“Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews [3:13])
Maybe this seems overwhelming to you. Maybe the responsibility sounds like it’s above your pay grade. I’ve never had any Bible training or, I don’t know how to talk with others about Jesus or, I think maybe my spiritual gift is being the quiet guy in small group who just soaks up everyone else’s wisdom.
While discipleship and spiritual growth are certainly sobering calls, they don’t need to be intimidating. Whether you are raising kids, or whether you’re discipling college students, serving as a full-time pastor, or simply doing life with your roommate, one of the most helpful principles to remember as you seek to invest in others is this: life-change is not only taught, but caught.
Fill Your Life with God
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 illustrates this principle. The nation of Israel at that time must have been at least a million people strong, if not larger. God spoke to Moses. Moses spoke to the people. But they had no public-address system to make his voice heard by all the people. How exactly were all the people to hear and learn the word of God? We do not know for sure all the ways that God’s truth may have been disseminated to the people, but we do know one primary way: “You shall teach [these words] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
This passage never mentions whether or not mom and dad were gifted in teaching. Probably, most or many of them were not. Nevertheless, God gave a blanket command to parents everywhere in Israel to teach their children the word of God, regardless of their gifts or spiritual maturity.
There is no mention here of a set precedent for formal family worship. Rather, there is the idea that they should so know and love the word of God that it would fill much of their normal day-to-day conversations. God’s law and principles should have rolled naturally off their tongues as they went about their daily activities so that the children would grow up saturated with God’s truth.
It should have been so often discussed that it was continually massaged into their mental and moral DNA. Holy living would be caught, not just taught.