Exerting a Positive Influence

Text: Matthew 5:16

Unfortunately, there are sometimes good reasons why someone would be surprised to learn that another person is a Christian. Whatever those reasons are, it means that the Christian is not exerting a positive influence. This means that he is not in a position to credibly lead someone else to the truth. How can we positively influence others for good and, therefore, improve our chances to lead them to the truth? We will discuss a few ways in this lesson, though this is certainly not an exhaustive list.

Consistent Attendance

  • Our regular practice must be to assemble with the saints (Hebrews 10:25)
  • Matter of priorities (Matthew 6:33) – choose to assemble over sporting events, family gatherings, TV shows, etc.
  • If we only do what is convenient, we are no different from the world (principle of Matthew 5:46-47)

Kindness to Others

  • One of the fruits of the Spirit is kindness (Galatians 5:22)
  • Love for our brethren (John 13:34-35; 1 Peter 2:17)
  • Doing good for others (Galatians 6:10; cf. Luke 10:30-37)
  • God wants all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; John 3:16) – we should have the same desire; recognize that all are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)

Purity in Life

  • We are to be pure as God is pure (1 John 3:3)
  • Purity in our actions (Galatians 2:20; Matthew 5:48)
  • Purity in our speech (Ephesians 4:28; 5:4)
  • Purity in our dress (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
  • Purity in our entertainment (Psalm 101:3)

Not Worrying or Complaining

  • We are to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4)
  • There is a lot of trouble that exists in life (Job 14:1) – How do we deal with this?
  • We should not worry (Matthew 6:25-26, 30-31, 34) – instead, we must put our trust in God
  • We should not complain (Philippians 2:14) – instead, remember what is important and do what we can

Dealing with Loss

  • One of the reasons why we look forward to heaven is because we will not suffer loss there (Revelation 21:4) – How do we deal with loss in this life?
  • Material possessions – we know they are temporary anyway (Matthew 6:19); have the attitude of Job (Job 1:21)
  • Job/career – our identity is not tied to our career; example of Paul (Acts 18:3) who never labeled himself as a tentmaker; not wrong to do so, but we are more than what we do to earn a living
  • Loved one – we may certainly mourn (John 11:35-36); but for those who were in Christ, we do not mourn as those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14); for those who were not in Christ, we mourn not just for our loss, but more for theirs (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

Talking About Spiritual Things

  • Talking about spiritual matters should be a natural part of our normal conversations (cf. Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
  • We are to be ready with an answer when we are questioned about the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15) – only way people could know about the hope within us is if we talk about it
  • We should make a conscious effort to bring up church services, Bible study, fellow Christians, God, prayer, etc. in our conversations

Conclusion

  • As Christians, we want to be a positive influence on those around us
  • These are just some ways to do that – we can certainly think of others
  • But let us work to do this so that we might be able to help lead others to the Lord

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