Speaking the Truth in Love

It’s Catching

Brent Smith

Lately, a lot has been out there to catch – flu, stomach virus and common cold. We understand that via germs certain illnesses are contagious. In much the same way, certain virtues and dispositions are contagious. That contagious aspect is sometimes referred to as influence.

For example, exhortation and destructive criticism are contagious. It only takes one individual who constantly murmurs, complains and in general speaks negatively of the church (as a whole or of individual members) to incite others who begin to do the same. Conversely, a Barnabas,one who builds up and encourages with a positive attitude, produces others who in turn edify others and so forth. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man (Col 4:6).

The same is true when it comes to evangelistic fervor or apathy. It is amazing to see an evangelistic epidemic in progress! A teenager begins to bring a friend to Bible class and in short time the teen group in a church can triple and quadruple. A Christian family makes a special connection with a family in the community and after the influence of the gospel, that family is converted one by one and the process continues. We see the evangelistic successes of others in the church and we are encouraged to reach out ourselves. Your evangelistic zeal is contagious! And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising god, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:46-47).

Great things are happening in the church. Guard your influence and be careful what you catch.

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