Accordingly, over the last few evenings, I have enjoyed many nostalgic moments from my grade school days listening to the 60’s channel, from my high school days listening to the 70’s channel, from my college days listening to the 80’s channel, etc…
But the wonderful thing is that, more than just being entertained by these channels, I have also been somewhat challenged by them. You see, most every song that pops up is accompanied by several tidbits of trivia – either about the artist, the song itself, the album it came from, or the times when the song debuted.
I soon noticed that one recurring piece of trivia has to do with what the major influences on the particular artist who is performing the current song. So, for instance, a given male artist may have stated that the major influences upon him were Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and Plácido Domingo. (That’s right! Very often, these influences consist of the most unusual compilation of earlier recording artists from wide-ranging and seemingly juxtaposed genres.)
Similarly, a given female artist may have stated that she was influenced by Patsy Cline, Karen Carpenter, and Moriah Carey. And while the various combinations of recording artists having influenced each performer are often somewhat surprising, one thing is clear: every single recording artist (or group of artists) has been influenced by some other recording artist (or group of artists)!
As I have pondered this, I have been reminded that all of us are influenced by others who came before us. Likewise, each and every one of us will be an influence on one or more other people who will come after us! That is the just the way life works!
Given this fact, would we not all do well to consider what the influences on us have been? I once heard a man state that he had learned from everyone he had ever encountered. Some of these had taught him what to do and say. Others had taught him what NOT to do and say! Either way, he had learned from each and every one of them.
He was on to something there! Each of us owes a debt of gratitude to those who have influenced us! This is true whether that influence was for the good we should do or the bad we should not do. Bu this is especially so if that influence was for the good!
Given this, does it not it behoove each of us on occasion to seek out and to thank those who have played a significant role in our development and/or success in life?! Yes, it certainly does! And it also behooves us to remember that, in all we think, say, or do, we are having an influence on some other person or persons in turn!
So, then, who is watching you today? Who is listening to you today? Who is learning from you today? More to the point, who is inculcating your values today? The answer may just be: “Far more than you realize!”
In His famed “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus said the following:
14“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
It is obvious that Jesus is here admonishing us to be careful with our influence! As Christians, we literally light the way for others! We should make every effort, therefore, to light the way for them in such a manner that it takes them ever closer to a life that glorifies God!
And then, they too will likely take every opportunity to remember us. More importantly, they will likely remember that they too are now influencing others; and live their lives accordingly!
That, my friends, is the awesome power of influence! Use it well; and use it wisely!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/5.htm.