We replicate who we are. I’ve heard that from multiple sources and can confirm it from my own experience as well. Dawson Trotman, in his classic book Born to Reproduce, reminds us that we are designed to reproduce after our own kind. Bees produce bees, birds produce birds, and people produce people. In fact, God created people that they would be fruitful and multiply, reproducing like their own. It seems we’ve done that quite well as we pass a world population of over seven billion.
This concept goes well beyond physical replication, though. In a recent podcast from Michael Hyatt on replication, I was reminded that we replicate who we are in the workplace and in the home. Consider your management style or the management styles of those around you. If you are late to meetings as a leader, then the culture in the office follows suit. However, if a manager is prompt and starts meetings on time, then the office culture conforms everyone to do the same. Or, consider parenting (ouch!). We replicate in our children who we are as parents, both the good and the bad. Our sin issues are often passed down through generations. But, by God’s grace, so are our good qualities.
As we impact one another, we can replicate what honors God in our lives. In fact, we should do so.
As we study Titus, I hope you realize that Titus himself is a product of replication. Titus was most likely a convert from Paul’s gospel ministry (see Titus 1:4 – “my true child in a common faith”). Paul also took Titus along with him on ministry journeys (Galatians 2:1). As their ministry partnership grew, Paul was confident enough to send Titus with his letter of rebuke to the Corinthian believers (2 Corinthians 2:1-4; 7:6-9). Paul’s trust in Titus is further expressed when he sent him to aid in the collection of money to help the saints in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:1-6).
What strikes me most in Paul’s investment of Titus is not only that their partnership together grew but even more so that Paul replicated his heart for people. He writes in 2 Corinthians 8:16, “But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you” (ESV). In working together with Paul, Titus grew not only in ministry skill but also in his passion and love for others.
All of this together brought their partnership to the point that Paul was fully confident to put Titus in Crete to order the chaos there among the newly established churches (Titus 1:5). Replication works. It works in the physical world and it works in the spiritual world as well. Replication is God’s design.
The real question, says Michael Hyatt, is not, “Am I replicating?” but “What am I replicating?” Everyone has influence. Everyone impacts those around them. It takes intentionality to replicate the good over the bad.
Here are three words to remember as you seek to be active in replication:
Connect. Take a moment and reflect on your relationships. Whom has God put in your life? Think about your small group. Think about your neighbors. Think about your friendships, your children, your spouse, and your coworkers. What relationship could you connect with this week? It could be a regularly scheduled time such as a weekly discipleship group. It could also be something as simple as determining to invite a neighbor to go grocery shopping with you.
Focus. Now consider how you could use that time. Is there a lesson recently learned that you could share with that person or that group? Is there a way you could intentionally pass on some encouragement?
Engage. Last, follow through and meet up with that person and seize the opportunity. If you need to schedule something, then email, text, or call that person right now. Get it on the calendar and go for it! Or, if it is in a regular meeting opportunity, make a note of what you want to share so you can pray on the matter and remember when the opportunity comes.
Remember, we all replicate in some way. Be intentional to pass on what honors God. People need what you have.