Love never fails
So many people are searching for deep, unconditional love.
According to one Christian denomination, you need only look up to find this kind of adoration and devotion.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bermuda last weekend hosted a regional convention, Love Never Fails, in the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium. Held over three days, it drew close to 650 people at its peak.
Clarence Borden, one of the convention’s media hosts, said its goal “was to help people find true love in what can often feel like a loveless world”.
“On Friday morning we had a symposium that talked about the importance of not putting your trust in something that can fail,” he said. “Oftentimes we judge our success by our material possessions, job status or fame, but we end up being really disappointed by those things. Instead, we encourage people to go to God’s word, the Bible, to reflect on what brings true meaning to our lives.
“In another session, a guest speaker talked about how people can experience God’s love despite difficult circumstances. The lesson examined how even those brought up in a toxic household or with a bad family upbringing can experience change and learn to love greatly. We heard about Hezekiah, whose father was a cruel king, who charted a new path by putting God first in everything he did.
“In the Bible we have examples of real individuals that go through the same problems even though they lived more than 2,000 years ago, and we learn from them how God was able to help them get through their challenges when they relied on Him.”
The convention also looked at how to show love in a difficult working environment and how to deal with colleagues and bosses in a loving way.
Jerrard Polk, another media host, said the event showed him specific ways to demonstrate kindness and compassion to members of his family, his congregation and the broader community.
“I’m a husband and father and we have a large extended family and sometimes those who are close to us we take for granted and don’t always show love,” he said. “We can have a bad day and take out our frustrations or disappointments on the people at home. I felt the programme was very practical and provided useful insight into how to show love to those inside and outside our families.”
Baptised as a Jehovah’s Witness at age 11, Mr Polk has done his best to live up to that dedication ever since. An ordained minister, he said the convention was an annual tradition he looked forward to as it helped him draw closer to God.
Mr Borden dedicated his life to Jesus on July 21, 1989; this year’s convention marked his 30th anniversary in the church.
“I wasn’t raised a Christian but found God when I was 33 years old,” he said. “Growing up outside of the Bible you make mistakes, but getting to know God for myself has helped me to turn around and course-correct in areas I needed to improve in. I’ve become a better husband and father and attending these conventions is one thing that has helped me with that.
“It has also inspired me to get involved with ministry activities. Many people know the Jehovah’s Witnesses do a house-to-house ministry and conduct free home Bible studies and offer people guidance and comfort from God’s word, but I have also gone to the prisons and helped numerous individuals to receive comfort from the scriptures and taught them how to apply God’s word.”
The men said they hope all those who attended the conference last weekend left with an understanding of how to find true love; not the world’s definition of love but the kind defined in 1 Corinthians 13 — agape (unconditional love) and philia (brotherly love).
The 2019 International Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses involves 24 gatherings in 22 cities around the globe. The first was held in Atlanta in May, the last takes place in Buenos Aires in December.
• For more information visit www.jw.org
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