Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Using Your Influence

Is someone watching you? Are people looking over your shoulder when you don’t know it? Most likely, they are. They probably aren’t watching you with bad intentions, but there is a great chance that people are taking notice of your words and actions today.

Jesus had this in mind in Mark 9:42-50,
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (ESV)

In this passage He is speaking to the disciples about some false teachers that are doing miracles, by using His name, for their own fame. The motivation of these false teachers is misguided as they are helping people for their own glory instead of working for the glory of God. While these false teachers doing miracles is an interesting issue, Jesus seems most concerned with the influence we have over other people.

From the context of Mark 9 we can see that Jesus had just been holding some small children as He spoke to the disciples. Most likely, then, He has them in view as those who are being influenced by the adults around them. However, we need to realize that we influence people of all ages every day by our words and actions.

Jesus offers a stiff penalty for those that would use their influence to encourage sin and ungodly behavior. I pray that you will take this warning seriously. I also pray that you would live your life with this warning and encouragement in view. Too often, we live as if what we say and do actually matter very little. This is not the way Jesus lived and it is not the way He expects His followers to act.

Today, you are influencing people. What are they learning from you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A great reminder of how little thought we give to our actions everyday.