In his book, It’s All About The People, Dee Bowman tells a great story about E. J. Nichols from Dickens County, Texas. Dee describes him as “a strong man spiritually.” He says he was “rather rough around the edges but there was a gentleness about him, too.”
E. J. encouraged Dee to preach. He writes, that Nichols “saw something in me that I had not seen in myself and he almost demanded that I go preach.” His encouragment, Dee says, “has produced a huge influence on my life.”
Influence is important. We all have it. Whether for good or ill. It may just be in your home town, workplace, school, or local church. But we all have the opportunity to touch the lives of others in a positive way.
Jesus speaks of influence in His Mountain Message that he metaphorically calls “salt” and “light.” We speak of some folks being “the salt of the earth.” Their influence is good. Pure. Positive. They add flavor and zest to the lives of others. Their lights shine brightly. Even in dark places. And in difficult times.
To whom can you be a good influence today? Or share an encouraging word? Or gently prod to use their talents for God’s glory? Maybe a young person looking for ways to be used by God.
Who know? Maybe your influence will help produce the next Dee Bowman who will touch the lives of tens of thousands in the next 50 years.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman