From Our Team

John Hoogenhout

Words of thought from our Church Team

How to be good steward of your influence

You will often hear me say something about ‘being a difference maker for Jesus in our circles of influence.’ We all have circles of influence: home, work, school, friends. Well, in a weekly devotional I subscribe to from Rick Warren (Saddleback Church), he addressed this very point – and stated it very well. I want to share it with you:- Everything you have is a gift from God – your health, your life, your salvation, your freedom, your friends, your family, your opportunities. God expects you to make the most of the things he gives you. The word for that in the Bible is called “stewardship.” Stewardship is the Old English word for “management.” And just as you manage your time and your money, you also manage your influence. God expects you to use your influence to help other people. What is influence? The Cambridge Dictionary defines influence as, “the power to affect how someone develops, acts, or thinks.” God expects you to be an influence. You should want to be influential. In fact, it’s quite selfish to say, “I don’t really care about the rest of the world. I don’t care about helping anybody else. I’m just thinking about little ol’ me.” In fact, Jesus commands that you use your influence for good in this world. You were put here to be an influence for good. God wants you to do that. Someday we’re going to give an account to God of how well we influenced others for good and for God. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, “Let your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.” Jesus doesn’t want you to waste your influence. You don’t buy a lamp and then hide it. You don’t get a lightbulb and then never use it. In the same way, it’s wasteful to refuse to use your influence. Later, Jesus said, “You are like salt for the whole human race.” Why does God want us to be the salt of the earth? Because salt seasons, it improves taste, and it preserves. Those are the three things God wants you to do with your life in this culture. God wants you to season the world – to make the world tastier and not so bland. He wants you to improve the world. And he wants you to preserve it and to keep it from going rotten. He doesn’t want the world to spoil. In fact, Jeremiah 15:19 says, “You are to influence them; do not let them influence you.” What we need in this world is a lot more positive influence. There are problems that need to be fixed and causes that need to be advanced – especially the cause of telling the whole world about Jesus – and we need every Christian to be influencing the world on Jesus’ behalf.
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