North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

As you go through life and come in contact with many people, eventually you will be faced with the compassionate idea of trying to get someone to do something you feel is best for them. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:16, “Don’t forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Attentive parents know this all too well. They want what’s best for their children, so they try to positively influence them. Influencing others is also a major factor in adult relationships. A person can take many avenues in trying to influence others. All of which are either positive or negative. I wouldn’t condone the use of manipulative tactics; because manipulation is generally used by someone for selfish gain. And it’s certainly not justifiable to try and change people just to make you feel more comfortable. Desiring to change people or influence them positively should be done because you love them and wish them well. If a relationship is not well established, some folks might take offense to you telling them: “You should do this or you should do that!” A family counselor once told me it’s a good idea to use the word “should” very sparingly when advising others. How do we know they should do this or that? More well established relationships, even friend relationships, can communicate with “should”, but there is a line of personal respect that needs to be followed (Phil. 2:3).
A critical element in getting people to listen to you and follow your advice is to humbly confess your own faults and seek to understand them and the other person. James 5:16 says, “Tell your sins to each other and pray for each other so you may be healed.” Everyone needs to consider this before trying to influence the life of another. The people who will respect what you say and those that will consider following you the most, are those who don’t see you as self-seeking; but needful like them—with similar longings and weaknesses. Your influence will be strongest when you can show through the miraculous power through which God has given you; you have been able to overcome personal weaknesses and negatives.
It’s a very noble attitude to want good for someone. Especially for those you have a fondness for. When I see potential in a person it excites me for what the Lord can do with them and for them if they would first yield to God. Many times the very thing you are good at doing and enjoy, God can use to bring glory to Himself (1 Cor. 10:31). When a person seeks to glorify God with their natural gifts and abilities, He will give that person infinitely more power to accomplish infinitely more than they could on their own. It’s called being blessed and favored in the eyes of God.
It’s true that God puts you in situations to act for others and it’s a good habit to always be on the lookout for these opportunities. Whether it’s to encourage someone to do a good job, study for a test, don’t drink as much, stop spending all their money on gambling, or to watch their language—be sure to know God didn’t delegate you as the only one to cure the evils of the world. Let God lead you to others who can back up your good intentions for the person you care about; call upon them for support.
As good and noble as it is to want to help others or positively influence them because you care, you’re not the one responsible for their life, actions, and habits. It’s very easy to let your love and concern for someone enable you to cross the line. Even if they’re the nearest and dearest in your life, they too have their own lives to live either for the good or evil. It’s ultimately their choice, not yours!
If you’re discouraged with them, remind yourself, that if you’ve done all you can and said all you can say…that’s it. Let God help you influence them by leaving them with Him. In other words, pray for them. Leaving those you care for in God’s hands is a faith that will enable you to overcome many of your own fears about them and allow you to live with hope. And we know that hope doesn’t disappoint us (Rom. 5:5). Having faith that God wants what’s best for your friend or family member more than you do, will be a great help to you when you’re tempted to worry about them. Draw upon the positive power that comes from God Almighty. He is the unseen power that is imparted to you when you pray. Even through your prayer if you don’t get the results you desire, through the prayer process you can be delivered from the hurt or unhappiness that might come your way.
A positive faith can do many things for you: 1) It helps you overcome fears that your loved one will not listen to your profitable advice, 2) It helps you live in hope that God will bring wisdom to the life of your friend in God’s time, 3) It helps you to draw closer to God and feel His unconditional love, and 4) It helps you to look confidently to God for the positive changes which by faith you are praying for. Remember, ultimately, within the freedom of each individual, you can’t make anyone do anything. But by faith, there is One who is ready to help you when you’re ready to help someone else. God’s help never fails and it’s the surest strength to bring down the hardest of strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4).
• This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the newly released book: “Soldiers of God: A Bible Study guide for Spiritual Warfare”. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living


Posted by on Mar 29 2015. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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