Several years ago, I spent a year studying twelve books with some of my sisters in Christ. Being the Body by Chuck Colson, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World by Rebecca Manley Pippert were the most personal, potent, and provocative, because they dealt with the notion that God calls us to be an influence for him. That’s a scary thought isn’t it? Still, I highly recommend each of these books, because reading and studying them is fascinating, challenging, and stimulating.
We might think, how can I influence others or how do I become a person of influence for God that he’s proud of? We want to apply what we learn to our life don’t we? Asking ourselves questions like—what is the difference between being a witness for Christ and being an influence for Him?—or how does my relationship with Christ become an influencing factor when I am just learning how to be a person of influence?—will bring us clarity. It’s hard to wrap our minds around one concept or another, or one book at a time, but we quickly discover that all the puzzle pieces fit together differently depending on circumstances. It may torment us that we can’t always choose our circle of influence. Still, we should remind ourselves that God isn’t as interested in choices that please us as much as our devotion to him and how our influence will affect others.
Thus, the progression begins with the realization that taking ourselves out of the picture and painting it afresh with only God in the picture is the perfect way to start. By placing our thoughts at the throne of grace as we seek to influence all levels of society, our perspective must include how God’s grace brought us to higher ground. Then we can turn away from the temptation of thinking that because we are Christians, we have the right to judge others.
Our thoughts prompt our actions and choices, so it’s important that they fall under the cosmic microscope of God’s perspective, which is his choice to give the gift of unmerited favor to the unworthy. Shouldn’t we also give favor? To all people, no matter the color of their skin, what they’ve done, or where they’ve been?”