“Dear friend, do no 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.” 3 John 1:11, NIV
Do you remember learning about mitosis? The human body needs to make about 300 million new cells per minute, and mitosis is part of the eukaryotic cell-division cycle (eukaryotic cells are cells that have their chromosomes packaged in a membrane bound nucleus). When human cells undergo mitosis, an exact copy of our forty-six chromosomes is made during a period called the Synthesis-phase (we actually have twenty-three “pairs” of chromosomes, as we receive twenty three chromosomes from our mom and twenty three chromosomes from our dad, 23 + 23 = 46). During the replication process, three billion DNA bases (adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine) have to be copied in 4-6 hours without a single error! The new chromosomes are then separated into two identical sets, which become packaged into two new identical cell nuclei. Mitosis is a continuous process, but occurs in five identifiable steps or stages; 1) prophase, 2) prometaphase, 3) metaphase, 4) anaphase and 5) telephase. As you can see, this process is very complex and highly regulated. If DNA copy errors occur during mitosis, the cell will either die in an event called apoptosis (programmed cell death), or the mutation may lead to the development of cancer (uncontrolled mitosis).
As I was thinking about the mitosis miracle, I was struck by the amazing balance and precision that is necessary for life to occur. Just one error during mitosis can lead to either cell death or the development of a life threatening cancer. The same is true of the decisions that we make. Isn’t it amazing how one good or bad decision can change the whole course of our lives?
God gave us the Bible so that we could know the thoughts of our Creator and to help us make wise decisions. One of the critical decisions that we must all make is our choice of Godly or ungodly friends. The Bible is full of direction in this matter. For instance the Scripture says;
– “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV),
– “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” (Proverbs 1:10, NIV) and,
– “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20, NIV)
God is love, and I know that we must be careful to judge or condemn others, but the fact still exists that we are either influencing others or we are being influenced. We must love everyone, but we don’t have to replicate the evil behaviors around us. How are we influencing the people that God has placed around us? Are our intentional (and unintentional) words and actions leading others closer to Christ or further away?
The wonderful thing about Jesus is that when we really screw things up, He stands ready to forgive us and help us get our “spiritual mitosis” back on track if we will just repent and ask for forgiveness. The Bible says it this way, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV) Thank you Jesus for the miracle of mitosis, Godly influence and Grace.
(1) Information taken from: http://www.biology.iupui.edu/biocourses/n100/2k4ch8mitosisnotes.html