II Timothy 1:4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
You influence–for good or bad–everyday of your life. As we see in the scripture above, the fact that Timothy became a Christian, a preacher, and pastor was in part due to his family heritage. His grandmother Lois was a Christian and passed that down to her daughter Eunice. She passed it down to Timothy and in time he became a believer in Christ as well. Personal influence is powerful. Let’s look at some key points.
Grandparents: you have a great influence on your grandchildren. They see you differently than they do their parents. We all know that you treat them differently than you did your children. How can you influence them? Give them a good religious influence. Some believe Lois was saved on the Day of Pentecost, but whenever it was, she was a huge influence on her family. I see parents put so much emphasis on their kids excelling in sports or academics. That’s fine, but make sure they also excel in things of the Lord. What you do in this world passes away. What will happen in eternity is what matters. You give the family a sense of history that they may not learn in a book. Often a grandchild will go to a grandparent for a second opinion. You can emphasize what their parents told them in a different way. You give a bigger audience to them at their events. It’s always nice as a kid to look out and see a big family in the audience. Grandparents help with life’s extras. You help kids see their own parents as humans when you say things like “when your mom was little” or “your dad did…” Titus 2 gives instruction in this. Make sure, above all, that your life brings honor and glory to God. This is eternal.
Mothers: your godly influence goes a long way. Wicked Jezebel’s daughter was a witch. No wonder with the example she had. Nero’s mother was a murderer. Look how he turned out when he became emperor. History tells us he had Paul beheaded. Timothy was influenced for good. Susanna Wesley had 19 children; by her influence two of them became some of the greatest preachers ever in the history of Christianity. Mom, you’ll influence your child far more than the preacher will. Many great preachers and presidents spoke of the influence their mother had in getting them to where they were. Be a godly influence.
Your personal influence: I Timothy 4:12 says Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Remember we teach by example whether we intend to or not. It is said a person will directly influence 10 people in their lifetime. Those 10 will influence 10 and so on. Pretty soon your influence has gone to 100 people. You influence the workplace, the school, and the neighborhood. Do they know you live for the Lord? We need to realize people may be in heaven or hell because of our influence. Be a good influence, not a bad one. When we die, will others say we were a good influence? Do you have a desire to be a better influence? Impact the lives of others for good, for the glory of God!