How far reaching is my influence?
All of us influence those around us. As a minister, I’ve known for most of my life that people are watching. Sometimes they think of me higher than they ought. Unfortunately, some want to catch me in a fault. Hmmm… That’s not so hard! But, this is true for each of us regardless of title or position.
I recall the commercials where a father paints the house, washes his car, and skips a stone. His son mimics every move the dad makes. Afterwards, under a shade tree, dad reaches for his pack of smokes. And, the child picks up the pack. What do our children and grandchildren see us doing? What is my influence?
Even in church, does my wife recognize me as the same person she sees each morning during the week? Do I change faces in the public eye? What is my influence?
When I drive down the highway, what picture do I paint in the mind of other drivers if I choose to go over the speed limit? On the one hand, does my aggressive driving tell them anything about my character? On the other hand, perhaps it’s my overly cautious driving that speaks volumes.
At work, my relationships with co-workers, subordinates, and managers send a message. In addition, my business dealings tell all who see the type of person I am.
All of these messages and more determine what my influence will be.
The Word on My Influence
I was reading the other day and these words spoke to me about my influence:
God, You know my foolishness,Psalm 69:5-6 NASB
And my guilt is not hidden from You.
May those who wait for You not be ashamed because of me,
Lord God of armies;
May those who seek You not be dishonored because of me,
God of Israel.
An Old Hymn About Character
I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare,
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend of all— the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving, and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift,
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.
I would be prayerful through each busy moment;
I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.
I would be tuned to hear the slightest whisper;
I would be true, and keep in touch with God,
I would be true, and keep in touch with God.
I Would Be True” by H. A. Walter (1906)
Read all of Psalm 69 at BibleGateway.
Additional articles to read: Wrong Turn and Count the Cost.