When I was a little girl, my family spent several weeks in England while my Dad was doing ministry there. By the time I came back, I had picked up a British accent and went around saying “It doesn’t matta” in my crispest five-year-old diction.
As Cotton Mather, the well-known American Puritan once wrote: “examples do strangely charm us into imitation.” That’s why we tend to talk, dress, and behave a lot like the people we live and mingle with—even after only two weeks. Or, as Proverbs 13:20 observes: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
By reading biographies, we can “walk” with wise men and women from history and become wise ourselves through their trials, obstacles, doubts, victories, and strengths. And because they have already finished their journey, we can discover what it means to live and end well.
That’s one of the reasons we chose this book on the life of Elizabeth Prentiss. We want to walk with this wise woman for the next several weeks and learn to imitate her life and character as she honored Christ. While we can all identify with her sins, weaknesses, and temptations—which is part of what endears her to us—our hope is that we will also glean from her faith in trials, display of godly womanhood, and most of all, her sincere love for Christ.
May her example charm us into imitation.
Book Club Assignment: Begin reading chapter one and check back Monday for more book club conversation.