The Power of Influence

I am the product of influence…in fact my entire family is. I would not be who I am today if not for the divine ripple effect God set into motion through my mother.

My mother, Yvonne, grew up as an Air Force brat in a traditional Catholic family. She has many stories about growing up all over the country and even in England and Scotland. Her view of God was shaped by years spent in Catholic boarding schools. My mother has said to me on many occasions that she has trouble telling her testimony…her faith story… because it is not exciting. My mother’s faith journey might seem much more subtle than many others, but it is a profound miracle that powerfully shaped an entire family’s eternal condition…thanks be to God!

My mother grew up thinking that her eternal security was based upon whether or not she lived a life that would please God. Like many Catholics she had extreme reverence for God and Jesus, but her understanding of God’s love and grace was misconstrued. God seemed to be distant…he was only a holy judge and not a loving merciful father. She said that she lived in a constant state of anxiety wondering if she would be good enough. Her perpetual thought was, “It would be my luck that my bad would just barely outweigh my good.” This thought started a search for more answers. A search for God’s grace.

My mother became a Christian when my sister and I were very young. I have always remembered growing up in a Christian household. The gospel seemed to be ever present in our childhood. This was due to God’s grace and my mother’s faithfulness. I have always been fascinated with the difference in someone’s “faith perspective” when they come to Christ as an adult as opposed to as a child. My mother always had such urgency when it came to her faith. She never stopped pushing…never quit seeking God. Every day was a desperate pursuit to better know the one that saved her. She sought Christ like air. It was because of this example…this influence that I am a Christian today.

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whomyou learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

-2 Timothy 3:10-17

Paul in his second letter to Timothy is giving him instruction in leadership and godliness. He just finishes writing that the world will be immoral and oppose the truth when he switches gears and writes, “You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra.” Paul celebrates that Timothy was following in his footsteps and did not fall into a life of sin. Timothy took notice of Paul’s concrete example of faith and godliness and patterned his life after him. Paul also writes in verses 14 and 15 that Timothy should “continue in what he has learned and firmly believed”. He urges Timothy to look at and remember who he learned these spiritual truths from (Paul himself, and his mother and grandmother). Timothy was the product of influence. Through God’s sovereign grace he had experienced and learned biblical truth from childhood and had the constant godly influence of others. This influence shaped young Timothy into a man of God.

I read this passage of Scripture and it makes perfect sense. This was what my mother did in my life. She was a passionate example of what a genuine Christian should look like. She constantly lived a life that said, “Follow my example.” Her impact went far beyond just me…because of God’s great power and His grace she also influenced my father, sister, most of her side of the family, and countless other women that she has come in contact with.

Where would I be without her influence? Where would our family be? We as Christians, leaders, parents, and family members have the incredible opportunity to influence others with the gospel. We can live lives that are overflowing with God’s grace and point directly to Jesus Christ. There is power in one person’s influence. Power to change another’s life…power to change another’s eternity.

I am the product of influence…my eternity was changed by its power.

-Chris

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About onebeatblog

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Posted on October 14, 2011, in Leadership, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Oh Chris, I ahve been profoundly influenced by your Mom’s faith also!!!! What a blessing she is in my life! She is quite an example of how to live a Godly life. I am humbled by her faith and friendship!!!! XO, Pinky

    • Pinky,

      Thanks for stopping by OneBeatBlog! I hope that you are doing well and that you are enjoying the studies you are involved in with my mom! She has been a huge blessing to many. Praise God! True example of godly influence!

      -Chris

  2. So interesting (and touching) that you recognise that Thirstiness for God in your Mother’s Life. And the way she shared it with you – not only the thirstiness but also the fullfillement…

    I love this part of your post: “There is power in one person’s influence. Power to change another’s life…power to change another’s eternity.”

    Without knowing I posted the following quote in my blog today: “Your Life might be the only Bible some people read.”, a challenge for our lives. How do we want to live that life, what values to transmit, what examples…???

    Wishing you a happy and blessed week.

    • Teresa,

      I could not agree more. Our lives need to be constant examples of Christ. We should act as ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). Thanks for the comment and visiting OneBeatBlog! God bless.

      -Chris

  3. Chris and Yvonne!
    Praise be to God for both of you!!!
    Yvonne, I stumbled upon your blog many months ago and have revisted countless times,
    I am always inspired by your tremendous inspiration and creative giftings that seem limitless!
    I have shared you exponitionally to as many as possible!!! YaY! both by recreating your recipes and designs!
    Chris, I just read your blog posting, with such Joy and Thankfulness (I grabbed the link from your moms blog) I loved what you have shared about her impact on you (eternally) but what fruit you now bear! It is a great source of Joy to us all! You and your precious Mom will have ripple effects far beyond what you will ever know for the Kingdom of God! Well Done

    • Vanessa,

      Thanks for the comment. My mom’s influence in my life has been huge. God has used her (and her blog) as a huge tool to point others to Christ. I hope that you continue to visit us here at OneBeatBlog! God bless.

      -Chris

  4. Chris,
    I LOVE your Mom’s blog, and out of curiousity came to check out your blog. I too, was born and raised Catholic and thought I had to be a “good person and live by the Golden Rule” to get into Heaven. Truth is, NONE of us are “good enough”.
    Salvation is a GIFT given by God and we have to accept it.
    I accepted it a few years ago,with my Husband and our life has changed drastically.
    Thanks be to God.
    Lori J

    • Lori,
      Praise God for His grace in our lives. It is such a blessing that we can live a life unhindered by the weight of worry…worrying that we will be good enough. Thanks for your comment. Thank God for what He has done in your and your husband’s lives!

      -Chris

      p.s.- I love my mom’s blog too.

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