It does not take long after becoming a Christian to wonder what God’s will is for your life. It might be the first question you ask when coming into the faith. Like any theological question, it rarely comes with a straight answer.
The Lord might not tell you if you should buy a house, switch careers, or something of that nature. However, He does tell you what kind of person you should strive to be — someone who loves God and loves their neighbor.
How do you live faithfully and influence others?
The answer can be found in the two greatest commandments. First, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Second, to love your neighbor as yourself.
To live faithfully you must follow the greatest commandment, and to influence others you must follow the second greatest. You cannot separate the two commandments. If you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, then you are naturally going to love your neighbor.
To love God is to receive his love (1 John 5:3). There is nothing you can give to God that he did not give you first. You can do nothing to increase or decrease God’s love for you. This is the wonder of a gracious God.
The start of abiding by the greatest commandment is to understand God’s love and receive his forgiveness. The reality of God’s overwhelming grace leads you to repentance. No longer do you have a taste for the folly that kept you from the divine love of your creator. Trusting God’s goodness strengthens your weak flesh, and you speak the words of Christ: “Father, thy will be done.”
Once you humble yourself before God, everything else falls into place. Anyone who submits to God will inadvertently influence others as a star shines in the darkness.
You will find your heart aching for things it once did not. You will speak about Christ, and you will find you are able to provide spiritual encouragement to the downtrodden.
You become an influence by living faithfully. Yet there are different levels at which you can influence someone. You could influence a homeless person by providing them a room on a cold night, or you could influence your preacher by thanking him for his dedication to the ministry.
The keys to influencing others are action and communication. People will notice when you speak about your faith. They will also examine you, and wonder what makes you so passionate. This opens doors for you to share the good news of the Gospel.
Building lasting friendships is one of the most significant ways to influence others. Friends typically notice behavioral changes in their peers first. The nature of friendship is founded in sharing life together. The bottom line is your friends observe and question your behavior.
One way you can influence your friends is to share things with them. Tell them about Christ. It does not have to be forced. It can be organic. If they are believers, then encourage them spiritually. Form a relationship of openness and trust, and encourage one another to serve God.
Friends are not only good for communication. They are also great for action. Christ sent people out in twos. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Ministry is meant to be a group activity, because it is unifying and more effective in numbers. Speak with your friends about getting involved in the community. Serving the people around you is a great way to influence those close to home.
An area where most people struggle is influencing their coworkers. The corporate world wants to tell you to separate faith from work. However, corporate America forgets one thing: You are human. When your identity is in Christ you bring your faith to work, because you are at work. One of the best ways to influence your coworkers is to do your job well.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Col 3:23)
Shining your light on the job
Simply doing your job well could lead to other avenues of sharing Christ. Perhaps there is a chance to conduct a Bible study with a few coworkers before work. If so find an online devotional, then you can walk through it with them. You can also find inspirational scripture online, and send it to them every morning.
The closest yet sometimes the most difficult group to influence is family. If you are fortunate, then you have a supportive family who shares your faith. If not, then you must persevere. Have the attitude of Christ who washed the feet of his disciples. Have a servant’s heart, serve your family, and continually show them the same love that changed you.
If you desire to live faithfully remember the words of Christ, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matt 16:25)
Once you submit to God, living faithfully and influencing others is a natural overflow of a thankful heart. If you have thoughts on this article or want to know more about Getting to Know Your Bible, then contact us today!