As time goes by, do you ever think about the influence you have on those around you? Do you wonder if you are making a difference in the lives of those you love or if you are accomplishing anything of lasting significance?
We all ponder these questions at one time or another. As people created in God’s image, we have within us a need to know that our lives are important and that what we do is truly meaningful—genuinely impactful to those we meet. We want to know that we are accepted, loved, and valued. We also desire the assurance that what we do will inspire the generations that will come after us.
Unfortunately, many of us may mistakenly measure our worth by how much we own, who seeks our counsel, the power we wield, the honors we’ve earned, or the number of people who know our names. But God never intended for these earthly achievements to define us. Scripture teaches us that the Father takes a different view of what comprises a significant life. The apostle John assures us, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
So let me ask you: Do you feel as if your life is meaningful and of value? Do you know for certain you are accepted and loved, and that you’re inspiring those around you? Or have you become discouraged, wondering if what you do really matters?
You can be certain you are leaving a lasting legacy when you obey God because the most powerful way you influence people is leading them closer to Jesus.
This always causes me to think of my mother. She had a very difficult life—one that may have seemed common and insignificant to others. She was left alone to raise me when my father died, did not have much in the way of material possessions, and only had a sixth-grade education. But the influence she had on my life is still bearing eternal fruit today. I will never forget her kneeling down with me beside my bed, praying with me, calling out my name to God, and teaching me to search Scripture. Her loving, faithful example has stayed with me throughout my life.
Like my mother, you can live a life of great significance. You can know that what you say and do will influence those around you. So how do you ensure that your words and actions are truly meaningful and genuinely impactful to those you meet?
First, you do so by modeling a steadfast desire to follow Jesus with a sincere faith in His will and ways. Your devotion to the Savior motivates those around you to seek Him. As they see you face difficult trials with His grace or step out with absolute confidence in His wisdom and provision, they will know that your relationship with Him is not in word only. They will see it is a real and energizing part of your life. They will witness how He loves, comforts, and strengthens you through every circumstance and provides for every need, and they will want to know Him as well (2 Cor. 4:5-7).
Second, you impact those you meet by demonstrating reverence for God’s Word. You do not have to be a scholar to inspire a love for the Bible in others—my mother certainly wasn’t. All you need is to show reverence for God’s Word above all other sources of information as you read, study, and explain it. The Holy Spirit will do the rest (Heb. 4:12).
Third, you influence others by teaching them how to listen to and obey the Lord. When you spend time with the Father and study Scripture, you develop profound discernment in many areas because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). As your knowledge deepens, God will give you opportunities to share with others how they can listen to the Father and obey His commands for themselves.
Fourth, you ensure your interactions with others are meaningful and impactful by expressing a sincere love, a servant spirit, a forgiving heart, and a generous hand in every situation. When you demonstrate the character of Christ to others, your influence will be profound. By keeping your heart open, available, and ready to help others, they will see a difference in your life and will hopefully devote themselves to Christ. As Paul said, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22).
So do you wonder if you are making a difference in the lives of those you love or if you are accomplishing anything of consequence? Are you influencing those around you, leaving a spiritual legacy that will last in eternity? Like my mother, Rebecca, you can. It doesn’t matter how much you own, who seeks your counsel, the power you wield, the honors you’ve earned, or the number of people who know your name. What matters is the love and obedience you have for God.
Therefore, follow Jesus in faith, show reverence for Scripture, demonstrate Christ’s character to everyone you meet, and obey the Father. Doing so helps you know for certain that you are impacting eternity because when you do, you will realize how valuable and significant your life truly is.
Charles F. Stanley
P.S. When it comes to ministering to others for the sake of the gospel, you can never out give God. The Father always blesses the love, service, and prayers you selflessly invest in those around you. Thank you for your faithful partnership with In Touch Ministries and for serving the Lord right where you are.