UNDER THE INFLUENCE

The world is filled with influential people who affect the way we think, eat, dress, talk and send our time. You would be naive to think otherwise. The old adage that ‘no man is an island’ is so true. You are under the influence. It could be family or a spouse, a friend or a celebrity, a faith or a passion.

Role models surround us but I wonder how many are truly worthy of that description. To be fair, sometimes the media that artificially creates them also dismisses them. They never declared themselves role models… Who is yours? And most importantly, why?

Most of mine are probably authors, thinkers or pastors. Some dead, some alive. Some familiar, some very distant. I relate to them through their experience and work. I feel enriched and better equipped through them. And then there are a few people who individually influence me through their friendship, wisdom, compassion, boldness, resilience and humour. None of these are perfect or have a sense of completeness, yet they are influential.

I was pondering today on Paul, the trailblazer of the first century Christian faith. And his statement: ‘Follow me as I follow Christ’… Talking about influence, Paul had his priorities right. Jesus impacted His life in such a way that he was unashamed in boasting about this great influence, despite the fact that he could have easily talked about the great scholars who taught him.

And even more staggering is the fact that he humbly yet confidently was exhorting the believers in the Church in Corinth to follow him. Risky business you might think. But when it is an overflow from his Jesus obsession, it works just right.

Could you say those words as boldly as Paul? Would you say them? Could people see that in your life? These are just questions I ask myself.

I pray for you as I pray for myself. May we become influencers as we are under the influence of Christ’s Spirit, and give he believing world no reason to say, ‘I like Jesus but I can’t stand Christians’.

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