Charge-offs and liens barely affect your credit score when older than 24 months. Therefore, paying an older chargeoff or a lien will neither help nor damage your credit score.
Chargeoffs and liens within the past 24 months severely damage your credit score. Paying the past due balance, in this case, is very important. In fact, if you have both chargedoff accounts and collection accounts, but limited funds available, pay the past due balances first, then pay collection agencies that agree to remove all references to credit bureaus second.