PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Our influence on others isn’t something we always consider.
But there’s an ongoing ripple effect in progress.
Sir Isaac Newton introduced the law that states, “For every action, there is a reaction.”
I will not attempt to delve into the scientific side of that, but I know from an interpersonal perspective—those few little words carry a lot of truth.
Think about a trip to the grocery store.
You’ve had a long day.
It’s 92 degrees with 95% humidity (for those who think these numbers are insane, I live in NC… it’s realistic.)
You just want to go home and get out of stuffy work clothes and into a loose t-shirt and shorts, then veg on the couch with air conditioning and quiet.
But you’ve fought your way through rush hour traffic to get to the store and buy that one ingredient you forgot for dinner.
“Grumpy” is an understatement for your mood.
You get to the cashier (because on this day, all the self-checkouts are broken) and she bags your item and takes your money without comment.
Chances are good, that because of your mood, you’ll walk away grumbling about her attitude, even though she didn’t say a thing.
Let’s go back through the line and this time, the cashier is smiling, bubbly, and positive.
She makes pleasant small talk and you feel the weight of your day lifting as she engages in conversation.
You walk away with a little extra energy because of her attitude.
The cool thing about this exchange is that this cashier was uplifted by it too.
That’s the way these positive exchanges go (after all, a smile is contagious!)
But what about our first cashier?
You’ve walked away thinking she’s made your day a little worse, but what if it’s the other way around?
We give off social cues, even to strangers.
If you approached her line with brows furrowed and an angry expression, maybe she was too intimidated to say anything.
Your body language may have stopped her from trying to be as friendly as the second cashier.
Maybe the person whose day was negatively impacted by the exchange was hers, not yours.
As Christians, we have to be mindful of how we influence others.
A bad moment can cause extreme damage to a relationship we may be trying to positively influence.
In Titus 2:7, it says, “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”
Our integrity is a reflection of the faith we proclaim.
We can’t call ourselves Christians and say/do whatever we want, even on the hottest, muggiest, most frustrating days.
From our language to our actions, the way we interact with people matters to the Kingdom.
We are called to follow Christ and in doing so, show others the love of Christ.
As the hands and feet of Jesus, we have a responsibility to everyone we meet.
Even on days when we are just D-O-N-E, DONE.
Of course, we’re going to fail.
None of us are perfect.
But when we pause to remember the grace God has lavished on us, shouldn’t we want to do all we can to make sure others have the same opportunity?
Sharing His grace doesn’t diminish your own supply!
With all that said, we have an influence on the world around us.
Are you going to use yours in a God-honoring way?
Today, as you pray, praise God who loves us at our worst and who gives forgiveness and grace when we mess up.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be a positive influence on others in all situations so that you can be a light for Jesus in a very dark world.