How To Ruin Our Influence (Luke14:34-35)
As Christians we rely on one another to build up (edify) each other (Eph.4:29f). Our greatest comfort, counsel and confidence comes from God (Heb. 6:17-20). Turn to God’s Word for all your needs. There is but one way to find the greatest comfort, counsel and confidence.
A Christian’s greatest value is their influence. Luke 14: 34-35 teaches that our influence is more valuable than wealth and riches. “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Pr. 22:1; cf. Eccl. 7:1). Christ taught his disciples that their influence upon those around them, upon the world was important (Mt. 5:13-16). Salt and light are valuable but, when salt loses its savor and light is hidden, Jesus bluntly says, “It is good for nothing!” In Luke’s account Jesus says,“It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out.” There are many ways Christians can ruin their influence.
By Being Inconsistent
When a Christian’s words are inconsistent with their deeds their family and friends realize it. It is inconsistent and hypocritical to apply different standards to others than one applies to themself. It has caused many not to listen and thus not to learn when we try to tell them what God says. Why should others listen to us (even when we are teaching the truth) IF we are inconsistent? God warns us against saying one thing and doing another. “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, doest thou steal?” (Rom. 2:21).
By Being Unreliable
As hurtful as it is for a Christian to be inconsistent it is just as hurtful to one’s influence to be unreliable. More than any other people Christians should be known for being dependable. Regardless of one’s work Christians should be the most reliable, responsible and trustworthy workers. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to wonder how reliable, responsible or trustworthy Jesus would have been when he worked as a carpenter. Not only would others have employed him to build things for them but, they would be willing to listen to him when he taught them about more important things. Pr. 25:19 says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” Paul didn’t use Mark in Acts 15:38 because he had been unreliable.
By Being Unfriendly
Can there be any better way for a Christian to ruin their influence than by being unfriendly? The reverse of that is true, too! Being friendly may be the most effective way to influence others around us. Friendly people show themselves friendly,(Pr. 18:24). They think of others’ happiness more than their own.
No one wants to be around those who are unfriendly much less go to church with them. How can unfriendly people be a good influence? It may be that we think of ourselves as friendly but, find ourselves reacting poorly when others are unfriendly toward us. Being friendly is one way “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.” (Rom. 5:5).
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