Even though Jehovah was completely alone before he began to create, he was not thinking only of himself. On the contrary, he gave the gift of life to intelligent creatures, both spirit and human. “The happy God,” Jehovah, loves to give good things. (1 Tim. 1:11; Jas. 1:17) And since he also wants us to be happy, he teaches us to be generous. (Rom. 1:20) God made man in his image. (Gen. 1:27) That is, we were created to reflect his personality. In order to attain happiness and fulfillment, then, we need to follow Jehovah’s example by being interested in others and by being generous givers. (Phil. 2:3, 4; Jas. 1:5) Why? Quite simply because Jehovah lovingly designed humans that way. Despite our imperfection, we can succeed in imitating Jehovah’s generosity. Jehovah wants his human creation to imitate him, so it makes him happy when we are generous.—Eph. 5:1.
Christ’s followers show that they listen to Jesus by not only paying attention to his words but also acting on them. They are not distracted by the “anxieties of life.” (Luke 21:34) Rather, they make obeying Jesus’ commands a priority in life, even in the face of challenging circumstances. Through it all, our brothers remain faithful to Jehovah, cost what it may. Another way we can show that we are listening to Jesus is by cooperating with those whom he has appointed to take the lead among us. (Heb. 13:7, 17) God’s organization has made many adjustments in recent years, including the use of new tools and methods in our ministry, the format of our midweek meeting, and the way we build, renovate, and maintain our Kingdom Halls. How we appreciate the loving and carefully thought-out guidance! We can be sure that Jehovah will bless our efforts to follow the organization’s timely direction.
Thankfully, we do not need to suffer the consequences of breaking God’s laws to learn valuable lessons. We can learn from the mistakes of others whose transgressions are recorded in God’s Word. Indeed, we receive the very best instruction from God, such as when we read and meditate on real-life Bible accounts. For example, think of the pain that King David experienced after he disobeyed Jehovah’s command and committed adultery with Bath-sheba. (2 Sam. 12:7-14) While reading and meditating on this account, we might ask ourselves: ‘How could King David have avoided the heartache he suffered because of his adulterous act with Bath-sheba? If I faced a similar temptation, would I have the strength to turn away? Would I flee like Joseph, or would I give in like David?’ (Gen. 39:11-15) By reflecting on the bad consequences of sin, we can strengthen our heart to “hate what is bad.”—Amos 5:15.
DO YOU find the question, “Is God cruel?” shocking? Some do, but a lot of people today wonder whether God is cruel—or they assume that he is. Why? Some who survive natural disasters ask: “Why does God allow these things to happen? Is he indifferent? Or is he cruel?”Others are similarly troubled when reading the Bible. They come upon such accounts as the one about Noah and the Flood, and they wonder, ‘Why would a loving God put all those people to death? Is he cruel?’Do such questions occur to you at times? Or do you find yourself unable to give an answer to those who wonder if God is cruel? In either case, consider a different question that may help.
WHY DO WE HATE CRUELTY? Simply put, we hate cruelty because we have a sense of right and wrong. We differ greatly from animals in that respect. Our Creator made us “in his image.” (Genesis 1:27) What does that mean? He gave us the capacity to reflect his qualities and moral standards, his sense of right and wrong. Consider this: If we received our sense of right and wrong from God and we tend to hate cruelty, does that not suggest that God hates it too? The Bible confirms such logic, for in the Bible, God assures us: “My ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) If we were to judge God to be cruel, would we not be stating the opposite—in effect saying that our ways are higher than his? It would surely be wise to gather more facts before taking such a stand. Perhaps we should ask, not whether God is cruel, but why some of his actions may appear to be cruel. To help us, let us consider what “cruel” really means.
When we call someone cruel, we judge his motives. A cruel person is one who enjoys seeing others suffer or who is indifferent to their distress. Thus, a father who disciplines his son because he enjoys hurting his son’s feelings is cruel. But a father who disciplines his son to instruct or protect him is good. Motives are easily misunderstood, as you well know if anyone has ever misjudged you.Let us consider two of the reasons why some think of God as cruel—the natural disasters we see today and the divine judgments we read about in the Bible. Do the facts really show that God is cruel?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.