The Scriptures tell us that influence is a powerful thing. As humans we can be influenced for good or evil. I have known people who fit both categories. Call it, “hanging around the wrong crowd” or “running with the wrong crowd,” or even “misery loves company.” People are influenced by those they associate with. I have known people that greatly messed their life up by simply choosing the wrong company. A young man that I went to High School with, lived in the same town, we played basketball, Baseball and football together. In his senior year in High School, he ended up in prison because he accepted a ride on a Friday night with others. Things went really bad; a store was held up and a man was shot. This young man would have never done this on his own. He spent quality years in prison because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Bible does tell us that evil communication corrupts good manners.
One of King David’s sons; Amnon had a friend named Jonadab. Jonadab empowered Amnon with suggestions, when lived out caused a grievous sin to be committed. He raped his sister and this sin soon afterward cost him his life. Again, Evil communication corrupts good manners.
I have known many individuals that listened to the wrong voices and later suffered greatly because they did things that brought shame and reproach. It is so critically important that we allow good influences into our lives. We have to make hard choices and purpose in our hearts that we will not allow things or people to influence us negatively. The Bible tell s us that Iron sharpens iron. It has been said that if we want to be successful, hang around successful people.
Eve was negatively influenced by the devil and lost paradise. Resisting temptation to do evil requires watchfulness and diligence. We must purpose within our hearts not to defile ourselves just like Daniel did. Sure there were those that went along to get along. Daniel made a stand to not defile himself. As Christians we have to make good decisions and purpose within our hearts that we are going to do that which is right. That means that we will not entertain suggestions and ideas that are contrary with the Bible.
Joshua said, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua challenged the people to make up their minds, don’t be double minded or unstable. Make a Choice, Make a Consecration and move forward.
Paul said follow me as I follow Christ. Certainly, He influenced numerous individuals. He was determined to forget things left behind and reach forward unto worthy goals.
Paul influenced Aquila, and Priscilla, Silas, Timothy, Titus, Philemon. Even while in Jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, He influenced the Philippian Jailer and the Philippian Jailer and His Family heard the Gospel, Repented and were baptized that very night. Influence is a powerful thing. Jesus said we are the salt of the earth. Salt flavors, enhances, and preserves. In other words Salt has influence. Don’t lose your saltiness. Make good decisions and be faithful unto God. Walk humbly and He shall sustain you.
Paul influenced many for Christ. Let us do our best to love people and influence them to serve God. We will rejoice when we do so.