Summary: Everyone has influence. The question is, which way is yours leading? This sermon takes a look at Jesus’ teachings on how to influence others in the right direction. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
HOW TO INFLUENCE OTHERS
Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Being a good manager of what God has given you is called “stewardship.” A lot of people think of money when we say stewardship – but stewardship is more than that. One of the primary things that we have the responsibility to manage for God is the influence that he has given us.
Influence: Getting others to follow you.
Everyone has influence. “You are the salt of the earth.”
What is your influence like?
Like it or not, that mom had influenced that little boy by her actions through the day.
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” said the little boy, “usually Dad and I see at least three or four idiots on the way to school.”
Whether it’s over your kids, or your co-workers, your family or your friends, YOU have influence. The question is, what direction is your influence leading people?
Leadership principles - To influence people in the right direction:
1. Make a decision to lead others the right direction. (v. 13) “You are the salt of the earth...”
One of the remarkable things about salt is that it preserves things. If you salt meat, it will last a lot longer and still be good than if you didn’t salt it.
If you want to influence others, you’ve got to make a decision what kind of influence you’re going to be.
Have you ever noticed that it’s easy to be good when you’re with some people? Have you noticed that it’s easy to be bad with others? You know that there’s some people you wouldn’t think twice about sharing a shady joke with, while others you wouldn’t THINK about it?
Let me ask you: Which one are you? What direction have you chosen to influence?
Are you an influence that prevents decay and rot in others, or do you go right along with it?
2. Get close to those you want to influence. (V. 13) “You are the salt of the earth...”
Salt doesn’t do you any good sitting on your table in your saltshaker. It’s got to get out of the saltshaker, and onto the food to make it taste better.
In the same way, it’s difficult to influence people from a distance. You’ve got to get out of your little world, and into theirs to influence them.
Today, people are saying, “Don’t TELL me. . . SHOW me!”
Here’s what I know about influencing others. . . if you try to TELL people what’s right, they won’t listen. If you get into their lives and SHOW them, they’ll hear you!
3. Be a strong Christian. (V. 13) “...but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
The starting point for influencing others is not what you DO, but what you ARE!
“Halfway” Christians don’t influence anyone like they could. They end up BEING influenced by everyone else. That’s like salt that lost it’s flavor – it’s not worth anything. Jesus said, “You might as well throw it in the trash can.”
So if you want to influence your family, friends, co-workers, children. . . you’ve got to start by being the right kind of person yourself. You’ve got to stay close to God – talk to Him daily, read and study His Word daily, and obey Him in everything.