(1 Cor 11:1) Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
We’ll never know the influence we have on one another. And that influence can produce a chain of events that can have untold impact, reaching many. Consider the following:
One day a man by the name of Edward Kimball gathered the nerve to witness and win the soul of a young shoe salesman named D.L. Moody to Christ. D.L. Moody went on to become one of the greatest evangelists in his day. But, do you know the rest of the story? D.L. Moody went to England and worked a profound change in the ministry of F.B. Meyer. F.B. Meyer, with his new evangelistic fervor, influenced J. Wilbur Chapman. Chapman helped in the ministry of converted baseball player Billy Sunday, who had a profound impact upon Mordacai Ham. And Mordacai Ham, holding a revival in North Carolina, led Billy Graham to Christ. And the man who started it all was Edward Kimball, who took seriously Christ's commission to be a witness for Him.
Sometimes we feel like the little guy in a big world who can make no real change in the larger picture. Our culture is celebrity driven. If you’re not a superstar, then you won’t go very far. We live our lives out through others because we feel so insignificant in ourselves. But one quiet influence can have far reaching implications.
Timothy felt timid about his effect on others. But Paul told him to pass on what had been passed on to him. (2 Tim 2:2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Paul had invested in this young man for years. It was time for Timothy to be an influence on others who in turn would influence others themselves.
Think about the people that have been influential in your life. If it wasn’t for them you might not be what you are today. Now you are in a position to be that catalyst to others.
People need someone to believe in them. That’s because most of us do not recognize our own giftedness. When someone recognizes the uniqueness in someone else, it can motivate that person to pursue their God-given talents and make a difference that wouldn’t be there otherwise.
Who is that person in your life that needs your positive influence in Christ? A family member? A friend? A co-worker? It’s usually the person God has already placed right in front of you. Everyone needs encouragement. And in so doing we can start a domino effect of unimaginable consequences.
There is a lack of positive role models in our world today. As a result, evil has its way in the lives of many. Bad influences abound. (1 Cor 15:33) Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” That’s why the Bible instructs us to “. . . not imitate what is evil, but what is good . . . (3 John 1:11). We are to seek out godly people who can influence us for the good in Christ. (Heb 6:12) . . . imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Influence. It’s a choice we all have to make. Pursue good influences in your life and watch your life change for the better. Then go out and be a positive influence on someone else. You just might start a chain reaction! (Pro 13:20) He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.