Hebrews 13:7-9 "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them."
We are constantly put in the position where we have to choose others to have a part in our lives, from repairmen, to mentors, to doctors, and accountants. Each of them is needed to help is in their area of expertise. A good choice brings benefit to us and improves our situation while the wrong choice can bring us harm. How do we make wise choices when it comes to giving others influence and input in our lives?
The author of Hebrews is asking his readers (and don't forget they are followers of Jesus who are considering quitting and going back to being Jewish) remember/consider the ones who taught them about Jesus. He is asking them to remember the ones who explained from the Old Testament Scriptures that the carpenters son from Nazareth is was actually the fulfillment of all the prophecies and no less than the Son of God.
Then he says "consider the outcome of their conduct". Wise words. When choosing a doctor consider how his other patients have done. When choosing a contractor to build a house find out how the houses he has built already turned out. Consider the weight of evidence to see if any person should have influence in your life. Would you hire a man divorced 8 times to give you marriage counselling? Think about it. It's not charisma or looks or popularity that makes anyone qualified as appealing as those traits might be. There should be tangible evidence that they are qualified.
When it comes to truth and following God test your teachers. Look at their lives. If the fruits of following Jesus are love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness and self control, is there evidence that they have eaten of these fruits so to speak? Look at their lives. You're not looking for perfection but Peter's should be less brash and John's should be less vengeful and more loving and patient.
Verse 9 could keep me writing and telling stories all day but please consider Jesus. What did He talk about, emphasize, demonstrate, do etc... Followers of Jesus should resemble Him in conduct and views etc... A church based on hating a certain segment of the population like say Muslims, is clearly not a follower of Jesus who was a friend of everyone. A religious group that obsesses over diet or dress or any other side issue is clearly not following Jesus as He never modelled such behaviour. Look at Jesus and then align yourself with teachers and fellow believers who are looking to Him too. Think about it: Today...