Youths—Serve Jehovah With Loyalty
1 Loyalty and godly devotion are essentials of true worship. (2 Tim. 2:19) Jehovah God rightly expects each of us to maintain a devoted attachment to him and his visible earthly organization. (Ps. 30:4; 31:23) To do this in such troublous times we must keep a clear view of our purpose in life and not allow our loyal love for Jehovah to suffer erosion. Christian youths in particular are undergoing a relentless assault on their love of God.—2 Tim. 2:22.
2 Loyalty to Jehovah and his organization is necessary if we are to gain everlasting life. At this time of testing, how can Christian youths maintain integrity? In what ways can we manifest loyalty in the congregation? The family? How might parents and others encourage loyalty to God and the family?
IN THE CONGREGATION
3 Although the springtime of life should be a joyous experience, it brings with it serious responsibilities. (Eccl. 11:9–12:1) A principal decision young ones face involves dedication and baptism. Also, there is the selection of theocratic and secular goals. One’s choice of associates must be carefully examined. Each decision should reflect loyal love for Jehovah and the congregation. This is the only course that brings genuine satisfaction, peace of mind and true happiness.—Ps. 149:1, 4.
4 Young ones generally feel a keen sense of loyalty to friends. This can present real tests when such companions get involved in unchristian conduct. Many youths then face situations involving divided loyalties. Will you report serious wrongdoing or ignore it as if it never happened? Genuine regard for Christian associates and love of God will no doubt move you to report this in line with the principle at Leviticus 5:1. Christian youths thereby avoid becoming “a party to wickedness” by yielding to a false sense of loyalty.—Deut. 13:6-8; Organization, page 181.
5 There are a number of factors that make the above situations a challenge to the course of loyalty. First of all, as one young brother expressed it, some youths are affected by a “spirit of selfishness” rather than genuine love for their friends. (Lev. 19:17; Prov. 27:5, 6) This causes them to hesitate in getting involved so as to avoid losing the friendship of those whose wrongs have been exposed. (Prov. 9:8) Some younger ones and their parents, due to spiritual weakness, may be resentful for a time when such wrongdoing is reported. But this should not deter loyal youths from speaking up. By far, the majority of the congregation appreciate and respect such courageous loyalty in our young ones.
6 Loyal youths share in congregation meetings, as well as in the field ministry. They avoid isolating themselves. (Prov. 18:1) Increasing numbers of young ones are rejecting high-paying jobs or higher education in favor of a career in the ministry. They humbly accept counsel and direction from older ones that will enable them to continue in loyal sacred service.
IN THE FAMILY
7 What fine opportunities youths have to contribute to family unity and to grow spiritually! Although at times some who have associated with the truth from infancy may feel they have “missed something,” others who were in the world before learning the truth feel deep regrets over their bad experiences and wasted lives. How refreshing it is to see youths who have loyally submitted to parental direction in the truth! Reflecting on his personal experience and how much his mother had helped him spiritually, one Bethel brother expressed appreciation that he was never a part of the world and its ways.
8 All in the congregation can do much to encourage young ones in loyal service. Help them set spiritual goals of working in behalf of the congregation and eventual full-time service. (See Proverbs 16:3.) Share regularly with them in the ministry.
9 A spirit of rebelliousness pervades this dying old system. Acts of disloyalty are the order of the day. Whether young or old, we must counteract any trends that could undermine our worship of Jehovah. Look to Jehovah for the joys and blessings his service affords. Youths, view life’s responsibilities soberly and face each day’s challenges with loyalty and godly devotion.