Your Greatest Influence

July 26, 2022

If I were to ask you what or who is the greatest influence on your life right now, could you answer immediately? Would you need to think about it? Who would be in the running?

For someone to be a great influence in your life means that you either spend a lot of time watching them, listening to them, or being with them. Or it could be a combination of all three factors.

Is the greatest influence on your life who and what you want people to think it is, or is it factual?

The word “influence” means to affect a person’s thinking and behavior. As you consider the meaning of the word, you may need to reconsider who or what you honestly see as the greatest influence on your life.

        It could be CNN.

        Perhaps FOX news.

        It could be MSNBC.

        Truly, it could be God’s Word.

        Perhaps it is complaining, negative people.

        Maybe you are most influenced by positive, grateful people.

We could go on and on, listing candidates for your greatest influence. But you choose. Some of us choose by default. We don’t make intentional choices about who and what we watch, or who and what gets the investment of our time.

We certainly are not imagining that our thinking and behavior is being shaped and influenced by these choices, especially if they are by default. But we become what influences our thinking and behavior. The people who know you best can identify you by the way you think and act. It wouldn’t take long for them to connect the dots and figure out your greatest influence, regardless of what you say it is.

You want to do this on purpose. It’s the only way to live a life that matters and is satisfying.

Paul urged us to choose well: “So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 MSG

Remember, it is totally impossible to live inconsistently with the way you think. Not difficult. Impossible.