Jesus taught us an incredible lesson on Influence! Shortly before his ministry on earth was completed…he did something that the disciples couldn’t believe and surely didn’t WANT to happen. One evening when they were all reclining to eat dinner together, Jesus stood up, wrapped a towel around his waist and grabbed a basin. Customarily people would have their feet washed by a servant upon entering a home but on this evening that had not happened. JESUS took it upon himself to wash each disciples’ feet. A true blessing, but also a valuable lesson on serving others!
I was thinking this week that serving people doesn’t come naturally to me, that it has been a lesson I have learned over and over thru the years! BUT when I look outside myself and my own ability, I can grow in my willingness to serve others. When I look at the example of Jesus, I’m amazed at his willingness to serve others EVEN though He is the SON OF GOD. I’m amazed by His humble nature, His patience toward people, His willingness to give up His own time and energy to be a blessing. HE is our ultimate example of living using the influence He had to serve others ultimately loving others as God loves. (John 3:16)
As I said at the beginning of this post: Influence doesn’t just come oozing out of people, it’s EARNED!! The more we serve like Jesus served, the more influence we earn. How we treat others impacts how much influence we are going to have in their life! A person isn’t going to change their behavior or their lives over someone bullying them into decisions. Regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey, even if you are not a follower of Jesus, most agree that living as Jesus lived by serving, would make the world a better place.
This past weekend I talked about how serving is an attitude that results in acts of service: “we need to use our attitude to show God’s love to others.” So, the question we need to ask is “how can our attitude reflect Jesus so we can be more influential”? For the follower of Jesus, the ultimate end of this is so that we can reflect Jesus in all that we do.
We must live in humility! Unfortunately, humility often gets a bad rap. We mistake humility for self-degradation. C.S. Lewis said it this way: “Humility isn’t thinking LESS of YOURSELF; it’s thinking of yourself less”. THIS IS HARD! We are wired to be selfish, one of the first words all our toddlers learn is MINE!! As we age, we get good at disguising how we wish we could still just grab something we want and say MINE!
Most of us know that selfishness doesn’t work. We hear Jesus’ words quoted all the time (even though He may not get the credit) “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” (Matthew 7:12) His words here are known as the “Golden Rule”. I’ve never met a parent that would say they want their kids to grow up to be selfish. Instead, we want to teach them to live the concept of Jesus’ words in the Golden Rule. So, as a follower of Jesus I need to think outside the box of WHAT I WANT and think in the realm of Jesus in and through me. As I allow Him to transform me in that way, humility will start oozing out. Which will lead to greater influence in the lives of those around me.
Following Jesus’ example to serve, encourage, support, be patient with, share, and love people turn their attention off me and onto Him. Ultimately for those of us who are followers of Jesus that is our desire.
If you want to catch the teaching from last weekend…click here!