Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.  For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: We were not irresponsible among you;  we did not eat anyone’s food free of charge; instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you.  It is not that we don’t have the right to support, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.”  2 Thessalonians 6-10

I love to smoke meat. Over the years I’ve experimented with different types of wood and meat combinations. Having tasted many different flavors, I became savvy in knowing what wood types complimented various types of meat. Poultry does well with woods like hickory and apple. Oak takes beef and other dark meats to a whole new level. One thing is constant: meat always takes on the flavor of the wood.

A man’s life is always flavored by those he surrounds himself with. Paul understood this principle and gave a gentle reminder to the Thessalonians to stay away from those who did not walk wisely. In contrast, he urges them to imitate his example. This should prompt two critical questions for any man. What example am I surrounding myself with and what example am I setting. Keep in mind that examples of any kind are contagious.

DO THIS TODAY: Consider both the example you set and the example you follow.