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. (3 John 11)

WES LIKED THE WAY JASON OPERATED at work. Jason was smooth. He connected with everyone, it seemed. Executives would actually stop by Jason’s office to get his opinion on decisions to be made. Sometimes they came just to invite Jason to lunch. Jason was on his way up the corporate ladder, and Wes watched to see if he could learn how to follow in Jason’s tracks. So Wes started dressing like Jason. He subscribed to the magazines Jason read. He went to the same conferences as Jason and, as they were reconciling receipts for travel reimbursements to one such conference, Wes copied Jason’s long-standing habit of charging a few personal items to the company’s travel budget. Jason assured Wes it would never be noticed, but it was. They were both dismissed on the spot.

There are often very painful consequences in imitating evil, in the early church as today. Integrity is damaged. Reputations can suffer. Years of progress can be swept aside. Relationships with God and others can be strained or broken.

Doing good is not impractical or shallow. In fact, in his next job Wes discovered that doing good often lines the pathway to real success in the business world as well as in the rest of life. It can be the way to not just survive but thrive in the blessings of God.

Walk away from any instance of imitating evil today.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves his wife, kids and their spouses, preaching, teaching, music, coffee, friends, and Nebraska football.