• The effect of something on a person, thing, or event.
• Power to sway: the power that somebody has to affect other people's thinking or actions by means of argument, example, or force of personality.
Another word for influence is persuading.
Today I pose the questions, “Who has influence in your life? Whose life are you influencing?
What things or people do you allow to sway your life? TV, radio, ancestors, tradition, your past or someone elses past, fear, culture, the opinions of natural unchanged men/women, etc.
Whether we know it or not throughout the course of our earth journey there are those in whom our lives greatly influence or sway and there are those who influence our lives. We affect those around us for good or for evil everyday by what we say and do. We can affect the way others dress, eat, wear their hair, train their children, and treat their spouses. We can sway peoples self-image, the way they think and speak, money management, the way they interact with God, their perception of God, etc.
In the book of Acts chapter 18:12-13
… the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
Here we see that Paul’s influence among the people was perceived by some to be contrary, although Paul was sent by God. Power persuades. The limited power of the kingdom of darkness persuades and the ultimate limitless power of God persuades. People and things can be greatly influence by power, even if it is weak power. Paul lived a life that demonstrated true power and therefore many people were willing to listen to what he had to say. Paul told the people to follow me as I follow Christ. In other words allow my life to influence your life in respect to my relationship and fellowship with God.
In 2Corinthians 5:11, Paul says:
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Paul knew that he would someday have to stand before God and give an account of the life he lived and the influence he had in the lives of others here on the earth. Influence carries with it great accountability. The children (natural and spiritual) that God entrust to us here on the earth are influenced by our lives; we can sway their hearts toward good or evil. If we influence children to be partial and have respect of persons because of our own fears and pride we will have to give answer to God for that misguided influence. We can by precept and example influence our children to love and honor then we our responsible for that influence as well.
What kind of a sway do you have on people around you? Are you the kind of Christian that influences everyone around you to be carnal? Or does your life persuade and stimulate spiritual hunger in people? Do people follow and emulate you because you follow and emulate Christ?
Jesus delegated the power of influence to His Church. He told Paul, in Acts 26:18, that he was chosen and appointed by God:
To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.
You too are a light and influence in somebody’s life, whether they are young or old. So let that light shine bright before them so that they may see your good works and glorify God by following in your footsteps.