No, this is not Math class, as fun as that would be! This is a picture of our faith. The Queen Anne’s Lace cluster pictured above was blooming beautifully in July. Halfway through August, this same cluster looked like this:
Not quite so beautiful, is it?
But just look at all of those seeds! Just one seed produced this plant, which grew several flower clusters, which in turn produced hundreds of seeds.
And so goes our faith.
Reproducing in Kind
Each one of these seeds, if it finds its way to the right conditions, will grow into a new plant, bearing lovely flower clusters which in turn will produce hundreds of seeds. These seeds will not produce apples, coconuts, or even zinnias. They will produce Queen Anne’s Lace.
Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, “You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). When we introduce people to Christ, their first impression of Him may be what they see in us. If they choose to follow Him, they may choose to follow our patterns of behavior, speech, and how we spend our free time. They may learn how to pray, worship, and study their Bible from the example we provide.
Even if we haven’t introduced anyone to Christ lately, each one of us has someone watching us, taking mental notes, and learning from us. More is caught than taught! We will reproduce something, whether we’re aware of it or not. Is the example we live worth being replicated?
Those learning to do as we do and be as we are will in turn reproduce themselves. It’s not just about the people we know are watching us; they in turn are being watched! Our influence reaches beyond the individuals we are directly in contact with, and is multiplied many times through relationships far beyond us.
In my first few years of teaching first and second grade, I had a wonderful mentor. She was always patient and kind, and always had control of her classroom while having fun at the same time. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up! Fast forward about 8 years, and I discovered that someone else wanted to learn the tricks of the trade from me! I don’t feel that I ever quite reached the awesomeness of my friend, but I was able to incorporate a few of her methods into my own teaching style. Thankfully I had a positive role model to imitate. Thank you for being you, Susie!!
We’ll never know how far our influence will spread! We need to make sure the example we provide is honorable.
Do Your Homework!
My son is a whiz at math computation. He’s quick with doing simple math in his head, but that’s because he put the work into learning the basics so they would stick. We need to do the same with our Christian life!
Jesus directed his followers to “go and make disciples of all the nations . . . teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” (Matthew 28:19-20). How we live in this world is going to impact our effectiveness at making disciples.
How then should we live? Jesus also told his disciples in John 13:34-35, “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Romans 13:10 tells us, “Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.”
How are you living up to this command to love others? If you could watch yourself for a day, what would you think of how you love? Is your example worth following?
- Are you searching out ways to make the day brighter for someone else instead of fighting for your own privileges?
- Are you taking time to really listen when someone is speaking instead of formulating your answer while they’re still talking?
- Are you looking out for the interests of others instead of just your own?
- Are you considering others before posting content on social media?
This homework isn’t a piece of cake, that’s for sure! But the more we practice loving others, the more natural it comes to us, and the better our example becomes for others to follow.