Area of Influence

If we continue to strive for excellence and integrity in our own lives, then we can only be setting a positive example for those around us.

Acts 19.23-41

Reference: v.29a  Soon the whole city was in an uproar. (NIV Bible)

Explore: “If they jumped off a cliff, would you follow?”  This is a question often leveled at someone when they have been persuaded to do the wrong thing through peer pressure.  Often if a child has made a wrong choice and mentioned that ‘everyone elsee was doing it’, they would be confronted with this question.  Of course, it’s not really a question.  There is no good outcome to any answer you could respond with!   And yet, even though this question is directed mainly towards children, I’m not sure we have really learnt it’s teachings by the time we get to adult-hood.  While we may have completed school, even got a degree and have a well paying job, we are still influenced by the people around us, as we are also an influence on others.  We all have an area of influence.  Whether it is within the family structure, with friends or in our work places there is always a group of people that is impacted by our words and actions, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a negative way.
In this passage we see a group of craftsmen who are able to turn a whole city into a riot by protecting their business and their god.  They were not temple leaders or court officials but these craftsmen were able to stir the whole city into a frenzy.

Application: You also have an area of influence.  You may not realise it or be aware of it, but there are people that are able to observe your actions and are impacted by your choices.
While we can not make a decision for someone else, we can be aware of the influence that we have on people.  (And can I add that if your group of influence is with children, then you have the greatest responsibility on your shoulders.)  If we continue to strive for excellence and integrity in our own lives, then we can only be setting a positive example for those around us.
Consider who is in your area of influence.  Be willing to discern who you can gain wisdom from, and how you can encourage and lead those who are willing to follow you.

Prayer: Lord, you are the ultimate leader.  You remained stedfast and true whether you had thousands of people following you or just a few.  May I strive to proclaim your name with all my words and actions.  Amen.

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.