May 02, 2022


Devotion for the Week...

'Influencer' has become a popular buzzword these days, not to mention a possible job title. With the rise of social media celebrities, it's easy to see how someone with millions of followers would be attractive to brands looking to promote their products. It's also easy to see how a person would find selling that way to be an attractive job option. Making IG posts or TikTok videos sure beats waiting tables or working the drive-thru at the coffee shop.

Of course, we don't need a huge social media following to be an influencer. Though the word 'influencer'  may be new, the concept is old. Back in the first century, Paul took a young believer under his wing and molded him into a church leader. Timothy eventually left Paul and took his place in the church at Ephesus, but Paul continued to mentor him through letters. In the letter we know as 1 Timothy, Paul included this bit of instruction: "Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). Being an example is exactly what influencers do! 

Of course, we don't need the title of influencer to be influencing people. In fact, we are all influenced by the actions of the people around us all the time. Whether it's kids being influenced by their parents, friends being influenced by one another or people being influenced by what their favourite celebrities do, influence is just a part of life.

No matter how insignificant we may think we are, there's probably someone taking cues from us about how to live - how to react in difficult situations; how to treat difficult people; how to deal with setbacks, etc. If that's the case, we should probably be aware of the example we're setting! Paul told Timothy to be aware of the example he set in what he said, the way he lived, his love, his faith and his purity. We would do well to look at the same areas in our own lives.

What we say: There's a reason James wrote, "For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way" (James 3:2). If you've ever heard a toddler innocently repeat something they shouldn't have heard, you know how easily our words make an impression on others. So what words are we using?

How we live: We don't want to have to tell those watching us to 'Do as I say and not as I do' so how are we living?
We should be  aware of the example we're  setting for others |
Our love: Jesus said, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:35). Do we exhibit a genuine love for one another? Those closest to us will be able to tell if we're faking it.

Our faith: Do we trust God even in the hard times, when things aren't going our way? 

Our purity: This would have been intended for Timothy as a single man and still applies to those who are single today. As for those of us who are married, we are commanded equally to "remain faithful to one another in marriage" (Hebrews 13:4).

We may not have adopted the title of influencer, but that doesn't take away the influence we have over the lives of others. Are we influencing them in ways that move them closer to God?

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