desire to be in ﬁrst place.
—Matt.18:1-6; 20:20-28; Luke 22:24-27.
WHEN TO DO IT
important pointor after ful-
days or weeksapartinthe
Repetition for Emphasis
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested