Our reading for today is 1 Corinthians 10 & 11! 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 11 1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
The Apostle Paul understood the power of influence! He knew that he had and still did influence those who followed his spiritual guidance. He is still influencing... even us 1960 years later as we read this passage and that is a good thing. We need people to follow ... that said... what we really need is for the people we are following to follow Jesus. Mentors are important. Modelers are essential! Paul got this. That is why he said, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ!
We not only need these people we are them! We are mentors... we are modelers... we are influencers. We may not have people clamoring to get an email from us full of wisdom and life changing insight. The younger generation may not be waiting for the next golden word of advice to drop from our lips..... but wherever we are and whoever we are with - someone is watching.
It just helps to remember that. I could take this reality as a legalistic pall over me creating a way of life that is pretty on the outside but different on the inside. No, I think Jesus wants me to see this power of influence thing and this "somebody is watching" reality as motivation to be very attentive to my "inside" and to my "outside". God wants them to match! Knowing somebody is watching is a healthy accountability to check my actions (outside) and my motives (inside)! Not for for me to take another dive into the stagnate stench of self-condemnation but rather a refreshing swim in oceans of grace.
The grace of God frees me to follow Jesus and be practically mentored by people who are following Jesus! The grace of God also frees me to see myself as an "influencer" and to be motivated not condemned by that reality!
Today, I get to remember,
"I need an example whose example is Christ and I am to be an example whose example is Christ!"
That is my calling today.... everyday! I think it will keep me busy... but it's a good busy!