The Power of Influence

Every one of us needs to be cautiously aware of the power that our influence has on other people. As parents, older siblings, even older adults, we all have people that are looking to us for leadership and guidance. Our choices are being watched by these people who are affected by our influence, and we will be accountable to God for the way that our influence impacted those who are looking up to us. Charles Barkley made the quote, “I am not your child’s role model,” but in reality he was a role model to many children. We may not want to have influence on others, we may not want others to be influenced by our lives, we may not want to be accountable for our influence; but what we want does not change the fact that we are. Every one of us is being watched by others. Every one of us is being followed by others. Therefore, it is paramount that we follow the Lord in our lives so we can influence them toward Him instead of away from Him. I have seen younger brothers follow in the steps of their older brothers for good and for evil. I have seen children follow in the steps of their parents for evil and for righteousness. I have seen younger teens follow in the steps of older teens into evil and into holiness. No matter if we like or not, if we desire it or not, if want to admit it or not; the fact is, we all have influence on others, and we are accountable and responsible for how our influence affects those who are under it. Parents, our choices about our involvement in church or lack of it, which church we are involved in, what we believe about God and His Word all has influence on our children and the direction we send them off into life. The habits we allow in our lives as parents, grandparents, and adults will invariably influence those coming behind us and affect their involvement in these same habits whether they be good or sinful, healthy or destructive. This is a reality that the Lord is constantly speaking to my heart about; I hope that you are hearing Him speak to your heart about it as well. I am sad when I see people acting like they are an island unto themselves and they do not even remotely think about how their choices and action will influence and impact those that are around them. God even says, “none of us liveth to himself” in Romans 14:7. We are answerable to God for how we live, and we are answerable for how our lives influenced others. Let each of us make sure that our influence on others is for God’s glory and their good.