Serve Jehovah in Your Youth
1 “Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart do you good in the days of your young manhood.” Yes, as Solomon says, youth is usually a time of many happy experiences and it is good to find pleasure in these. Youthful vigor and strength would naturally contribute toward a cheerful outlook. But also to be considered are Solomon’s further words of counsel to those who might thoughtlessly follow a course of pleasing only themselves: “So remove vexation from your heart, and ward off calamity from your flesh; for youth and the prime of life are vanity.” However, “calamity” and “vexation” need not be your portion. The Bible clearly outlines what you can do to prepare for a full and worthwhile adult life, and how you can serve Jehovah effectively, though young, while thus preparing.—Eccl. 11:9–12:1; Prov. 2:1-9.
2 Preparing for a lifetime of serving Jehovah is similar to preparing for any other career. Having your goal in mind early in life is best. It helps to eliminate waste of effort and time. So, it is not good to say in effect “I’ll begin to think seriously about serving Jehovah when I get a little older.” No, now is the time to do so!
3 The attitude of some youths today is to work just to enjoy as many worldly pleasures and material things as possible. Adults who have the most materially are looked up to and copied. But Jesus said “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness.” (Matt. 6:33) Keeping one’s mind on spiritual matters in youth will spare one from spending time on fruitless pursuits.—1 Tim. 6:9, 10.
4 A servant of God should learn to read and to speak well. This is necessary if one is to be able to read and understand the Bible, the Society’s publications, other printed matter, and carry on correspondence. This is one of the most important aids in coming to an accurate knowledge of the truth and thereafter being able to talk to others about it. Preparing for and participating in the meetings will be a tremendous help in this direction. Full participation in the Theocratic School and assisting others in their lessons and talks will be of further great assistance in learning to read well.
5 A good schedule for active participation in the field service on a regular basis is something a young person should have. Not only will this contribute greatly toward the witness that must be given now, but it constitutes excellent training for being a fine field worker, able to converse with others easily and train new ones.
6 Will you be a pioneer when you finish high school? Will you apply for Bethel service? Do you hope eventually to be a ministerial servant, and in time, an elder? It would be good to begin now to learn how to shoulder responsibility. Being a good student of the Bible and sharing fully in all congregational activity open to you will be of great benefit. Associating with others in the congregation who have these same goals or who are presently serving in these capacities will also help you on your way.—Prov. 13:20.
7 Timothy had been taught the holy writings from infancy, and was probably in his late teens or early twenties when he was “well reported on by the brothers” to the apostle Paul. (Acts 16:1, 2; 2 Tim. 3:14, 15) Samuel, Israel’s last judge, began serving Jehovah in the temple under the direction of High Priest Eli possibly at the age of three and thereafter served long and faithfully. Josiah was only eight years old when he became king of Judah and, despite the influence of his idolatrous father, he turned to true worship when sixteen years of age and took the initiative to restore true worship in the land. The Israelite girl, who told the wife of Naaman, the Syrian general afflicted with leprosy, about the prophet Elisha, must have been very young as she is described as “a little girl.” (2 Ki. 5:2-4) Here are examples of young people who decided early in life that they would serve Jehovah and did so in an exemplary way.
8 There are many things that can fill the minds of young people today. But serving Jehovah, the Universal Sovereign, surpasses all other pursuits in which you could become engaged. Whether you serve him as a regular pioneer, auxiliary pioneer, or congregation publisher, do so with your whole soul, looking forward to increased blessings and responsibilities in the future.