Why Gray-Headed Ones Are Appreciated
1 Among God’s devoted servants, older persons have always been appreciated. Says Proverbs 16:31: “Gray-headedness is a crown of beauty when it is found in the way of righteousness.” Today among these gray-headed ones are members of the governing body, traveling overseers and, in fact, a considerable number forming the backbone of congregation administration.
2 Frequently the other members of the congregation are simply amazed at how much older persons accomplish. Many have grown old in Jehovah’s service, not giving up even when things were difficult and response was slow. What a fine example older ones in the congregations have set in endurance! Many, even despite waning strength, continue caring for congregational responsibilities and having a full share in the field ministry. Their deep love and concern for others just seem to overflow and fill them with renewed vigor.
3 The rest of the congregation is encouraged when infirm brothers and sisters express deep concern about declaring the good news. When others hear aged persons say that they wish they were younger and could do more, it causes some younger ones to feel a little embarrassed. This is because, though having youth, these recognize that they do not always make the best of their opportunities.
4 At times certain older brothers and sisters may think that others can express themselves so much better at the meetings. But, the rest of the congregation want to hear their comments. They enjoy them. This is often because the example of an older person in serving Jehovah faithfully for many years gives real force to his words. Older ones who have begun serving Jehovah in more recent years know from past experiences that life without the truth is empty and meaningless. Thus, they can speak authoritatively and with conviction about such things as the vanity of gaining position in this world.
5 Poor health at times limits some of our older brothers and sisters, and they feel discouraged. Perhaps they are able to call on just one or two homes at a time in the field ministry or must confine their activity to informal witnessing, speaking to visitors, writing letters, making phone calls and the like. The fact that their heart is moving them to speak about God’s kingdom proves that Jehovah’s spirit is resting upon them. Is that not reason enough to rejoice? Then, too, it is good to remember that informal witnessing is often all that many strong, active brothers can do in lands where the witness work is banned. Yet the good news still gets preached.
6 Even infirm older persons can have a marvelous share in the work of bearing witness to the truth. How so? Well, they can continue to pray for their brothers and sisters that their presentation of the truth might appeal to honest-hearted ones. The power of prayer should never be underestimated. “A righteous man’s supplication, when it is at work, has much force,” states James 5:16.
7 Some of the aged ones recognize that certain things tend to irritate them much more because of failing health. This is why their efforts to maintain self-control are an encouragement to others in cultivating this quality in fuller measure. At times younger ones are deeply impressed that so many infirm older persons maintain a predominantly cheerful disposition. This helps these younger ones to have a brighter outlook in connection with their own problems.
8 There is good reason for the congregations of Jehovah’s people to appreciate the older brothers and sisters in their midst. Many, indeed, have reason to thank those who have labored so faithfully over the years in the work of the Lord. These older ones have used their strength and resources to proclaim the good news, contribute toward the upkeep of Kingdom Halls, assist others with their problems and incite them to love and fine works. It is because they have remained faithful that so many younger ones have been able to come into a precious relationship with Jehovah God. And, all of us are especially grateful to Jehovah, for, by His undeserved kindness, both young and old have been enabled to remain loyal.
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Remember, whether young or old, your Creator.