I’ve been studying 2nd Corinthians and Paul realized that the proof of his mission is seen in the lives of his students. A question was posed and it really sent chills all over me. And that question was “Are those I influence better or worse for their contact with me?”
Whether we choose to believe it or not, we influence those we come in contact with in many ways. If you don’t think so, just consider your day. When you stopped in to get that morning coffee, how did the cashier treat you? How did you treat him/her? If you were in a grumpy mood, chances are you influenced her mood for the day or vice versa. Have you considered the people that you spend the greatest amount of time with? How are they influenced by you? Are you encouraging those around you or are you co-signing on doing things that don’t really enhance others lives and isn’t pleasing to God?
How many times have I had the opportunity to share God’s word with my friends and overlooked it? That’s one of the toughest things that plagues my thoughts. I’m diligently seeking to do God’s will and that requires that I speak the truth in love, so that we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ (Ephesians 4:15). So, I’m trying my best to live according to the scriptures and this means that I am going to have do what is required of me by God and this means sharing the message of God with all of those I come encounter with, whether they choose to accept it or not.
Difficult? Maybe. But consider the alternative…the judgement. How would you feel knowing that you may have been able to save a friend from eternal damnation by a simple planting of the seed? But because you didn’t, he/she didn’t make it. What will you say if God asks you did you do all that you could do? Did you not share the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20)? This in no way means that I am beating my friends and counterparts over the head with a Bible! LOL! It just means when you know better, you should do better:) I’d rather my friends get a little angry with me for sharing the truth in love (causing them to proceed with caution), than to never say anything and let them potentially drive off of the cliff (the equivalent of a lost soul).
Are you willing to take that stand too? I must say that I used to have a hard time with this, because if I spoke the truth I’d have to admit all the wrongs that I had and was continuing to indulge in. But I’ve surrendered. I’m not ashamed of who I used to be, because it’s brought me to this place. It is written in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek First his kingdom and his righteousness, that all these things will be added. And it tells us, that we have to seek him First! I know that God isn’t a liar, so I trust that if I’m seeking his will for me diligently putting him ahead of ALL things, I will be provided with all the things that I need. And I know that if you’re willing to place him First in every aspect of your life he will do the same for you.
So I ask you again…”Just how pleasing to God is your influence?”