Would our friends or family members be eager to tell God how they spend their time with us?
The influence we have on each other affects us more than we’ll ever realize. As important as it is to consider the company we keep, it’s equally important to consider what kind of company we are to others. What would it take for us to be a positive influence on those around us?
For some of us, it would take being truly sorry for our sins and having a healthy fear of God.
Don’t you hate the moments (sometimes years) after you’ve willfully disobeyed God? Shame and damaged credibility are bad enough, but the wrenching realization of how we’ve grieved our heavenly Father strips us of the joy we previously had with Him.
It’s even worse when we entice others to follow our wayward lead.
In 2 Samuel 11, King David allowed his lust for Bathsheba to mature into a shameful affair. Then he callously arranged the murder of her honorable husband, thus bringing innocent men into his sin.
David—the king of Israel. What an example. What an influence.
But when the prophet Nathan confronted David about his sin, David pled with God for forgiveness and promised, “I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you” Psalm 51:13 (ESV).
I admire the fruit (and proof) of David’s repentance. Today, David’s words continue to encourage people who feel trapped in their guilt.
When we genuinely repent (have more remorse for our rebellion against a holy God than despair for the consequences we experience), God mercifully restores our fellowship with Him and helps us deal with the aftermath of our choices.
And the more we fear God, (the more we fear treading into any area of sin), the more we can help others do the same.
For the next several days, spend time reading Psalm 51. Allow its message to encourage you to genuinely repent of any area of rebellion against God—especially behavior in which you’ve encouraged others to sin along with you. Then humbly ask the Holy Spirit to use you to help those you’ve negatively influenced find their way back to Him.
If we, like David, allow the Holy Spirit to break our hearts over our sin and cultivate in us a healthy fear of Him, God will use us in ways we can only imagine in our friends’ and family’s lives. Perhaps even in the lives of those who haven’t yet chosen to follow Christ.
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- Does this week’s message give you another reason to fear God and truly repent of your sin?
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