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MEETINGS

Monday, May 25

Do not severely criticize an older man. On the contrary, appeal to him as a father.​—1 Tim. 5:1.

Although Timothy had a measure of authority over such older brothers, he was to treat them with compassion and respect. However, how far would we take that principle? For example, should we feel obligated to defer to someone older if he is willfully sinning or is advocating something displeasing to Jehovah? Jehovah will not judge by the outward appearance and will not excuse a willful sinner simply because he is older. Note the principle found at Isaiah 65:20: “The sinner will be cursed, even though he is a hundred years of age.” A similar principle is demonstrated in Ezekiel’s vision. (Ezek. 9:5-7) Thus, our main concern must always be to show respect for the Ancient of Days, Jehovah God. (Dan. 7:9, 10, 13, 14) If we do so, we will not be afraid to correct a person needing counsel, regardless of his age.​—Gal. 6:1. w18.08 11 ¶13-14


(1 Timothy 5:1) Do not severely criticize an older man. On the contrary, appeal to him as a father, to younger men as brothers,
(Isaiah 65:20)  “No more will there be an infant from that place who lives but a few days,Nor an old man who fails to live out his days. For anyone who dies at a hundred will be considered a mere boy,And the sinner will be cursed, even though he is a hundred years of age.
(Ezekiel 9:5-7)  And to the others he said in my hearing: “Go through the city after him and strike. Do not let your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. 6 Old man, young man, virgin, little child, and women you should kill off completely. But do not go near to any man on whom there is the mark. You should start from my sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were in front of the house. 7 Then he said to them: “Defile the house and fill the courtyards with the slain. Go!” So they went out and struck down people in the city.
(Daniel 7:9, 10)  “I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. 10 A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousands kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The Court took its seat, and books were opened.
(Daniel 7:13, 14)  “I kept watching in the visions of the night, and look! with the clouds of the heavens, someone like a son of man was coming; and he gained access to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him up close before that One. 14 And to him there were given rulership, honor, and a kingdom, that the peoples, nations, and language groups should all serve him. His rulership is an everlasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed.
(Galatians 6:1) Brothers, even if a man takes a false step before he is aware of it, you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness. But keep an eye on yourself, for fear you too may be tempted.


13. What do the Scriptures teach us concerning respect for older ones?

13 The Scriptures frequently instruct us to show proper respect for older ones. Leviticus 19:32 says: “Before gray hair you should rise up, and you must show honor to an older man, and you must be in fear of your God.” Proverbs 16:31 similarly instructs us that “gray hair is a crown of beauty when it is found in the way of righteousness.” Then, too, Paul admonished Timothy not to criticize an older man severely but to view such an older brother as a father. (1 Tim. 5:1, 2) Although Timothy had a measure of authority over such older brothers, he was to treat them with compassion and respect.

14. In what circumstance might it be proper for us to give needed counsel or discipline to a person who is older than we are?

14 However, how far would we take that principle? For example, should we feel obligated to defer to someone older if he is willfully sinning or is advocating something displeasing to Jehovah? Jehovah will not judge by the outward appearance and will not excuse a willful sinner simply because he is older. Note the principle found at Isaiah 65:20: “The sinner will be cursed, even though he is a hundred years of age.” A similar principle is demonstrated in Ezekiel’s vision. (Ezek. 9:5-7) Thus, our main concern must always be to show respect for the Ancient of Days, Jehovah God. (Dan. 7:9, 10, 13, 14) If we do so, we will not be afraid to correct a person needing counsel, regardless of his age.​—Gal. 6:1.


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