Do you know the influence you have on others? I suspect that we often don’t really realize how we affect others, good or bad. It’s like the saying someone told me about parenting that: “more is caught then taught”.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3: 1b – 3: “ Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
I recently met someone at the visitors table at church. A man said he had been attending worship for about 3 months and said he had seen me around a lot. This made me wonder, whoa! I hope I didn’t do anything stupid!
The fruit of our ministry is often unknown and our spiritual “letters of recommendation” are not on tablets of stone such as awards, accolades, and attendance numbers. But rather are on the tablets of human hearts, the people we influence. And, scary thought, maybe when we don’t even know it.
Twelve years ago I was quietly worshipping in a small hotel room in a country closed to Christianity. The 5 locals were former homeless drug addicts who Jesus had healed. With hushed tones we sang songs I did not know in a language I did not speak. I just hummed along and watched them. Closed eyes, smiling, the joy of the Lord on their faces. They had no idea that they were preaching to me and that their lives were a powerful testimony actively displaying the reach, power, and hope of God.
Wherever we go: “we are the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2 Cor 2:15). We are influencing those around us more than we know.