Friday, April 01, 2016

Silent Encouragement

About a year and a half ago -- it was a few months before I retired -- I was commenting that it was too late to be thinking about how I would be remembered at work. If you are concerned about how you will be remembered, the time to leave your mark is every day that you interact with people, not a few days before you leave.

A member of our writers' club said that she thought it might be a while before people realize the impact or influence that I may have had and they may or may not have the opportunity to tell me about it.

Most of the time, I think we fail badly when it comes to letting people know of the influence they've had on our lives. Since that conversation, I've tried to be better about sharing those things with people that have had an impact on my life.
And I've tried to be more purposeful about how I influence others.

I've become more aware that we often influence people -- without knowing it!
People see how we act (or react), overhear what we say, watch how we treat other people -- and make a judgment about us and maybe a decision about whether or not they should imitate our behavior and about what behavior is acceptable in our society.
As Christians -- we are judged by how Christians should act and all of Christianity is often judged on our behavior.

In the bible, Paul wrote that we are a spectacle to the world; that angels and men are watching us.
Just as it should bother you if I (known to be a follower of Jesus) do something that is contrary to what you would expect from a Christian, it bothers me when politicians and political candidates talk about their Christian faith on one hand and exhibit very un-Christian like behavior on the other.
We (all Christians) need to heed Paul's warning and realize that we are always being watched.


I actually started this post today because of a recent encounter with somebody that did share (some time ago) that I had a pretty big impact on his life -- and the life of his family. It wasn't anyone that I worked with, just a guy that has become a friend and I've had a chance to share a few conversations with.
The unfortunate truth is that he might not be welcomed in many Baptist churches -- he is welcome in the Kingdom of God, just not in some of his churches. Fortunately, he has found a church home and is attending regularly with his family. His wife and kids love it and all of them are learning what it means to follow Jesus. Now it is just pretty cool to hear of how going to church is helping them meet life's challenges.

I know that it is not much -- only one person -- but it is encouraging to see that something that I did or said in the past has had a positive impact on somebody. It kind of makes me want to find someone else to tell about Jesus.

I hope that someone has encouraged you, recently. Perhaps you would consider letting them know it.
Do it! It would make their day!

John <><


Mike said...

Great meme.

allenwoodhaven said...

I remember my mother saying that a parent can impart all their wisdom for many years, but the one thing the kids will remember is some remark made in the car on some trip to the store. We always thought it was funny but there is truth in it. People take influence from others as they will, not necessarily as we intend.

That's why I believe in setting a consistent example just be being. I've worked in mental health for over 30 years, with children and adults. What is often remembered is how I have been, not who I am. Some have seen that it's possible to be a different way than they have been, and a different way might be better for their happiness, stability, or to reach towards their goals. That doesn't necessarily mean to be like me, but to find a different part of themselves that works better for them.

Nice post. I enjoy the way you get me to think about things. That's influence on me by you. Thanks.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Sound advice.

John Hill said...

It is said that people will not remember what you say or do; they will remember how you make them feel.