SEPTEMBER 19

Investing in People

Admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:14

Who are the people that have meant the most to you in your life? Who has had the most influence in your life? Your parents? A coach, a teacher or a Sunday School teacher? Undoubtedly they challenged you to rise above the status quo.

I remember people who cared about my character and who inspired me to a solid standard of holiness, devotion and diligence.

The bottom line? They all called me to noble, pure virtues.

Others have also stepped out of the herd and stepped up. Consider the famed scientist and inventor George Washington Carver who once wrote down what he called the "eight cardinal virtues":

1. Be clean both inside and outside.
2. Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
3. Lose, if need be, without squealing.
4. Win without bragging.
5. Always be considerate of women, children and old people.
6. Be too brave to lie.
7. Be too generous to cheat.
8. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.

Virtuous words. Yet even from a distance of nearly 100 years, they touch us at a deep level of our souls and call us higher than the selfish parts of our natures typically want to go.

I encourage you today to be careful where you look for inspiration—be sure that the people who influence you are those who can be counted on to lead you in the paths of purity and righteousness. And I encourage you to become an influencer, one who has the thick-skinned courage to step out and up and motivate others to be Christ followers. For Christ is the One who truly embodies noble virtue.

DISCUSS

Talk about your greatest role models and influencers. What did they do that called you to something greater?

PRAY

Pray that your head will only be turned by those who both preach and practice godliness.

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