Friday, December 18th, 2009
"Shepherd the flock of God in your care, not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly." (1 Peter 5:2)
Elderly members of the congregation appreciate the valuable help of those younger in years and treat them with dignity. In turn, youths respect older ones who have years of experience in serving Jehovah. (1 Timothy 5:1, 2) Christian elders seek out qualified men to whom they can delegate certain responsibilities, training them to help care for God’s flock. (2 Timothy 2:1, 2) Each individual Christian ought to value Paul’s inspired advice: “Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive [“yielding under,” ftn.], for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.”—Hebrews 13:17.
(Watchtower issue: 3/15/08, 1:16, 17)
*when you think of all the additional responsibilities that elders have in caring for the congregation, (as well as their own family members)...you can see how their assignment could either be a source of "joy" for them, or a cause for "sighing" -all depending on the attitude of the members within the congregation. If someone is overly critical and unappreciative, or has the tendency to be a trouble-maker, it's obviously going to place an unnecessary burden on the elders and could really 'sap their joy' when it comes to caring for the flock...which is of no benefit to anyone.
Just to illustrate the point...have you ever been around a friend or family member who was having problems with a particular person at their work? Even a person who is normally pretty easy-going and good-natured can become very negative and unmotivated when they have to deal with someone like that on a regular basis, because it has a bad effect on their whole demeanor and frame of mind. Which is all the more reason to take the counsel mentioned above, seriously.