We were talking the other day in Sunday School about “spiritual influencers.” Paul and the other apostles tried to be spiritual influencers for the people surrounding them. Jesus obviously was one too. Our pastor asked, “So who are some of your spiritual influencers.”
The first person who came to my mind was my grandmother Florence. My mom took me to church when I was little, but believe it or not, I don’t think of any of those church folks when I think of someone who influenced me towards God. (Sad, but so often the way with churches.) But my gram did. She did it in an unusual way though.
We would often have debates (Gram said I just liked to fight with her) and it would often end with her saying, “It’s in the Bible. Look it up.” I had never read the Bible, and I didn’t intend to, so the argument would end. She would be quite smug about it too. Eventually I decided to look things up. (We didn’t have wonderful things like Google and Bible Gateway back then so I really had to search the Bible.) Once I looked things up I found that she was often wrong! (Although even black type on white page would not convince her she was wrong. “My Bible is different,” she said to me more than once!)
When I related this story the other day, the Pastor asked me, “Do you think she did that intentionally?”
Well wouldn’t she have been one smart cookie if so. But I doubt it. She just wanted for me to stop arguing with her!
Like many other people I think Gram did know her Bible and she loved the Lord, but she had some skewed thoughts about what His word says. Those sayings that are not quite right that people still think are from the Bible. Like this one:
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”
(It’s not. Look it up.)
Whether Gram knew it or not – I still read my Bible to try and figure it out. She led me to the thing she truly wanted for me – salvation. I wish she were here today (now that I know the Word a bit better and am saved) so we could really argue it out! (Plus now I know she was wrong about a few things!)
As I got older and came more into my faith, other people influenced me too. But I still like to actually look it up for myself. And that’s a good practice to have. I have several people in my life that I am certain know every aspect of the Word and I still look it up for myself. That’s okay – those people are still influencing me, challenging me and encouraging me to firm up my faith with God.
Today I saw a video from a young woman I know (early 20’s) about her faith in God. I was so astounded that this young person was so wise and so willing to put her faith out there on the internet. And not just by writing, but a VIDEO. That’s scary stuff to me. But’s she’s influencing others for Christ and not afraid to do it. That’s, like, apostle stuff right there. That, my friends, is the Great Commission.
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” ~ Mark 16:15
In addition, she influenced me to reconsider that young people CAN make a difference!
Then I started wondering, “Who have I influenced for God?”
It’s hard to say. I like to think that I influence some of my readers here, I hope I have influenced other people in my family and some friends. Some of it comes from what I write here and some of it comes from just how I live my life. We can so easily influence people without even knowing it. I’ve been having more and more comments recently on these blog posts and I now know I do influence some. It makes me feel like I’m following His command too.
I think I’ll keep doing it.
So… who have you influenced for Christ today?