family life, healthy living, Humility is important, Uncategorized

We influence, whether we realize it or not.

One of the lies we moderns like to tell ourselves is that “it doesn’t matter what other people think”. For most of us, it is a lie we tell to justify an unpopular action we decide to take or to excuse ourselves from right action we choose not to take. What we really mean, however, is that in a particular instance or situation we value our own desires over the opinion or thoughts of a particular person or group of people. It’s not uncommon for people to do this, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t care what other people think.

To the extent that it concerns doing what’s right or going against the cultural grain, it’s a very noble and important to not care what people think. There will always be some who try and encourage us to take the easy road. However, it is never a good thing to take the position that the choices we make and the way we live our lives is nobody’s business but ours and those nearest and dearest to us. It’s cliche but true: Our lives are the closest thing to a Bible -or hypocrisy- some people will ever get.

I recently had two occasions to consider the truth of this in my own life. In one instance, it seemed I was a positive influence. On the other, I was just the opposite. The person who extolled me as a positive example was someone who doesn’t live with me, which is telling on its own, though she knows me enough to have experienced that I am far from perfect. The negative example was front and center in the behavior of one of my children. It was a fairly spot on imitation of me in my most impatient and temperamental moments.

The latter instance pretty quickly sucked the wind from my self-righteous sails that had been lifted only a few hours earlier by a friend’s compliment. I was reminded of how quickly we forget that the people in our lives are taking notes, whether for good or ill and we are walking testimonies of what we believe, whether conscious of the same, or not.

Most important of all of course is that we all live in the presence of God, Who sees it all anyway.

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11 thoughts on “We influence, whether we realize it or not.”

  1. My dose of humility for the week was SIL posting something slightly off-color in response to a pic of DH and I at prom. :p

    It’s vexing, humility. And we never grow out of needing regular doses of it – maybe just the opposite, you know?

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  2. Yes, and I think when we say “It doesn’t matter what other people think” to justify not doing the right thing, what we are really saying is “other people don’t matter.” Scandal, leading by example, thoughtfulness; it’s hard in this day and age to keep these things in mind and let them inform how we behave. I’m sure this is especially difficult for you as a parent. Thank you for a thoughtful post.

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  3. also my husband and son swear up and down that my floral top does NOT match my blue skirt, so now my color vision is off? Say it ain’t so!

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  4. Scandal, leading by example, thoughtfulness; it’s hard in this day and age to keep these things in mind and let them inform how we behave.

    Yes, because every thing in our culture, every voice, including some misguided Christian voices, are telling us that we have a duty to chart whatever path we “feel led” is the path for us.

    The mantra has caught on, with dastardly results.

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  5. Don’t be broadcasting that, now!! It’s not good for business. LOL.

    Although, they might be mistaken. Men have worse color vision than women, right?

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  6. LOL You saw the pic… Does the bright flowered shirt match the bright blue skirt? I can always just wear it with my denim skirt if the vote is unanimously “no”. (It might also just be too bright for them – men often don’t like bright brights).

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  7. Re. “It doesn’t matter what other people think.”

    I assume it is the non-redeemed making that statement.

    The redeemed have this standard set before them: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NIV)

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