In our Bible Class on Wednesday evenings we’re studying the Sermon on the Mount. Right now we are doing an overview of it and one of the things we discussed last Wednesday was how we influence others as a result of our true character. I thought the following article by brother Darrick Shepherd of the S.W. congregation in OKC really fit in with what we discussed last Wednesday evening.
One of the greatest characteristics that Jesus had in His life was the ability to influence people in a positive way. What does it mean to influence someone? Influence means, to have the power of producing an effect without any apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command. When we influence people we do it by having an effect on people without using force or some kind of direct exercise of command. Jesus did this all the time in His ministry, He was able to get people to do things just by the way He acted or the words that He spoke to them. What kind of influence are we having on people by the way we live our lives or by the words that we speak?
As I work with young people I am constantly seeing them either influencing people or being influenced. When you work with young people, you often see them being influenced by the wrong people and as a young person they can be easily influenced in a negative way. Like Jesus, we want to help our young people to have the right influence in their lives. Therefore, we must be a church family that is always looking to influence people in a positive way.
I am reminded of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived, evil companions corrupt good morals.” Paul was trying to help the church in Corinth to not be influenced by the wrong group of people. I also think about what Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth…” also in Mathew 5:14, “You are the light of the world…” Jesus was talking to his disciples and trying to have a positive effect on their lives. He was a great influencer because He also lived these words.
What kind of effect are we having on people’s lives today? Are we influencing people in a positive way or a negative way? God calls His people to be a positive influence on the world around us. Are we doing that today?
— Darrick Shepherd
Until next week, I love you all,