Mothers Are Influential

My mother was a person of mighty influence. She understood she (and everyone else) had been given the gift of influence. Just like honey and salt have an influence in a recipe, she determined to do what she could to be both sweetness and saltiness in the lives of others. There are several ways you and I  influence others. We can be a good influence or a bad influence. Or we can choose to have no influence which is really just a bad influence. The problem with the “no influence” choice is that it is a choice as well. James says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 (ESV) The Apostle John said something similar in the third chapter of his first epistle: “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18 (ESV)

What means do you have for influence?

There are at least four ways you can have a powerful and positive influence on others, even if you are poor in this world’s possessions. You can influence with words, works (example), time and prayer. Yes, you can also give gifts as John mentioned, but sometimes the more pressing needs aren’t physical. There are emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs in the lives of everyone you know. Today let’s consider words and example. Both are powerful, and both work best if done in unison. Our thinking should never be “do as I say, not as I do.” Your words have more value and power when they are illustrated by your example.

In a short part of Paul’s message to one church he said, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:5-6 (ESV) Note that the walk and words are to be tailored to “each person.” This requires becoming a student of others. This means you will have to watch and listen. This isn’t just a call to listen for questions, but to listen and help with the unasked questions as well. You need to see the needs and seek to provide help.

Your Words Should be Sweet to the Soul

Finally, notice that your words are to have special qualities that are noticed and helpful. They are to be always helpful and wise. Your words are to be gracious. Proverbs 16:24 says gracious words are sweet: “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Are you looking for the gracious way to be helpful, or do you stun others with blunt-force trauma words? When treating a wound, it is best to be gentle and careful. So, it is with life’s emotional and spiritual wounds. Be gentle and careful as you graciously help someone. Remember, for example, the way Jesus treated those that others considered to be the “scum of the earth.” The tax collectors and prostitutes saw Jesus as approachable, but they didn’t see the priests and teachers of the law that way.

Your Words Should Season Life and Transform It

Your words are also to be seasoned with salt. Salt has so many amazing positive qualities. Salt can preserve, cleanse, and transform the taste of something that needs “just something extra.” I like eggs sunny side up. But I really don’t care much for eggs without salt. Salt makes something bland come alive with an appealing flavor.

Wayne and Mom in Texas December 2005

Use What You Have Even When It Seems Hopeless

Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs.

There is a young man named Nick Vujicic. He was born without arms and legs. There are many things he cannot do for others and that he cannot even do for himself. Nevertheless, God has used him in an amazing way. He is the founder of “Life Without Limbs.” What he has to offer to others is grace, hope and love in the truth of scripture. His mechanism for doing so are his words. Words to school children, to teens, to adults, to prisoners and to those who are struggling to see any way out of their seemingly hopeless situations. His words are gracious and seasoned with salt. The impact is enormous. Mom was like Nick. She knew she would have an influence, so she decided to be a good influence. Her greatest influence in her words, her letters, her prayers, and her works. Her words were gracious and seasoned with salt.

Don’t Underestimate Your Influence The following was copied from the Life Without Limbs web site: “Influence is the gift, sometimes given or earned, to lead and inspire either for the good or for the bad. It doesn’t take much to change from being a negative influence to a positive influence but many underestimate the power of their influence in their world in affecting others. I can only imagine how the world would be if we understood the power of us all being leaders on some level and desiring to make a positive influence.” – Nick Vujicic LINK

If you would like to learn more about the ministry of Nick’s team, Life Without Limbs created a special thank you video for those who support their ministry of influence. He said it is a celebration of all that God has done since 2005. I hope you can watch it: LINK

He also has a coronavirus message that is helpful and humorous: LINK

Nick Vujicic has many great inspirational videos and messages he shares around the world. This is a powerful message for teens about bully behavior: MESSAGE TO TEENS

Don’t live life without knowing your value, your purpose, and your destiny.

Shirley May Winquist and Wayne 2009

You have INFLUENCE. Are you using it well?

Shirley May Winquist – A mother with mighty influence. (2005)