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Be careful little eyes

By Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus

“Imitation” is from the Fun with “Shuns” study course about biblical teachings that end in -tion (“shuns”).

Today we share the second of the lessons with you.  Christians need to be familiar with core biblical teachings.  Fun with “Shuns” will teach you biblical truths, or it will reinforce the doctrines that you already know.  You must know what you believe so you can live and share what you believe.

The Fun with “Shuns” study course is available in a study guide/DVD format for church or small group gatherings.  For information on the DVD or iBook contact us.

Fun with Shuns #2

Imitation

im·i·ta·tion \ noun \ i-mə-tā-shən\

1: an act or instance of imitating

2: something produced as a copy: counterfeit

There’s a popular children’s song that warns children to be careful about what they see and hear.

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see

There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see

 

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear

There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little ears what you hear

 

Little eyes see what we do, and little ears hear what we say.  The Bible teaches that because we belong to Jesus we are to live in a way that reflects His love and character.  

Matthew 5:16  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The video “Imitation” and the children’s song, “Oh Be Careful Little Eyes,” remind us that our words and actions have great influence on the direction of our world.  The next generation is watching those who are adults.  What children observe will influence how they understand the world, what they believe and how they live.  

Think about some young people who might be watching you.  Think about what God says about being an example for the children in our lives.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

One way to train children is to live as an example of what we believe.  As the video illustrated, children imitate what they see and they repeat the words they hear.  This short poem reminds men of the importance of setting an example for children:

A careful man I want to be —
a little fellow follows me.

I do not dare to go astray,
for fear he’ll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do he tries.

Like me he says he’s going to be —
that little chap who follows me…

He knows that I am big and fine —
And believes in every word of mine.

The base in me he must not see —
that little chap who follows me…

(Author Unknown)

Adults must be diligent to be an example of good conduct for children who are watching and all Christians must be an example for those who watch us.  Paul wrote to the Philippian church and admonished them to let their conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27) and he wrote to Timothy that he should be “an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).  

How can we become examples of godly living for children to imitate and others to observe?  First, pray and read the Bible.  The better we know God, and the more time we spend with Him in prayer, the more surrendered to His will and ways we will be.  When we are surrendered the Holy Spirit works in and through us to conform us to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).  Another important step to grow in godly living is to fellowship with mature, faithful Christians.  

Just as children imitate what they see adults doing and they repeat what they hear adults saying, so also are adults influenced by those they see and the words they hear. That’s why the Bible tells us that we are not to have fellowship with unrighteousness and we are not to have communion with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14).  That does not mean we are not to be in community with non-believers, but fellowship and communion (a close and intimate relationship) is to be with the righteous (believers) who walk in the light (in faithfulness).    

The book of Proverbs tells that “iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friends” (Proverbs 27:17).  Proverbs is telling that only a material of similar or greater hardness can be used to sharpen.  So we must surround ourselves with other Christians who are as strong, or stronger, in their walk with the Lord.  They will “sharpen” us in our Christian walk.  

We live in a nation that elevates, and idolizes, movie stars, recording artists, athletes, politicians, and others who have achieved some degree of status based upon performance or image. While some of them may be godly, all too many reflect lifestyles of worldly ways and sin.  God has clearly told us that we are to imitate that which is good, that which reflects His ways.  

3 John 1:11  Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

To grow in faith and to increasingly live a more godly life, we are to fellowship with strong, faithful Christians and imitate their examples of holy living.  

Hebrews 6:12 (NIV)  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Hebrews 13:7  (NIV) Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

1 Corinthians  11:1 (NKJV) Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 

Hide God’s Word in Your Heart

Be diligent to surround yourself with godly men and women.  Listen to their words, observe their actions, and learn from them.  Read God’s Word for in it we find a “cloud of witnesses” who can help us “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).  

Hebrews 11 tells of faithful saints, now in glory, in Heaven, with Jesus, whose lives are an example for us.  This chapters is often called “The Hall of Faith” and it reminds us how. . .

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice.

By faith Enoch walked with God.

By faith Noah became heir of righteousness.

By faith Abraham became the Father of Jewish nation.

By faith Sarah became the mother of the Jewish nation.

By faith Abraham offered up Isaac to God. 

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.

By faith Jacob blessed both the sons of Joseph.

By faith Joseph made mention of the departure of the children of Israel.

By faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

As we learn from the godly examples of those who have gone before us, those who walked in faith, let us remember that we are to be examples to those who follow after us.  The next generation is watching and listening.  Be a Christian who pursues Christ, and lives for Him, so you can say to those watching and hearing you,  “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”  (1 Cor 1:11 NIV)

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