Influence In The Community
Our influence in the community is of irreplaceable importance to our Christian duty. The great commission given in Mark exhorts’ us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” It should be impossible for a Christian to set our on that quest and walk right past his/her own community, and the souls therein. It must start with those around us, and for us to be effective in this endeavor; we must maintain an exemplary influence. (Matthew 5:16) The following are some of the things that are important to our influence in the community.
Be sure that your actions comply with your words. A man at a sporting event on Sunday morning will have little success trying to convict the other attendees of the importance of faithful church attendance. Likewise, a Christian wearing an immodest bathing suit or one of the scant uniforms worn in certain sports will find that his or her appeal for others to remain pure, or abstain from fleshly lust will go unheeded. Do you go about saying, “This or that is wrong,” yet you yourself do the very thing against which you teach? (Romans 2:21-24) Practice what you preach.
Be friendly. I don’t know many people who like to listen to someone whom they could not or would not consider being a friend. “A man who had friends must himself be friendly.” (Proverbs 18:24) We should want the community to like us, not for popularity’s sake, but so that through us they might come to knowledge of the truth.
Return good for evil. “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (I Peter 3:9) This practice will set you apart in the eyes of the community and of God. This truly is an effective way to win souls for Christ.
I charge you to help answer the spiritual needs of your community. Let your influence be one that will attract lost souls and cause them to obey the will of God. “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20.)