The Law of Influence

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When we look back on our lives, we can point to people who influenced us—parents, other family members, teachers, friends…even gang members. Who influenced us the most? Was the influence a positive or negative one?

We can only imagine how different our lives would be if we’d had a successful, law-abiding mentor while growing up. How would our lives have turned out if our mothers had not been addicted to crack? Today, if we admire the hot-shot players with a fondness for trouble, we are soon in trouble. If we have a high regard for women who are always looking to “trade-up” husbands, we will soon find ourselves feeling dissatisfied with our husbands. Our lives are a collection of the people who influence us—for good or for evil. The more time we spend with certain people, the more we become like them. We become like mirrors that reflect the people’s values and character. That’s called The Law of Influence.

The apostle Paul experienced the Law of Influence when he met Christ on the road to Damascus. From then on Paul hung out with Jesus, and his life changed. He went from being a murderer to being a missionary, from being the hunter to being the hunted. He learned the truth of what he wrote in today’s verse.

When we hang out with Jesus, His presence influences us, and we become more like Him. With extended exposure to the Savior, our hearts will produce kindness and tenderness toward people. Our words will soften. Our manners will be more gentle, our conduct more unselfish.

Spend time with Jesus. Become like a mirror that reflects the character of God. When other people look at us, they won’t see us—they’ll see Jesus.

Jim Vogelzang