If I asked you to name the people in your life that have influenced you, what names would you come up with? Well, first of all we need to understand that there are those who have influenced us positively but there are also those who have influenced us negatively. The scriptures teach us that “bad company corrupts good character”, but it also teaches us that there are those who become “salt of the earth” to us.
This whole idea of influence works both ways; we also are influencing others either positively or negatively. Others could come up with our name when they are answering the question of who influenced them.
Paul, in one of his letters to Timothy, reminds him of the many ways he should be positively influencing others. He said that he should be an example in the things he says, the way he lives, how he loves, how he lives out his faith and how he practices morality.
The wonderful thing as well as a horrible thing about influence is that it can affect more than one individual. It can actually be lived out from generation to generation. Someone who influenced your parents in choosing to become a follower of Jesus most likely meant that you were raised with the knowledge of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, someone who influenced your parents to make bad choices that led to living out bad lifestyles could mean that your parents taught you that those kind of lifestyles were OK. The truth is, we are influencing those around us that can affect many generations to come. So, how will they be influenced to live?