Have you ever been around a person that just made you a better person? Whether it was their language, knowledge, or moral character, you just knew by being in their presence you somehow gained something from being with them. You have ingested their essence and persona and that being has deposited part of themselves, into you.
The same applies in the corporate realm. You often hear success stories that are usually built around the character of one, or two critical people. I think of the story of Walmart, and how the tenacity and character of Sam Walton forever changed the world of retail. It was his attitude toward people that helped him to be such a huge influence.
It is important to be wise who you choose to surround yourself with. Influence happens whether you are aware of it or not. Have you ever been around a group of people who are free with their speech and do not guard their lips, to find yourself on the verge of using the same language? The Bible tells us to keep watch of our influences in terms of people.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.
The beginning of the verse is a warning, implying that we can be deceived. It is a trap to think that we will not fall to the influence of others. We must not be so proud as to think that we exempt from the schemes of the devil. After all he is prowling like a roaring lion to seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). We must make every effort to purify our influences coming from people. What we ingest or take in by means of human influence must be pure.
In addition to human interaction there are other things that influence. Most of these fall in the area of entertainment, such as music, books, television, and internet media. We must be wise in how we consume these influences as they become part of who we are. In a sense we become what we eat, whether through consumption of music, or television, it impacts our lives.
Think back to when you were in high school, unless of course you were home-schooled . If you were to categorize, or classify the groups of people, most likely it would be by their influences. For example, the metal heads were influenced by heavy metal music, gangsters were influenced by rap, the jocks were influenced by sports, and the nerds were influenced by their pursuit of education. What we are influenced by matters. What we ingest or consume has a profound impact on our lives.
I remember hearing a story of a girl from England who drank so much Sunny Delight that her skin turned orange. She literally looked the color of Sunny Delight. She had consumed so much that it visibly altered who she was.
The same should be true of us as Christians. We should consume so much scripture that we are constantly radically changed and altered by its power. We should constantly submit ourselves to the influence of the Word Of GOD, rather than that of other cultural influences. We should spend so much time with Jesus Christ that we hunger for nothing more.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
Do you let the words of The Apostle Paul stir up your spirit, or are you hanging onto the choruses of Paul McCartney? Do words that are written in red manifest themselves in your living and pattern of life or are you more familiar with Taylor Swifts “Red”? Do you know more about the life of the patriarchs, or those who play for the Patriots?
The answers to those questions will help you know where your influence is. It will help you to identify if you are influenced by the culture or influenced by the Creator.
Come feast on the bread of life and hunger not. There is nothing that satisfies the soul like an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and a life transformed by His Word.