Working What Is Good Toward Younger Ones
1 Jehovah has always been concerned about those who are oppressed. (Ps. 146:7-9) In ancient times he made special provisions to insure that even younger disadvantaged ones were cared for. His law to Israel made particular mention of the “fatherless boy.” (Ex. 22:22-24) While we are not under that ancient law today, does not the principle of that law place a responsibility on us as Christians?
2 In some congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are what we might call “fatherless” young ones. This could be because they have unbelieving parents. Other youths have believing parents who may need help in giving spiritual assistance to their children. It may be that the parents are quite new in the truth and not in a position to help their children effectively, as they would wish. With pressures of various sorts making increasing demands, some may have difficulty in scheduling sufficient time to study with their children or work with them in field service, and so forth. Other parents, although desirous of giving the needed assistance, find themselves in need of help in sounding down the truths from God’s Word into the minds and hearts of their children.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
3 A question that all in the congregation can give serious thought to is: “How can I provide help and encouragement that is needed?” Those having assignments on the meetings can include younger ones from time to time. Could a wider variety of young ones who are exemplary in the congregation be used on meeting parts? (Acts 16:1, 2) While some may not be as gifted as others in expressing themselves, granting occasional privileges will be encouraging to them as well as to others. It may take more time to help some, but this training, experience and attention will pay off in rich dividends as our conscientious youngsters grow in the truth.
4 Parents have the God-given responsibility of helping their own children. But does this mean that others cannot assist? Not at all! And this is especially true where some parents are having difficulty as already mentioned. Children who want additional help may be invited to join your family in study, field service and perhaps wholesome recreational pursuits. Does not the apostle’s encouragement to “widen out” apply in this regard?—2 Cor. 6:11-13.
5 Even those who are not parents can “widen out” in the affection they show to younger ones by spending time with them. Giving of themselves will help to encourage and strengthen younger ones.
6 You may be able to utilize opportunities available before and after meetings to talk to younger ones. This should be more than a “Hello” and “How are you?” One elder asked a small boy how he was, but before the child could answer, the elder turned to speak to an older brother he wanted to see. Later the little boy came up and asked the elder: “Do you really want to know how I am?” The elder confessed that he learned from this experience.
7 Younger ones respond more readily when they are known by name. Yes, they too are a part of the congregation and older ones should establish a rapport with those younger members. When the younger ones come to view you as their “friend” there is a more ready response to counsel and direction, is there not?
A LASTING IMPRESSION
8 Many of you can no doubt look back and vividly recall some small privilege given to you when you were quite young. It was encouraging and appreciated, was it not? What was it that impressed you? Was it a small part in a demonstration? Some kind word of counsel or commendation given by an older one? Perhaps a field service experience shared while working with an older brother or sister? By viewing all in the congregation as part of a large congregational “family,” there will be many benefits to young and old alike. As we endeavor to imitate Jehovah’s example in showing interest and affection to all of mankind, let us continue working what is good toward our younger ones.