Today I am pondering the power of influence. The influence of people we love and trust seems to be the most powerful. Today a friend and I were discussing a hot topic. She and I share the exact same belief on this topic, as we have discussed it many times. But today she confessed that she has had similar converations with another person who has caused her to question her own convictions. Bottom line...she loves and trusts that person, and that has influenced her thinking. The good news is that this can be a great thing. The bad news is that this can be a horrible thing.
Few people actually ever draw their own conclusions. I think it's fairly common, even if not recognized, that most of us at some point and time in our lives, have made many of our decisions and established many of our beliefs, as a result of the influence of someone or many someones we have loved and trusted. Even if their beliefs have not been founded on anything solid or sturdy.
I KNOW I have been guilty of this. Probably still am to some degree. But I try sincerely and I deeply desire that the Christian that I claim to be is authentically seeking truth, only influenced by scriptures and the spirit of Christ Himself. I want to be under the influence of Christ. I love you, but I want to honor Christ. I trust you, but I trust Jesus more. I want to honor you and encourage you, but only in the things of Christ. I can't be a cheerleader for the world. I can't sign my name on a line that Jesus wouldn't sign His name on. Oh, I could, but that would be going against His grain and I want to go with His grain.
That is not a closed minded desire. If anything, it is the opposite. Because Jesus wasn't closed, He was open. He wasn't open to accepting sin, but He was open to forgiving it. All of it. Not just mine and not just yours....but the sin, ANY sin, EVERY sin, of ANY one and EVERYone who seeks Him. That to me is "open" not "closed".
Me? I'm a disciple of that. An ambassador of that. I am a cheerleader for that and a journeywoman for that. I don't want to be under the influence of the world. I want to be sloshed in grace, mercy, forgiveness and love.
The answers and the instructions are in the scriptures. Turn the pages.