A few weeks ago I noticed my son sneak into our home office and climb up to perch on top of his dad’s swivel chair. He reached over the desk, opened a laptop and began fiddling with a pair of earbuds until they were nearly tangled into a ball, but somehow dangling from his little ears. When I startled him with a “What are you doing?” he immediately jumped, but enthusiastically followed with “Doing work like daddy!”
Influence is obvious in moments like these, but what is less obvious and every bit as true is this: we are all influencers and we’re all being influenced.
This week’s message from Acts 13 contrasts between the influences of Bar-Jesus, a man who has willingly submitted to the influence of the Devil, and that of Paul, a man who has willingly submitted himself to the influence of Jesus. Both men are voices in the ear of proconsul Sergius Paulus, and thankfully, the proconsul chooses the influence of Paul.
Like Sergius Paulus, we have input from countless influencers. Family, friends, social media and current culture push their views and values on us. Some are good, some are not so good and some are what we make of them. Ultimately though, our call is to choose Jesus as our influencer. We need to saturate our lives with His words, His story, His Spirit and His call. As we are immersed in Him, we are able to influence others for Him. We must know Him so that others can as well.
The question isn’t about whether we’ll be influenced or whether we’ll be of influence. The question is to whom will we subject ourselves to be influenced by and how will we use our own power to influence others? Let’s choose Jesus and let him drive our influence on others.
Take a few minutes to honestly evaluate what type of input we allow in our lives. What influences do we choose? What can we weed out and replace with Jesus?