Are You Influential?
An old Korean Proverb illustrates the power of one’s influence when it says, “Power lasts ten years, influence not more than a hundred.” Sometimes we may think, “Am I influencing anyone?” The question asked is really a faulty one. It’s not IF we are influencing anyone, but HOW are we influencing them. All of us are an influence on others either for good, bad, or indifference. What type of influence should a Christian possess? Let’s notice what God says.
Concerning our influence Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:13-16). Jesus likened our influence to two powerful examples in this text: salt & light. All of us can see the value and effect of these in our everyday life. For example, think back to the most bland and boring meal that you have eaten. Don’t you remember thinking to yourself, “This needs some spice?”. Our influence is that “spice” that adds flavor to life. Oh how we need to add good “spice” to this life. Then, think about the effects of light. When you walk into a room at night the very first thing you do is…turn on the light. Why? Light helps us to see and adds beauty, vividness and life to all it touches. The same is true of our example. Our “light” must shine in such a vivid and beautiful way that others can see it and glorify our God!
Parents especially have an influence on their children. Henry Ward Beecher so eloquently said, “What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.” How parents need to be that good example to set a principle for their children’s lives. Of the lasting effect of parents upon children the Holy Spirit said, “…bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). As the old hymn says, “God give us Christian homes” and especially Christian influence in the home!
As we think about influence may our question not be, “Am I influencing anyone?” But rather, “How am I influencing everyone I come in contact with?” May God help us to be influential for Him!