Over the last few days here at Behind the Bar we’ve looked at practical ways to be a person of true influence. We’ve talked about the fact that we must be involved in the lives of others, that we have to notice what others are walking through, and we must be faithfully present in the lives of the people whom we hope to impact. Today we look at yet another way to be a person of influence:
Its possible to influence someone’s life without loving them. There are people who felt anything but love for me, who have truly impacted my life. But to be a Christ-like influence on someone’s life, love must be present. I’m not talking about the “I love a juicy steak” kind of love, but the “I love you enough to want to see you experience God’s best for your life,” kind of love.
You would think that since love is the foundational principle of the Christian faith, that loving others would come naturally, right? Not necessarily. Some Christians can quote you any Scripture, chapter and verse, but the fruit of love is no where to be found in their lives. Some would say they want to influence others, yet they live such disconnected and isolated lives, that others are left with the impression that they are unapproachable.
Last week my wife and I met a pastor from the UK, and had the privilege of spending a full day and a half with him. From the first moment we met him, he was genuinely interested in our lives, in the calling God had put upon us, and the wellbeing of our relationship with Jesus. As our time with him drew to a close, he gathered Kristia and I close to him, like a father pulling his kids close, and prayed the most powerful prayer over us. We barely spent more than a day with this man, but at the end of that day, we knew beyond any doubt that he had a divinely inspired love for us. With confidence I can tell you that this man influenced our lives forever.
Some say, “I love people, I’m just not good at showing it.” But I sincerely wonder, if you truly love someone, aren’t going to show it? If you do love someone and they never know it, will you ever really influence their lives? If I had a million dollars that I wanted to give to you, but I never told you and never gave it to you, how would that impact your life? We may not be good at showing love, but we at least have to try. Even if we’re clumsy at first, we must be deliberate in expressing our love for others.
Scripture says that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son for the whole world to have life and not suffer in separation from Him. But if we don’t communicate that love to the world, the world will never know, or experience that love?
If we are to influence the lives of others on behalf of the Kingdom of God, we must actively show love, not just in words, but in expression.
So here’s my challenge to you today: show somebody some love.
Ready. Set. Go.