The power of one person’s life over another’s is something almost startling! There have been single looks of an eye which have changed a destiny. There have been meetings of only a moment which have left impressions for life, for eternity! No one can understand that mysterious thing we call influence. We read of our blessed Lord, that virtue went out of Him and healed the timid woman who came behind Him in the crowd and touched the hem of His garment… Of course, there never was another life such as Christ’s; yet every one of us continually exerts influence—either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain other lives.
We are forever either adding to the world’s health and happiness and good—or to its pain, sorrow, or curse. Every moment of true and honest living, every victory we win over self or sin, and even the smallest fragment of a sweet life we live—makes it easier for others to be brave and true and gentle. We are always exerting influence.
—J. R. Miller
Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed that the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove, and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles.
Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked, Mark discovered the boy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball, and history, and that he was having a lot of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.
Mark went home after dropping Bill at his house. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school, where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long-awaited senior year came. Three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.
Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Do you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother’s sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up my books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life.”
—John W. Schlatter
Despite their bad reputation, dandelions are pretty little flowers with their yellow strands all tucked neatly into the center. And truly they are the most beautiful of all flowers when presented clutched in a child’s dirty little hand. No one gets yelled at for picking them. Perhaps they grow only to be used and enjoyed by children.
Dandelions are ignored or attacked, never nurtured or cared for, and yet they always bloom profusely. They demand no pampering or special attention to yield their bright blossoms; they pop up in fields, in lawns, and between cracks in the sidewalk, even in the best neighborhoods. Can you imagine trying to grow them in a garden? They’d sneak through the boundaries and pop their sunny yellow faces up in the surrounding lawn. They would never stay put!
Christians should be more like dandelions. Our sunny yellow faces should be a reminder that simple faith has deep roots that are impossible to dislodge. Our vast number would show the world that even though we are not fancy or pampered, we are evident everywhere. …
We should be as easily accessible as a dandelion. Jesus is. We need to get out of our gardens and jump across the boundaries that keep us where people expect to find us. We need to show our sunny yellow faces in all the spots that need a little brightening up—the crack in the sidewalk or the lawn of a country club.
While passing through this world of sin
And others your life shall view,
Be clean and pure, without, within,
Let others see Jesus in you.
Your life’s a book before their eyes;
They’re reading it through and through,
Does it point unto the skies,
Do they see Jesus in you?
Oh, what a joy it will be at the set of sun
In mansions beyond the blue,
To find some soul that you have won,
Because they saw Jesus in you.
Keep telling the story, be faithful and true,
Let others see Jesus in you.
—B. B. McKinney
Let Me use your eyes to see the needs of others, whether great or small. Let Me use your ears to hear the heartcries of the lost, and let Me use your tongue to pour forth My words of love and compassion, prayer and encouragement to a brother or sister who is discouraged. Let Me use your mind that I may implant My thoughts therein—thoughts of love and of kindness. Let Me take your heart in My hands and fill it with My concern for the multitudes of people who have not yet heard of My love.
Let Me use your hands to dry the tears of those who are crying, to give a pat on the back to those who are discouraged, to be a helping hand to someone who is falling by the way. Let Me use your tongue as an instrument of My love to someone who needs kind words. Even where you’re not looking for ways to be an example of My love, if you’re willing and heed My gentle whispers in your heart, I will put such situations in your path. They may seem small and insignificant, but they are great in My sight. It is a high calling to be a vessel of My love.
—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
Sometimes just a word or a glance or a smile can make a big difference—how we look or sound or seem. If it’s not cheerful and victorious and uplifting, it’s bound to drag somebody else down with us. Others will partake of our spirits and be influenced by our attitudes. This is why it’s so important that we dwell on the positive, not the negative. Think about the good things. (Philippians 4:8) Be encouraging, loving, and cheerful. Love begets love. If we are peaceful, trusting, patient, restful, and full of faith, this is the way others will also react. A little real love goes a long, long way!
No man is an island. Everybody has influence. One person walking in love will encourage others to do likewise. If you show love, others will catch the same spirit. It’s such a contagious thing—the love of Christ in action. It spreads from heart to heart.
If we live enough with God, like Moses did, a little of God will rub off on us too and we’ll be happy and our faces will shine with joy and the Spirit of God. (Exodus 34:29–34; Numbers 6:25–26) That’s the secret! If we shine forth with enough love, others will reflect it.
—David Brandt Berg
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