North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Positively influencing others is not always easy. You must first get their attention. The necessity of gaining attention is illustrated by a story you may have heard. It is said that a farmer sold a mule to another farmer with the assurance that the mule was obedient.    “You don’t have to raise your voice or scold and yell at this mule to get him to obey. In fact, he works better if you speak softly and gently to him. He will obey you immediately.”

    On the first day of work, the farmer hitches the mule to the wagon and begins to speak softly to him, “Get up,” he said. After several unsuccessful attempts to make the animal move, the farmer gave up and sent for the man who had sold him the mule.

    When the neighbor arrived, he picked up a broken fence rail and struck the mule over the head so hard it almost knocked him down. Then he spoke to the mule in ordinary tones and got an immediate response.

    “But, but…!” protested the farmer who bought the mule, “You told me the mule would obey if I spoke to him softly and that I did not need to scold and fuss.”

    “That is correct! But you must first get his attention before he will listen to you”.

    We must get the attention of those we wish to affect. To reach a heart you must be different from the ordinary; stand out as different, unique and somewhat mysterious. How can this happen when the world parades itself with so many other distractions?

    1 John 2:6 says, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” Jesus was different. He was unique and there was a mysterious nature that attracted people to him. You can emulate Christ in five ways beginning today.

    First, be UNSELFISH toward others. Christ was never selfish. He lived his life for others, and he ultimately gave up his life for others and was later resurrected. When we give ourselves in total commitment to God by letting Him use us to help and bless others, we can gain the attention of people, because most people only think about doing for themselves.

    Secondly, be UNDERSTANDING. Christ understood people’s suffering, sorrow, and sinfulness, not just because he was God, but because he felt compassion for all people. Zechariah 7:9 instructs us: “Show mercy and kindness to one another”. How can we do that if we don’t attempt to understand one another. Effective Christians feel sympathy for those with infirmities, and for those who undergo testing and trials.

    Thirdly, be USEFUL. Christ not only understands, but helps the needy, lifts the fallen, and saves the sinful. We may not be able to save people from their sins, but we can lead them to the One who can. To be the most effective during our journey here on earth, we should help the less fortunate. Being a Christ-like witness helps bring the lost to the acceptance of Christ’s saving power.

    Next, be UNDAUNTED. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail nor abandon you.” When you are in right standing with God you can face your accusers fearlessly, because there’s nothing keeping you from having God’s power work through you. We must serve the Lord with boldness. He is with us!

    Finally, to be affecting and to garner the influence of Christ toward others, be UPLIFTING. Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:32). This means, Christ will lift us up to a higher plane to where he lives. He came forth victorious over death and the grave. And he calls us up where we belong! We can be influential towards everyone we meet and be effective for Christ, because he has set us free from the bondage of sin.

    The traits needed to influence others in a positive way require a sure confidence in the Higher Power. There’s a story about a young man at a construction site who bragged that he could out do anyone in a feat of strength. He made fun of Morris, one of the older workmen.

    After several minutes, Morris had enough. “Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is. Strength and wisdom are better than strength alone. I will bet a week’s wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to the other building that you won’t be able to wheel back!” he said confidently.

    “You’re on, old man,” the bragger replied, “It’s a bet! Let’s see what you’ve got!”

    Morris reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then nodding to the young man, he said, “Alright, get in!”

    Be unselfish, be understanding, be useful, be undaunted, and be uplifting. In so doing, you will have confidence like the old man. But even more, the effective confidence that is found in Christ to influence others.

Posted by on Nov 3 2019. Filed under Church News, Churches, 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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