We all play many roles in life. Whether you are grandparent, a son or daughter, friend, spouse, employee or cousin, Dad, mum or neighbor we all share a common link. We all have influence within our sphere of people we interact with.
Some in our society today have jobs on social media as influencers, people who would represent what they think is cool or not. People who like to set trends or use their influence to shape the world around them.
We all have Influence. Some have small amounts, others have bigger amounts, generally though, one person can’t influence everyone. Collectively though as a church we can have a positive influence on our community and the spheres of people in which we all travel.
Having influence also carries responsibility. We all have a cloud of witness’ (Hebrews 12:1) or people watching in on our lives. Those we live with have front row prime seats into the outplaying of what lies within our hearts through our actions. We can all talk a good talk, but when it comes down to it, how we live out what we believe will speak louder than any summation of our beliefs we could offer.
Our actions will always speak louder than words.
If I was to tell my wife and child, I love them very much, yet spend all my time at work or on a hobby leaving little time for them, my actions would begin to send them a message I genuinely don’t want to be sending. My actions of spending longer at work may in fact be because I desire to provide for and look after them, but the message I’m communicating to them is that work is more important than they are. To put it another way, the message I send and how they see it is ‘You love work more than us.’
The Apostle Paul spoke about it this way to the church at Philippi:
So, my dear family, I want you, all together, to watch what I do and copy me. You’ve got us as a pattern of behaviour; pay careful attention to people who follow it.
Philippians 3:17 NTE
Paul told them to follow the example he set for the people of Philippi. Now, lets just stop on this thought a minute;
Could we tell people to follow our example?
If someone was in doubt about how to live the Christian life, could we use ourselves as an example? Maybe there in lies the challenge some of us require to be living out the kind of faith that changes and challenges those in the world around us.
God grants each of us a sphere of influence that we can use to bring into the world and encourage and bring people to faith. This will require courage as we determine what we do with our influence. Whether we hide it under a bush or put it out on display.
Let’s look at a final question.
If we are surrounded by people looking in on our lives daily and if some of those people are impressionable by the way we conduct ourselves and the way we respond or react to circumstances we need to ask the question:
What am I modelling?