Wednesday, June 11, 2014
June 11 – Be an imitator
Dear friend, do not imitate what is bad but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God. (3 John 1:11 NET)
No one would admit to being a person who does what is “bad.” Even criminals have ways to justify all that they do, to put a positive spin on why they have no choice but to commit these crimes. We all think we are good in our own eyes, but that’s the problem. It’s God’s eyes that matter. What is “good” and “bad” to Him can be totally different from what we tell ourselves. God is urging us to learn what is good and bad, right and wrong, through the process of imitation. Because of sin, human nature is selfish, egotistical, and corrupt, so God wants us to learn by copying Him and His people.
“Doing good,” can sound so simple and easy to identify, like a boy scout helping an elderly woman across the street. But it really means, doing whatever God asks of us at all times. Doing good requires the combination of humility to accept what God asks, and the courage to execute it. It’s more than an act of charity, but a lifestyle of constant communion with Him. You can’t know the will of God at all times, unless you’re eagerly trying to listen to what He says. These people are of God – they are born of His Spirit. They are truly His children, and that is saying a lot.
But those who do what is bad, have not seen God. This doesn’t mean seeing God in heaven, but they don’t see Him in their everyday lives. They don’t see the opportunities He holds out to them, they don’t see the blessings He wants to shower them with. They don’t see through the lies of the devil to know that God’s power is greater, they see nothing but their own dull fleshly thoughts. These are the people who argue with us in church when we encourage them to believe in God’s power, and say that they already know what to do and that their faith hasn’t worked. When you are doing what is good, your eyes are opened and you see Him even in the hardest times.
Don’t take this simple verse as nothing more than an encouragement to be a “good person.” Look deeper and ask yourself if you are imitating those who you admire as spiritual leaders, or are you trying to do it all on your own?