Imitate Jesus

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. —3 John 11

This exhortation of John falls in between the illustrations of an evil man, Diotrephes, and a good man, Demetrius. In comparing the two, John exhorts us to imitate that which is good, not that which is evil. 

John says of Diotrephes that, "He loves to have the preeminence." Jesus had said, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them.… but not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves" (Luke 22: 25-26). If God has given you a position of authority within the church, then that means God has actually placed you as a servant to the church. 

Whether you like it or not, you are an influence to someone—for good or for bad.

No matter where you are, someone is looking to you as a role model, and following your example. Your child is learning how to be a parent from what they observe in you. Younger Christians are learning what it means to follow Christ from watching you. How important it is that we take this responsibility seriously. What are people seeing in you? 

If you don't like your answer, you can begin changing it today. "Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4: 12). 

Father, help us to imitate the good examples we see in Your Word, 

learn from the bad, and live consciously and mindfully, 

aware that others are watching and learning from us. 

In Jesus' name, amen.