WATCHTOWER STUDY  18: JUNE 27, 2022–JULY 3, 2022

How to Set and Reach Spiritual Goals

“Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, so that your advancement may be plainly seen by all people.”​—1 Timothy 4:15.

OPENING SONG 84, Reaching Out, based on Matthew 9:37, 38

1. Jehovah knows just what we need

To bring us joy and to succeed.

So he provides so many ways

In which to serve and spend our days.


Reaching out, giving all,

for our God above.

And where the need is great, there we’ll be,

reaching out in love.

2. There’s work to do in ev’ry land.

Where there’s a need, we lend a hand.

By reaching out, we show we care.

We want to help and want to share.


Reaching out, giving all,

for our God above.

And where the need is great, there we’ll be,

reaching out in love.

3. And here at home, in towns nearby,

We plan, we build, new skills we try.

We learn to speak a foreign tongue

And bring good news to ev’ryone.


Reaching out, giving all,

for our God above.

And where the need is great, there we’ll be,

reaching out in love.


Footnote reads: Timothy was a well-qualified minister of the good news. Yet, the apostle Paul encouraged him to keep making spiritual progress. By following Paul’s counsel, Timothy would become more useful to Jehovah and more helpful to his brothers and sisters. Are you, like Timothy, eager to serve Jehovah and fellow believers more fully? No doubt you are. What goals will help you to do so? And what is involved in setting and reaching those goals?- End Footnote.


1. What kind of spiritual goals can we set?

AS TRUE Christians, we love Jehovah very much. We want our service to him to be of the best possible quality. If we are going to reach our full potential, though, we need to set spiritual goals, such as cultivating Christian qualities, learning useful skills, and looking for ways to serve others.
Footnote reads: EXPRESSION EXPLAINED: Spiritual goals include anything we work hard to achieve so that we can serve Jehovah more fully and make him happy.- End Footnote.


2. Why should we set spiritual goals and work hard to reach them?

2 Why should we be interested in making spiritual progress? Primarily, we want to please our loving heavenly Father. Jehovah is happy when he sees us use our talents and abilities to the full in his service. In addition, we want to make spiritual progress so that we can be more helpful to our brothers and sisters.
Quotation: 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 10. However, concerning brotherly love, you do not need us to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 10 In fact, you are doing so toward all the brothers in all of Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to go on doing so in fuller measure.- End quotation.
No matter how long we have been in the truth, we all can make spiritual progress. Let us see how we can do just that.


3. As recorded at 1 Timothy 4:12-16, what did the apostle Paul encourage Timothy to do?

3 When the apostle Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, that fine young man was already an experienced elder. Yet, Paul encouraged him to keep making spiritual advancement. Read
Quotation: 1 Timothy 4:12 to 16. Never let anyone look down on your youth. Instead, become an example to the faithful ones in speaking, in conduct, in love, in faith, in chasteness. 13 Until I come, continue applying yourself to public reading, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift in you that was given you through a prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, so that your advancement may be plainly seen by all people. 16 Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.- End quotation.
As you give thought to Paul’s words, you will notice that he wanted Timothy to make progress in two ways: by cultivating such Christian qualities as love, faith, and chasteness and by improving in such skills as public reading, exhortation, and teaching. With Timothy’s example in mind, let us see how setting reasonable goals can help us make spiritual improvement. We will also consider some ways we can expand our ministry.



4. According to Philippians 2:19-22, what made Timothy a useful servant of Jehovah?

4 What made Timothy a useful servant of Jehovah? His outstanding Christian qualities. Read
Quotation: Philippians 2:19 to 22. Now I am hoping in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I may be encouraged when I receive news about you. 20 For I have no one else of a disposition like his who will genuinely care for your concerns. 21 For all the others are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know the proof he gave of himself, that like a child with a father he slaved with me to advance the good news.- End quotation.
From Paul’s description of Timothy, we can see that he was humble, loyal, diligent, and dependable. He had a loving disposition, and he cared deeply about the brothers. As a result, Paul loved Timothy and did not hesitate to entrust him with challenging assignments.
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 4:17. That is why I am sending Timothy to you, because he is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my methods in connection with Christ Jesus, just as I am teaching everywhere in every congregation.- End quotation.
Similarly, we endear ourselves to Jehovah and are more useful to the congregation when we cultivate qualities that he loves.​—
Quotation: Psalm 25:9. He will guide the meek in what is right, And he will teach the meek ones his way.- End quotation.

Quotation: Psalm 138:6. Though Jehovah is high, he takes note of the humble, But the haughty he knows only from a distance.- End quotation.

Collage: 1. A sister pins a card to a board on which she has written the word “empathy” and the words of Matthew 22:39. 2. The sister carries a bag full of groceries for an elderly sister.

Identify a Christian quality that you would like to cultivate further See paragraphs 5-6


5. - part "a" - How can you go about setting the goal of cultivating a Christian quality? - part "b" - As shown in the picture, how is the younger sister working on her goal to show more empathy toward others?

5 Choose a specific goal. Prayerfully consider which aspects of your personality need improvement. Select one specific quality that you would like to focus on. For instance, could you cultivate greater empathy or a stronger desire to support fellow worshippers? Do you need to be more peaceable and forgiving? You may find it helpful to ask a trusted friend to suggest ways you could improve.​—
Quotation: Proverbs 27:6. The wounds inflicted by a friend are faithful, But an enemy’s kisses are plentiful.- End quotation.


6. How can you work to reach your goal of cultivating a quality?

6 Work to reach your goal. How can you do that? One way is by carefully studying the quality you want to improve. Suppose you decide to work on being more forgiving of others. You might begin by reading about and meditating on Bible examples of those who freely forgave others and those who did not. Consider Jesus’ example. He willingly forgave others.
Quotation: Luke 7:47, 48. Because of this, I tell you, her sins, many though they are, are forgiven, because she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then he said to her: “Your sins are forgiven.”- End quotation.
He also looked past their faults and saw their potential. By contrast, the Pharisees in Jesus’ day “considered others as nothing.”
Quotation: Luke 18:9. He also told this illustration to some who trusted in their own righteousness and who considered others as nothing:- End quotation.
After meditating on these examples, ask yourself: ‘What do I see in others? Which of their qualities do I choose to focus on?’ If you are struggling to forgive someone, try writing down as many of that individual’s good qualities as you can. Then ask yourself: ‘How does Jesus view this person? Would he forgive him?’ Such a study project could help to readjust our thinking. At first, we may have to work hard to forgive someone who has offended us. But if we keep working at it, in time we will become more willing to forgive.


Collage: 1. A brother trains two sisters to change the light bulbs at the Kingdom Hall. 2. The sisters work together to change a light bulb.

Offer to learn how to do maintenance work on your Kingdom Hall See paragraph 7
Footnote reads: PICTURE DESCRIPTION: A brother trains two sisters to do maintenance work, and they put their new skill to good use.- End Footnote.


7. In harmony with Proverbs 22:29, in what ways does Jehovah use skillful workers today?

7 Another goal you can set is to learn a useful skill. Consider the vast number of workers needed to build Bethel facilities, Assembly Halls, and Kingdom Halls. Many of these workers acquired their skills by working alongside brothers who are experienced tradesmen. As shown in the picture, both brothers and sisters are learning the skills that are needed to help maintain Assembly Halls and Kingdom Halls. In these and other ways, Jehovah God, “the King of eternity,” and Christ Jesus, “the King of . . . kings,” are accomplishing marvelous things by means of capable workers.
Quotation: 1 Timothy 1:17. Now to the King of eternity, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.- End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Timothy 6:15. which the happy and only Potentate will show in its own appointed times. He is the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords,- End quotation.
; read
Quotation: Proverbs 22:29. Have you seen a man skillful at his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before common men.- End quotation.
We want to work hard and use our skills to glorify Jehovah, not ourselves.​—
Quotation: John 8:54. Jesus answered: “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, the one who you say is your God.- End quotation.


8. How can you go about setting the goal of learning a skill?

8 Choose a specific goal. What skill could you focus on? Ask your congregation elders and perhaps your circuit overseer what skill they think you could develop. If, for example, they suggest that you improve your speaking and teaching ability, ask them to help you identify a specific speech quality that you need to work on. Then take practical steps to make improvements. How can this be accomplished?


9. How can you work to reach your goal of learning a skill?

9 Work to reach your goal. Suppose you wanted to improve your ability to teach. You could carefully study the brochure
Quotation: Table of ContentsSTUDY NUMBER A Letter From the Governing Body 1 Effective Introduction 2 Conversational Manner 3 Use of Questions 4 Scriptures Properly Introduced 5 Accurate Reading 6 Scripture Application Made Clear 7 Accurate and Convincing 8 Illustrations That Teach 9 Appropriate Use of Visual Aids10 Modulation11 Enthusiasm12 Warmth and Empathy13 Practical Value Made Clear14 Main Points Made to Stand Out15 Expressed With Conviction16 Upbuilding and Positive17 Understandable to Others18 Informative to Your Audience19 Effort to Reach the Heart20 Effective Conclusion Record Your Progress- End quotation.
When you are assigned a part on the midweek meeting, you could ask a qualified brother to listen to your presentation beforehand and provide suggestions for improvement. Earn a reputation not just for being skilled but also for being diligent and dependable.​—
Quotation: Proverbs 21:5. The plans of the diligent surely lead to success, But all who are hasty surely head for poverty.- End quotation.

Quotation: 2 Corinthians 8:22. Moreover, we are sending with them our brother whom we have often tested and found to be diligent in many matters, but now much more diligent on account of his great confidence in you.- End quotation.


10. Give an example of how to make progress in developing a skill.

10 What if the skill you want to develop involves something that you are not naturally good at? Do not give up! A brother named Garry struggled with a reading disability. He remembers how embarrassed he felt when trying to read aloud at congregation meetings. But he kept applying himself. He now says that because of the training he received, he is able to give talks at Kingdom Halls, circuit assemblies, and conventions!


11. Like Timothy, what will help us to take on added responsibilities?

11 Did Timothy become a notable speaker or an outstanding teacher? The Bible does not say. But no doubt Timothy became progressively more effective in carrying out his responsibilities as he followed Paul’s advice.
Quotation: 2 Timothy 3:10. But you have closely followed my teaching, my course of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance,- End quotation.
Likewise, if we develop our skills, we will be equipped to take on added responsibilities.



12. How have you benefited from the service of others?

12 All of us benefit from the service of others. When we are in the hospital, we are grateful to receive a visit from elders who serve on Hospital Liaison Committees or on Patient Visitation Groups. When we are facing a difficult situation in our personal life, we appreciate it when a caring elder takes the time to listen to us and provide us comfort. When we need help with a Bible study, we are pleased when an experienced pioneer agrees to sit in on the study and offers suggestions. All these brothers and sisters are happy to help us. We can share that joy if we make ourselves available to serve our brothers. “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving,” said Jesus.
Quotation: Acts 20:35. I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way, you must assist those who are weak and must keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said: ‘There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.’”- End quotation.
If you want to expand your service in these or similar ways, what will help you to reach your goals?


13. When setting a personal goal, what should we keep in mind?

13 Beware of setting a goal that is too general. For example, you may think, ‘I would like to do more in the congregation.’ But it may be difficult to know how to achieve such a goal, and you may find it impossible to know when you have achieved it. So choose a clear, specific goal. You might even write down the goal and how you plan to reach it.


14. Why do we need to be flexible when setting goals?

14 We also need to be flexible when setting goals. Why? Because we do not have complete control over our circumstances. To illustrate: The apostle Paul had helped to form a new congregation in the city of Thessalonica. And he no doubt had the goal of staying there and helping those new Christians. But opposers forced Paul to leave that city.
Quotation: Acts 17:1 to 5. They now traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 So according to Paul’s custom he went inside to them, and for three sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving by references that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, saying: “This is the Christ, this Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” 4 As a result, some of them became believers and associated themselves with Paul and Silas, and so did a great multitude of the Greeks who worshipped God, along with quite a few of the principal women. 5 But the Jews, getting jealous, gathered together some wicked men who were loitering at the marketplace and formed a mob and proceeded to throw the city into an uproar. They assaulted the house of Jason and were seeking to have Paul and Silas brought out to the mob.- End quotation.

Quotation: Acts 17:10. Immediately by night the brothers sent both Paul and Silas to Beroea. On arriving, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.- End quotation.
If Paul had stayed, he would have put his brothers at risk. But Paul did not give up. Instead, he adapted to the changed circumstances. Later, he dispatched Timothy to care for the spiritual needs of the new believers in Thessalonica.
Quotation: 1 Thessalonians 3:1 to 3. So when we could bear it no longer, we thought it best to stay on alone in Athens; 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s minister in the good news about the Christ, to make you firm and comfort you regarding your faith, 3 so that no one might be shaken by these tribulations. For you yourselves know that we cannot avoid suffering such things.- End quotation.
How happy the Thessalonians must have been that Timothy had made himself available to serve wherever he was needed!


15. How might circumstances beyond our control affect our goals? Illustrate.

15 We can learn from Paul’s experience in Thessalonica. We may be reaching out for a privilege of service, but circumstances beyond our control are preventing us from receiving it.
Quotation: Ecclesiastes 9:11. I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all.- End quotation.
If that is true in your case, be willing to pick a different goal that is within your reach. This is what a couple named Ted and Hiedi did. Because of a health problem, they had to leave Bethel. But their love for Jehovah moved them to look for other ways to expand their ministry. First, they took up the regular pioneer service. In time, they were appointed as special pioneers, and Ted was trained as a substitute circuit overseer. Then the age requirement for circuit overseers changed. Ted and Hiedi realized that they were no longer eligible for this privilege of service. Although they were disappointed, they recognized that they could serve Jehovah in other ways. Ted says, “We have learned not to limit our focus to one type of service.”


16. What lesson can we learn from Galatians 6:4?

16 We cannot control everything that happens in our life. Therefore, it is important that we do not measure our value by the privileges of service that we enjoy or compare our privileges with those that others enjoy. Hiedi explains, “Your peace disappears if you compare your life with what you see happening in the lives of others.” Read
Quotation: Galatians 6:4. But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.- End quotation.
It is important that we look for ways in which we can be useful.
Footnote reads: See “Serving Where the Need Is Greater” in the book
Quotation: SERVING WHERE THE NEED IS GREATER6 It may be that your congregation territory is frequently worked and a fine witness is being given. If so, you may feel that you could expand your ministry by moving to an area where there is a greater need in the field. (Acts 16:9 If you are presently an elder or a ministerial servant, there may be another congregation that would appreciate having your assistance. Your circuit overseer may have suggestions about how you can assist another congregation in the circuit. If you wish to serve in another area of the country, the branch office can provide helpful information.7 Would you like to serve in a foreign country? If so, you need to consider such a move carefully. Why not discuss the matter with the elders in your congregation? Such a move will certainly have an impact on you and any who accompany you. (Luke 14:28 However, if you do not plan to stay for a long time, it may be best to consider serving in an area within your home country.8 In some lands, brothers who are being used in positions of oversight are relatively new in the truth. Humble local brothers are willing to let more experienced elders who move into the congregation take the lead. If you are an elder and are contemplating a move to such a country, keep in mind that your objective is not to serve in place of the local brothers. Instead, serve with them. Encourage them to reach out and accept congregation responsibilities. (1 Tim. 3:1 Be patient if some things are not done as they would be done in your home country. Use your experience as an elder to be a real help to the brothers. Then, if at some point you must leave and return to your home country, the local elders will be in a better position to care for the congregation.9 Before the branch office can provide you with names of congregations that could benefit from your assistance, your Congregation Service Committee will need to provide a letter of recommendation. This letter is required whether you are serving as an elder, a ministerial servant, a pioneer, or a publisher. The service committee will send the letter of recommendation along with your inquiry directly to the branch office of the country where you desire to serve.- End quotation.
- End Footnote.


17. How can you work toward qualifying for privileges of service?

17 Make yourself available for privileges of service by keeping your life simple and avoiding unnecessary debt. Set intermediate goals that will help you reach your long-term goals. For example, if your long-term goal is to become a regular pioneer, could you serve as a continuous auxiliary pioneer at present? If your goal is to serve as a ministerial servant, could you spend more time in field service and visiting the sick and elderly in your congregation? The experience you gain now may open the door to further privileges of service in the future. Be determined to do your best in any assignment you are given.​—
Quotation: Romans 12:11. Be industrious, not lazy. Be aglow with the spirit. Slave for Jehovah.- End quotation.

Choose a specific goal that is within your reach See paragraph 18
Footnote reads: PICTURE DESCRIPTION: A homebound sister is successful at telephone witnessing, inviting people to the Memorial.- End Footnote.


18. As illustrated in the picture, what do you learn from Beverley’s example?

18 We are never too old to set and reach spiritual goals. Consider the example of a 75-year-old sister named Beverley. She had a severe health problem that made it hard for her to walk. But she longed to have a full share in the Memorial campaign. So she set specific goals. When Beverley reached her goals for the campaign, she was very happy. Her efforts motivated others to exert themselves in the ministry. Jehovah values the work of our older brothers and sisters, even if circumstances limit what they can do.​—
Quotation: Psalm 71:17, 18. O God, you have taught me from my youth, And until now I keep declaring your wonderful works. 18 Even when I am old and gray, O God, do not abandon me. Let me tell the next generation about your power And about your mightiness to all those who are to come.- End quotation.


19. What are some spiritual goals that we can set?

19 Set goals that are within your reach. Cultivate qualities that will endear you to Jehovah. Learn skills that will allow you to be more useful to our God and his organization. Look for ways to serve your brothers and sisters more fully.
Footnote reads: See lesson 60, “
Quotation: LESSON 60Continue Making ProgressThroughout this Bible course, you have learned a lot about Jehovah. The things you have learned have made you love him so much that you probably dedicated yourself to him and got baptized. If not, perhaps you are thinking of doing this in the near future. But your progress does not end at baptism. You can keep drawing closer to Jehovah forever. How?1. Why should you continue to strengthen your friendship with Jehovah?We must work hard to continue strengthening our friendship with Jehovah. Why? “So that we never drift away” from him. (Hebrews 2:1 What can help us to keep serving Jehovah faithfully? We can stay busy in the preaching work and look for other ways to serve our God more fully. (Read Philippians 3:16. Serving Jehovah is the best way of life!​—Psalm 84:10.2. What else should you continue to do?Although this Bible course is now ending, your life as a Christian will continue. The Bible says we need to “put on the new personality.” (Ephesians 4:23, 24 As you continue studying God’s Word and attending congregation meetings, you will learn new things about Jehovah and his qualities. Look for ways to imitate his personality more closely in your life. Continue making any changes necessary to make Jehovah happy.3. How will Jehovah help you make progress?The Bible says: “God . . . will himself finish your training. He will make you firm, he will make you strong, he will firmly ground you.” (1 Peter 5:10 All of us face temptations. But Jehovah gives us what we need in order to resist them. (Psalm 139:23, 24 He promises to give you both the desire and the power to serve him faithfully.​—Read Philippians 2:13.DIG DEEPERConsider how you can continue to make progress and how Jehovah will bless you.4. Keep communicating with your best FriendPrayer and Bible study have helped you to become Jehovah’s friend. How can those activities help you draw even closer to him?Read Psalm 62:8, and then discuss this question:• To strengthen your friendship with Jehovah, how can you improve the quality of your prayers?Read Psalm 1:2 and footnote, and then discuss this question:• To strengthen your friendship with Jehovah, how can you improve your Bible reading?How can you make your personal study more meaningful? To see some ideas, play the VIDEO, and then discuss the questions that follow.VIDEO: Improve Your Personal Study (5:22• Which of the suggestions in the video could you apply?• What topics would you like to study?5. Set spiritual goalsHaving goals in Jehovah’s service will help you to continue making progress. Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.VIDEO: The Best Life Ever (3:31• In this video, how did Cameron benefit from setting spiritual goals?Not everyone can move to preach in another land. However, we can all set reasonable goals. Read Proverbs 21:5, and then consider what goals you would like to set . . .• in the congregation.• in the field ministry.How can the principle in the verse help you to reach your goals?Goals to consider○ Improve the quality of your prayers.○ Read the entire Bible.○ Get to know everyone in your congregation.○ Start and conduct a Bible study.○ Serve as an auxiliary pioneer or a regular pioneer.○ If you are a brother, reach out to become a ministerial servant.6. Enjoy life forever!Read Psalm 22:26, and then discuss this question:• What can you do to enjoy life now and forever?SUMMARYContinue to strengthen your friendship with Jehovah and to set spiritual goals. Then you can enjoy life forever!Review• Why can you be confident that Jehovah will help you to serve him faithfully?• How can you strengthen your friendship with Jehovah?• How can spiritual goals help you to progress?Bible course completed on: __________Long-Term Goal◼ Read the books Draw Close to Jehovah and “Come Be My Follower.” These publications will help you to continue making progress and drawing closer to your heavenly Father and his Son.EXPLOREWhat does Jehovah value more, one dramatic act of devotion or a lifetime of faithfulness to him?Be Faithful Like Abraham (9:20Even a faithful servant of Jehovah may lose joy. See how to regain it.Regain Joy Through Study and Meditation (5:25How can you set spiritual goals and reach them?“Use Spiritual Goals to Glorify Your Creator” (The Watchtower, July 15, 2004Why is Christian maturity essential, and how can you gain it?“Press On to Maturity​—‘The Great Day of Jehovah Is Near’” (The Watchtower, May 15, 2009​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​- End quotation.
,” in the Enjoy Life Forever! book.- End Footnote.
Like Timothy, with Jehovah’s blessing “your advancement may be plainly seen by all people.”​—
Quotation: 1 Timothy 4:15. Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, so that your advancement may be plainly seen by all people.- End quotation.


cultivating a Christian quality?

learning a useful skill?

serving your brothers and sisters more fully?

CLOSING SONG 38, He Will Make You Strong, based on 1 Peter 5:10

1. There was a reason why God brought the truth to you

And called you from the darkness to the light.

Within your heart, he saw the longing that you had

To search for him and practice what is right.

You promised him in prayer to do his will;

He helped you then, and he will help you still.


With Jesus’ blood He bought you,

to God you now belong.

So he will make you firm,

and he will make you strong.

He’ll guide you and protect you,

as he has all along.

Yes, he will make you firm,

and he will make you strong.

2. God gave his own beloved Son in your behalf;

On this account, He wants you to succeed.

If He did not withhold the gift of His dear Son,

Then never doubt He’ll give the strength you need.

He won’t forget the faith and love you’ve shown;

He will not fail to care for all His own.


With Jesus’ blood He bought you,

to God you now belong.

So he will make you firm,

and he will make you strong.

He’ll guide you and protect you,

as he has all along.

Yes, he will make you firm,

and he will make you strong.