"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12
"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." Colossians 3:17
"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." Colossians 3:23-24
"For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100:5
Influence is kind of like a super-power, yet most of us don't realize the magnitude of it's power. Our influence can be used for good or destruction, so we must be aware and mindful of its use. Our influence is projected onto others in all the roles of our lives; parent, friend, co-worker, neighbor, sibling, and even as a stranger. People are watching, so that you can use your influence to point them to Christ. As believers, we are called to be people of influence—the Lord’s servants who point others to the One whose touch can change their lives. Are you an influence of Christ's love and action?
"God has entrusted each of us with influence in the lives of others. We have a deep responsibility in those relationships, not only to spouses and children, but to friends, employees, and customers. The temptation to press too hard, to demand too much, to force progress, or to orchestrate success can lead us to harm others even when we don’t realize it. For this very reason, followers of Christ are urged to be patient and gentle with one another." [odb.org]
"Perhaps you serve in some unnoticed place, doing nothing more than ordinary deeds. Others might think that’s a waste. But God wastes nothing. Every act of love rendered for His sake is noted and has eternal rewards. Every place, no matter how small, is holy ground. Influence is more than lofty acts and words. It can be a simple matter of human helpfulness: being present, listening, understanding the need, loving, and praying. This is what turns daily duty into worship and service." [odb.org]
What's a good example of how to use our influence when dealing with another and sin?
"The best example in the Bible of our approach to sin is Jesus’s interaction with the adulteress woman. He didn’t humiliate her (he waited until the crowd had gone away to even confront her personally). He didn’t shame her (she knew what she had done was wrong). He didn’t yell at her about right and wrong. But he also didn’t tell her she was “OK just as you are.” He didn’t tell her love trumps everything, even sin, so she was welcome to continue living as an adulteress, as long as her heart was in the right place and she loved God. (Which is a contradiction.) He extended grace to her because of His love, and He offered her the power to be changed. She had the choice to “go and stop sinning” after her encounter with the living Savior. Jesus offered her the ONLY thing that would heal her: repentance and forgiveness, made possible by grace. To excuse sin and exchange the standard of truth (God’s Word) for being in the popular crowd of acceptance, is unloving. How hateful is it to lie to them for temporary gratification, only to find out, when we stand before the Judge, that we are both condemned–us for having led others astray, and them for believing our lie?" [generationcedar.com]
Elisabeth Elliot said, "If we demand perfect role models, we will have, except for the Son of Man Himself, none at all.” We may not set out to be a 'role model' because we've all made mistakes and fall short of the glory of God. We can use those opportunities to be an influence with an intentional purpose of pointing others to God's grace and mercy.
- Trust in God's grace
- Fruits of the Spirit, not being overbearing
- Prayer, before and after witnessing
"Your words have the power of life or death. You are going to have the opportunity to use your words to hurt, demean, slander and wound others. You are also going to have the opportunity to use your words to heal, encourage, inspire and love others. You will occasionally make the wrong choice. Once the words leave your mouth, you can't take them back. Use your words carefully. When others are misusing their words, guard your words. Make the choice every morning that life-giving words will come out of your mouth. Be known for your gentleness and compassion. Use your life to give life to a world that so desperately needs it. You will never, ever regret choosing kindness." [A. B. Gardner]
May your influence in life always point others to Jesus.