A Look Back
As I look back over the last three years, I have to ask myself what has influenced me the most…good or bad. And the answer has to be my husband in the best way possible. And at a close second are my children and their friend group within our former church. And the third not far behind is Ester Queen of Persia. And then there is a small group of friends who loved me and accepted me as I am not who they wanted me to be and who didn’t assume they knew my circumstances. Now all of that being said this isn’t some linear grouping…some people influenced me more at different times than others. Notice how these are all VERY close to me. (Minus Esther who even though I have never met her became a close friend as I sat and had coffee with her every morning). There aren’t celebrities or politicians or some random guy that did something nice- OR- some internet sensation (AKA instagrammer or Youtuber)
BUT in the same vain- in the last three years, as I look back and see that the biggest negative influences in my life have also been those who were closest to me. Not the same ones who were listed above either.
A Look Ahead
So in thinking about this amazing Topic of the Power of our Influence I had to ask myself what are some of the most influential traits of Christians today and these are what I came up with. There are 9:
- Forbearance (AKA Patience)
We, as followers of Jesus know that these are called the Fruit of the Spirit and the context of this Fruit can be found in Galatians 5. The fruit is specifically mentioned in verses 22-23. Over the next 9 days we are going to look at these 9 traits and discuss how we need to change in pursuit of becoming more like Jesus.. AND THEN… we are going to flip these babies and talk about how these 9 traits can if not embraced be turned into 9 of the biggest negative influences within the Christian community and the body of Christ!
A Word to the Wise
I cannot tell you the number of times that I have heard believers IN CHURCH say something like this, “Oh well God didn’t make me a very patient person…..” and we use God as an excuse for our poor behavior and we choose to dismiss the sin in our lives as some sort of spiritual gift.
Nope, Wrong. Please Stop!!! This is called hypocrisy. We as believers are called to be like Christ- Christ Emulators . When we choose to wear our sin (Anything that goes against God and who he is) as a badge of honor- we defame Jesus not bring him glory and Honor.
Yes we all make mistakes. Goodness my patience is tested frequently. Sometimes I ace the test . And sometimes I bomb it with the biggest Fattest F you can imagine. But I cannot and should not- stand there and dismiss my poor behavior as an entitlement because that is just how I am.
Let’s be honest I am a far greater influence when I humble myself and apologize for my wrong doing (and actually change the behavior) than when I just dismiss it as who I am and ignore the pain I’ve caused. And in that lies the difference of WHAT kind of Influence you are.
One More Look Back
Over the summer our church did a study of “Respectable Sins”. loosely basedd on the book by the same name and compared them to the Fruit of the Spirit. What an eye opener.
There are so many things we as Christians hold on to. A couple that hit me upside the head: ANXIETY and Gluttony- but before you think I’m a glutton it had the reverse affect on me. Our pastor read a verse that convicted my heart that I was being fearful of what I was eating. After all the medical stuff I had going on and doctors kept throwing out scary things as possibilities (None of them really were what was going on though) I had started to let that control my mind. There are some others too but we will delve into those as they are appropriate!
Another Look Ahead
So now we have a plan for the next 18 days…(there is a plan for the remaining 13 as well- but more on that later). I can’ wait to dive into that LOVE trait tomorrow.
Let me know which of the above traits is your biggest struggle. (I already told you mine is patience. Not in waiting for things but with people) Is there some way you help to combat the struggle? I would love to hear about it in the comments befow.
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Write 31 Days 2021 Link up List (Scroll to the bottom)