Giving Attention to Older Ones in Our Midst
1 A Christian responsibility we all can share is to show consideration for our older brothers and sisters. As the years go by, these dear ones may encounter physical problems. Because of factors beyond their control, some are not able to accomplish as much as they once did in Jehovah’s service. (Eccl. 12:1-6) And as with the rest of us, they too feel the many pressures of this old system of things.
2 The Word of God points out that the primary responsibility for caring for the older ones lies with family members. (1 Tim. 5:8) Yet we, individually and as a congregation, must also “show consideration for the person of an old man.”—Lev. 19:32.
WHAT WE CAN DO
3 As Jehovah’s organization grows and new congregations are formed, some older ones find themselves in congregations where there are few who know them well. Realizing the effort they make to attend, do we greet them or try to get better acquainted by taking the initiative to start a conversation? Have we visited them in their homes? Or do we keep in touch by telephone when this is appropriate? Have we called not only to ask how they are but also to see if there is something we could do for them? Do they need transportation, someone to run errands, or help with necessary business matters? It is commendable that some in the congregations are doing these things, but are there more of us who may be in a position to show such brotherly concern? (Compare Luke 10:36, 37.) Showing consideration for older ones is a privilege that can be shared by all.
4 The elders can keep the congregation informed as special needs arise. But individually we can offer to help older ones with things they may find difficult or too much for them to handle. Do they need someone to read to them or to take them out in service, even though they can share only in a limited way? Do we take time to visit our brothers and sisters who are in nursing homes or who are otherwise confined because of physical problems?—Prov. 3:27.
5 As foretold in God’s Word, many people today are ‘disobedient to parents, unthankful and disloyal, with no natural affection.’ (2 Tim. 3:2, 3) But as Christians, we want to avoid the self-centered spirit of the world. We do not want to be too busy to enjoy the company of older ones who are fine examples in love and devotion to Jehovah. Their faithfulness in attending meetings and sharing in field service to the extent they are able brings encouragement, especially if we appreciate the effort they put forth.
ATTITUDE OF OLDER ONES
6 Never should older ones be made to feel that they have become a burden to the congregation or that they are no longer appreciated, just because their energies have diminished and they cannot do as much as they did before. On the other hand, it is wonderful to see an appreciative spirit on the part of older ones. It is commendable when they do not become critical or demanding. A positive attitude on their part helps them to avoid having a complaining spirit, knowing that Jehovah can help them to endure the trials that come with advancing age. As a congregation and as individuals, we want to continue to show loving consideration for the faithful older ones in our midst.—Compare Hebrews 10:32-34.