Imitate What is Good

3 John

3 John 11a

Some people have virtually the same accent their entire lives, simply based on where they grew up. Others, like me, pick up accents faster than they can say the word “time.”

Right now, I am living in the South with people from Georgia, Indiana, Canada, Michigan, New York, and Ohio – to name a few. Needless to say, my accent gets confused a lot. The moment when I say time, house, and you guys in one sentence and it comes out in a Southern, Canadian, Michigander accent you know that it can be a little much sometimes.

The same goes for us as individuals. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Like my crazy conglomerate of accents, we all are influenced by the people we spend the most time with.

Have you ever noticed how you start talking like the people around you? How you pick up their behaviors? How you start saying those little phrases? You are imitating the people you spend time with – without even noticing you are doing so! This can be a great thing or a terrible thing.

If you hang out with people who always are making poor decisions, chances are you’ll eventually join in. On the other hand, if you hang out with people who are following God to the best of their abilities, chances are you will start changing as well.

Be purposeful in imitating what is good and in avoiding evil things.

Spend the most time with the people you want to be like, and imitate what is good.

– Madison Cisler

Your Spiritual Genealogy (I Chronicles 3-5)

Tuesday November 15

cog-pastors

These chapters continue the genealogy starting with the sons of David.  We see some great people listed.  David ruled as king, and is considered one of the greatest kings of Israel, although he was definitely not without fault.  Solomon, who was granted great wisdom, and used that wisdom to judge the people of Israel.  He also had his faults and downfalls.   In this list are also people who turned against God’s plans and did evil.

 

Yesterday, I wrote about the genealogy of the country, and the families.  Something I read about this genealogy mentioned the spiritual genealogy that is in this list also.  These leaders listed sometimes helped improve the people’s relationship with God, and helped increase their faith.  Others tore down their faith.  This goes across family and ancestral lines.

We have a genealogy of our faith too, and will be part of others genealogy.  There are people who have affected the faith of each of us.  Some people have built it up and others have torn it down.  The people who affected us were affected by others.  The people who founded your church have affected you, because they brought the church family together and passed their knowledge and experience down through generations.  Those that founded the Church of God, and the Bible College have affected your faith through training of pastors, among other ways.

 

All of us are influencing others, and not just those we encounter personally.  A Sunday school teacher can plant the seed that develops into a passion to be a pastor, a missionary, a teacher, or something else.  A friend can be the seed that brings a new person to church, and causes their family to know God.  On the other hand, someone can lead those around them into sin, cause them to doubt God, or something else negative.  This could stop them from being an influence for God.  Our actions can spread much further than we ever expected.

 

As a shepherd boy, how could David have ever expected to be king of Israel, or to be an example listed in the Bible that generation after generation of children learn.  Please consider the question, “What will my part be in the spiritual genealogy of those around me, and those that I don’t even know?”

 

I encourage everyone to pray that we will each see how we can build up the faith of those around us, so that they can build the faith of those around them, etc.  Our spiritual genealogy is much more important than our family genealogy.

– Andrew Hamilton

 

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