Each of us has more influence than we realize, and that’s certainly true in our families and our friendships as well as in our scholastic environment. Sometimes the basis for that influence is our position, or our expertise in a certain area, or our persuasive personality. In the long run, how a person uses his or her influence determines if they are remembered with gratitude and appreciation. Ultimately, our greatest influences have eternal impact and effect not just what are able to do, but who we are becoming; not just what we are good at, but what we love and what we pursue.
There are as many different ways of influencing as there are people, of course. Perhaps for you it was a word of encouragement, or the teacher who obviously wanted you to succeed; perhaps it was a teacher who had such passion and enthusiasm for the subject that you became inspired and wanted to learn more. Whatever the avenue of influence, the results change us. We must choose the eternal value of relationships and how we influence one another. I am reminded of the verse in Romans 12:9-10: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
I am grateful to be a part of a community where people work hard to discover and develop their God-given talents and their understanding of the world we live in. I pray that our efforts continue to recognize our dependence on God, and may our resulting influence continue to bring glory to God. “In order to change the culture, our love for other must be sincere.”