A Lasting Influence

A Lasting Influence

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:2-6

Speech plays a major role in our influence. Speech and actions are the two primary ways that we influence those around us. If our words differ from our actions, people will see it. Paul died 2000 years ago, and his speech is still influencing Christians today. Our words can have a lasting impact! In 1887 the coffin of Abraham Lincoln was pried open to determine if it contained his body. What makes that act so remarkable is the fact that Lincoln’s body had rested in that coffin for 22 years. Yet, even more amazing is that 14 years later a rumor circulated again that Lincoln’s coffin was actually empty. The rumor so gripped the land that the only way to silence it was to dig up the coffin–again. This was done and the rumor silenced when a handful of witnesses viewed the lifeless body of Abraham Lincoln.

Words have power. We know the harm that can come from them, but also the good. 

In fact, we can use words to build up or tear down. To build, or destroy our influence. 

Facebook is a king of spreading words. Each one of us has our own unique set of friends that see our posts. And although social media can be used for good, sadly the majority of posts are negative. Christian influence can go a long way on Facebook. But what good are we doing if all we do is argue and tear down others? Colossians 4:5 says, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.”

A wise person isn’t going to get involved in a fruitless Facebook conversation. A wise person isn’t going to chew out someone else. A wise person doesn’t use his influence to hurt others, but he looks for ways he can be a good influence. 

“Conduct yourselves with wisdom towards outsiders, making the most of every opportunity.” You have an opportunity I will never have. You can have an influence on your family that no one else has. So make the most of it. If you’re like me, that sounds extremely hard. But we do it for the souls of our children, our spouses, and our friends. Our influence has the ability to instruct, and to lead our homes to Christ. 

If someone paid you 10 cents for every kind word/action you did for others, and you had to pay 5 cents for every bad word/action, would you be rich or poor? Our influence is so important. We must grow it, and pray for it. What has my influence done? Has it brought my family closer to Christ? Has it grown at all? Is my influence better than it was last month? Has it charged me as guilty? What kind of influence is in my book of life? Has it instructed my children? Has my influence been profitable? Let’s be sure to leave a lasting impression while we have the chance.

Carl Pollard

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