Become a man (or woman) who changes others. For God.

One of the concepts that I see espoused occasionally in the manosphere and/or viral social media is that you’re the sum of the “5 people that are closest to you.” There is an element of truth present in this because it is well supported by Scriptural verses about bad company and good company.

In the secular manosphere, this is the catalyst for many men (and women) to dump their own friends and make new friends with those on the same journey.

However, this is not exactly something that a professed Christian should be looking to do — namely dump their friends and get new ones. Indeed, because Christians are supposed to be united as one as brothers and sisters in Christ as the body, we should have no delusions that we are to leave any behind.

On the other hand, it is true that people of like mind will be more willing to stick closer to each other. You may find that in some cases you will start to drift away from others who may not be as serious in their walks with God as those who are more serious, but that should not be a dissuading factor of not encouraging and building up those who are less serious in their faith.

I would assert that as Christians the “sum of our faith” is not only how much we can improve in our own relationships with God, but also to how we can inspire change around us so that others will seek after God. This is the relationship nature of Christianity.

Of course, this is not such a new concept. In fact, it’s just another perspective on what it means to evangelize not only to non-believers but to believers alike.

It is important to remember that by our actions we either show God’s love or not. If we can truly show God’s love through Him working in us, then our influence should grow and God can use that to inspire change in those around us.

This is a measure of charisma, and why it is related to joy, grace, and forgiveness.

I see that the men I interact with in the church are being strengthened in the faith. Their handshakes are firmer. Their resolve is greater. They are becoming stronger and courageous. They are learning how to speak more of their faith. Of course, not all of it is God working through me, but I know that at least a part of it is God’s power working through me. And I know that I still have a long way to go myself.

The fruit of our Christian walk is not only of ourselves, but it is also in those around us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Look for it and be encouraged. I know that I am encouraged.

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4 Responses to Influence

  1. Chad says:

    I see the same.

    It strengthens my hope, faith, and charity to see others grow and be a small, quiet part of that through what strength I’m able to share, small shepherd that I am.

    And it gives me joy. So much joy

  2. ballista74 says:

    Good post. I’ll say something a bit contrary to it though. You have to keep in mind to not be misled. As the Scripture says, “bad company corrupts good character” and ” Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.”

    The presence around good actors and good things is always an encouragement and a strength. The counterpart is that you really have to watch your presence around those with bad habits. It’s so easy to pick those up, and unfortunately I’ve found that it’s easier to be pulled down than to be lifted up. I’ve had to depart from certain people, stop listening to certain things, stop watching certain things (news is a big one for me here!), stop reading certain things over my walk as a Christian.

    Given the issue of negativity I shared about myself on my blog, one of my latest concerns has been dealing with a group in my church that shares that particular sin. While they are professing, I think much of my negativity has been contributed by being around them as much as I have the last few years. As much as it pains me to say this, I’m seriously having to consider discontinuing having anything to do with them simply because I can’t go back into this state of offense against the Lord.

  3. @ Ballista

    Quite true. If something/someone is indeed aggravating an area of temptation then it is a good idea to eliminate that area from your life.

    Though indeed it may also be a good idea to call them out and/or make them aware of it as well.

  4. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2014/04/02 | Free Northerner

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