Younger Ones Need a Good Example
1 We rejoice to have with us a growing number of young people who are ‘praising Jehovah’s name.’ (Ps. 148:12, 13) Many of them are still quite young in years. Their progress is largely determined by the training and example provided by their parents and other older ones in the congregation. Not to be overlooked, however, is the influence exercised by other young people, especially older teenagers and young adults. If you are in this age group, these comments may benefit you.
2 Young people in their preteens are inclined to imitate older teenagers. They have the natural desire to be like close associates whom they admire. They tend to look up to other youths who are somewhat older and who give the appearance of being knowledgeable and more advanced. As a result, they may imitate your speech and conduct as well as your appreciation for spiritual values and your participation in congregation activities.
3 As an older teenager, you have a privilege as well as a weighty responsibility. Right now, your example is likely influencing your younger companions. Ask yourself, ‘What kind of influence do I exert on younger ones? Am I serious-minded, avoiding foolishness and wrong “desires incidental to youth”? Do I demonstrate obedience and respectfulness toward my parents, the elders, and other older persons?’ (2 Tim. 2:22; Col. 3:20) What you say and do may be a major factor in the spiritual progress of other younger ones who observe your actions.
4 Preaching the Kingdom message is the primary work of the congregation. Your willing and regular participation can encourage your companions to be more active. If you are able to take up the pioneer service, your friends will be motivated in a similar way. Commenting at the meetings and volunteering your help in performing necessary tasks at the Kingdom Hall may also set a good example.
5 Even though Timothy was no longer in his teens when Paul gave him the following advice, you teenagers can apply it: “Become an example to the faithful ones in speaking, in conduct, in love, in faith, in chasteness.” (1 Tim. 4:12) Your enthusiastic and whole-souled participation in Jehovah’s service can motivate your associates and younger observers in a positive way, helping them to make progress toward becoming spiritually full-grown men. (Eph. 4:13) Teenagers who are part of families that have just begun to study may be attracted to the truth by what they see in you.
6 Even more important, your diligence in demonstrating godly qualities reflects favorably on Jehovah and his organization. (Prov. 27:11) Sincere observers will marvel at the striking contrast between you and the young people of the world. So you have a unique opportunity to help younger ones while you are making a valuable contribution to Jehovah’s praise.—Ps. 71:17.