Impact and Influence Others

Funny how it iswell, its actually quite sadwe usually are more concerned about how others words and actions will affect us rather than being concerned about how our words and actions will affect others. Weve all been there, weve all done it. In class, at work, at a party, we think to ourselves or voice to a friend, "OH NO, theres so-in-so! Whether they speak too loudly, drink too much, are negative, are obnoxious, rub us the wrong way, etcwe would rather not interact with them. They make us feel uncomfortable, we have to make small talk, and we cant wait to be released from their presence. We dont like the way their words and actions affect us.

We even do it with strangersif someone looks different or "weird" we dont want to interact with them. We are afraid to engage in conversation with them, make eye contact with them, because it may make us feel uncomfortable. Even if we branch out and give a smile and a sweet hello, we arent sure what that will lead to so we avoid it altogether. Sometimes we do it with a happy heart, but we are really guarding ourselves.

Several weeks ago, I was substitute teaching. In this classroom, there is a child who has very challenging behavior. I went into the classroom with the thought in the back of my mind, "Man, I hope this child behaves today!" Im not proud of this thought. I know that all people and children need love, but some are naturally easier to love than others. I do treat all the kids with the same love and respect, but my initial negative thought hung in the back of my mind all day long. Toward the end of the day, this child ran up to me, gave me the biggest and strongest hug ever, and said, "Im so glad youre here today!" WOWthat hit me right in the heart! I was so selfishly consumed with how this childs behavior would negatively affect me and my daythat I lost sight of how I may be positively affecting this childs day!


I got to thinking about this. I thought about how selfish it is that we behave, think and act this way. We are so afraid to be uncomfortable. We are much more concerned with our feelings than someone elses feelings. These "annoying" people are searching for love and acceptance just as we all are, probably more so. Unfortunately, some of these people are sometimes in our own family. Sometimes they live under the same roof. It can be a challenge dealing with these people on a daily basis. Butwe can let these people and situations help us in our own maturity and spiritual growth. We can choose to act in love and take the higher road. We can choose to impact and influence others in a positive way, instead of trying to avoid them.

One of my favorite, popular verses in the Bible is Galatians 5:22-23. Im sure you have heard of it, even if you are not a Bible reader or scholar. It is about the Fruit of the Spirit. We all are to strive for this in our daily lives.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

If we would really try to exercise The Fruit of the Spirit in each encounter, in every moment of the day, in all our actions, thoughts, and wordswhat a wonderfully fulfilling and sweet example we would be! My, how we would impact and influence others in such a powerful and positive way! Think of how we would fill others with approval, love, and self esteem. Think how it would feel to only run into people who also practiced the Fruit of the SpiritWOW! It would be contagious. It would set a standard. It would change lives.


So lets flip it around: Lets be more concerned with how our words and actions can positively affect someone else, even the people we would rather not encounter. Lets be a living example of The Golden Rule. Let’s be a walking example of Love and Respect. Lets try daily to incorporate the Fruit of the Spirit into our speech, our thoughts, and our actions. You never know who you will touch and influence!


  1. This was perfect for me to read today! 🙂 You have such an amazing way with your words and i love reading everything you post!

    Love you!

  2. Cheryl Beck says:

    Thank you Deanna. You have such a way of seeing things that most of us do not see and then putting them into words and on paper. Thanks for reminding us just what is important in our lives.

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