The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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In his wisdom Paul touched the real problem of the practical Body life—the matter of the self-despising ones considering themselves inferior to others. Many of you still hold the concept that you are inferior to others. Moreover, some of the older ones think that they are out-of-date. Although they may not say this, such a subconscious thought is nonetheless within them. As you know, throughout the years my burden has been to promote the young people and to raise them up. This has caused some of the older ones to think that they are no longer needed. Hence, they have become deeply disappointed. Some of the older ones have said, "I have been in the Lord’s recovery from the beginning. Now it seems that, according to Brother Lee’s concept, all the older ones are through. He will not use the older ones on his team. We cannot learn the languages to go to Europe. In particular, we could never learn Hebrew to go to Jerusalem to have the church life there in preparation for the Lord’s coming back." Because of this feeling of disappointment, some of the older ones consider themselves as only good for retirement. However, so many of the older ones are still eager to be trained. On the one hand, some older ones are disappointed; on the other hand, many older ones are still eager to be trained to be useful in the recovery. The Body is the Body. The young people are not the whole Body. Rather, they are simply part of the Body.

It is difficult for the older ones to contact young people on the campuses. If I, an elderly person, were to go to the campuses, the young people would not be interested in talking to me. People gather together according to age. For example, it is difficult for a child of twelve to play with a child of five. The five-year-old would prefer to associate with those of his own age. The same is true of the twelve-year-old. For this reason, the older ones are not useful for going to the campus to contact young people. The Body, however, is not composed only of young ones. Although the older ones are not suitable for work on the campus, they are the ones to bear the burden to pray for the young people. However, it would be very difficult for the young people to stay home and pray, because they are eager to get on the campus and contact people. The matter of praying for the work on the campuses is a function of the older ones.

I use this one illustration to point out that the Body is not composed of just one class of people. On the contrary, it is a composition of many age groups. The young people should be strong and aggressive to work on the campuses. But the older ones need to be very exercised to pray for the young people. Furthermore, the older ones can invite all the young laborers to their homes for dinner. However, if the older ones gossip and complain about being useless, our situation will be pitiful, and we shall not have the Body. But I believe that many will say, "Praise the Lord for raising up so many young people! The Lord is using them for the work on the campuses. Let us pray for them and let us do certain practical things to help them." If this is the situation, the whole Body will be moving toward the goal of gaining this generation.

In all of the meetings, including the meetings of the ministry, all the saints need to exercise together. If you are indifferent or dissenting while I am speaking, it will be difficult for me to speak, and my speaking will be weakened and lack weight. However, if you exercise yourself to function as a member of the Body and use your spirit and your whole being to participate in my speaking, my speaking will be strengthened and become weighty. It will not simply be the speaking of the mouth, but the speaking of the Body.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)