Being ‘under the influence’ of something means to be controlled by something or someone other than yourself. Our family and friends, the books we read, and the social media accounts we follow all have an influence on us and help shape who we are today. It works like this: the people who speak into our lives influence our thinking, our thinking influences our actions, our actions influence our character, and our character determines our destiny. We can be influenced by others without being aware of their power over us – hopefully they’re having a good influence on us, but they could be having a bad influence – so it’s important that we’re mindful of who and what we’re surrounding ourselves with. The best influencer we can have is Jesus. We need to allow Him to speak into our hearts and minds by reading the Bible and spending time in prayer. The more time we spend with Him, the more we’ll become like Him. When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they were transformed to the extent that some people thought they were drunk. But Peter said: ‘These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people”’ (Acts 2:15-17 NIV). Two chapters later, we read this: ‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus’ (v.13 NIVUK). And the Holy Spirit, who is simply the influence of Christ, can transform our lives too.
Have a look through the social media accounts you follow. Pray about each one – ask God if it’s having a good influence on you or if it’s something you need to step back from. Go through the same process for the books you choose to read.
The UCB Word For You