Being people of influence

Today I read a post in Every Square Inch. It talks about praying for those who hurt us–our enemies, and how the writer was reminded of that command of Jesus from hearing a prayer request of his 8-year-old son. It is a well-written post.

The writer mentions specifically about praying for our cultural enemies–those who have power to influence our culture in a negative way–that they may know Christ. Related to this issue of influence is what I want to say here.

When I think about being people of influence, I am reminded of a question that a friend once asked me about Indonesia. By the way, he is not an Indonesian. It seemed to him that Christians in Indonesia have been trying to be people of influence by securing positions that are highly respected or influential in the society. When I heard that, I thought that was common sense. If you have a high position then of course you will have large influence in the society. And if you are a Christian then your influence will be also Christian or biblical, since your worldview shapes what you do.

But it seemed to me that he was not very keen with that move. I think he saw that it was better for us to just be ourselves and share our lives with those around us. Just be an ‘influential nobody’, I could say.

When I think about these, I believe both should go hand in hand. Often when we consider about our calling in life, we dream of something big, we dream of being an ‘influential somebody’, because we believe that by being an ‘influential somebody’ we can lead many to know Christ. It is good to dream big, of course. But often we get consumed with our own ambitions in the future so much so that we forget about those around us in the here and now of life. We get consumed with equipping ourselves for the future, while neglecting to be a blessing unto others, to share our lives in every single minute that is passing into the past.

A friend reminded me a few months back that we need to be good stewards of what is entrusted to us. I still remember what she wrote then, when she said that she decided not to go into seminary because she realised that for her it was more for gaining knowledge for herself than to serve people. It struck me for indeed it is true that we often forget that we are called to serve in the first place, for it brings glory to God when we are willing to be used by Him to serve. This should become our way of life.

Sometimes I realise how much really has God given me that I have not shared with others. And yet time is passing. And time that has passed means time that has been lost. So long as we still have time, then, share our lives with others. We shall not let ourselves forget that even in the here and now, we can be people of influence.

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