Today’s Scripture Selection: Third John 11

“Dear friend, do no imitate what is evil but what is good.”

I don’t often hear anyone describe an imitation as a good thing.

We want the “real deal” – or as they say in the country – the “gen-u-yne article.”  We don’t think much of a “mere” imitation.

But here, is Scripture, imitation is a commendable, even necessary thing.

We can imitate good or imitate evil.

We can mirror Christ’s example or Satan’s.

We can show that we are Christ-followers or something far less attractive.

We can imitate something that brings life – or death.

So, while I think being genuine is very important, I offer this simple reminder that sometimes the best thing we can do, and the best we can be, is a “mere” imitation of the one true God.

John put it simply and to the point:

“Anyone who does what is good is from God.  Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.”

Kind of clears things up – in a word of smoke and mirrors.

Prayer: Lord, show me how to imitate your love and grace to others, your goodness that is incomparable.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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