Peppermint Patty says to Charlie Brown, “Guess what, Chuck? The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.”

Charlie Brown responds, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?”

Peppermint Patty replies, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”

Influence is one of the most powerful forces within any relationship. Influence can persuade someone to do something that on their own they would never have done. Sometimes that decision is beneficial, sometimes, not.

When you begin to consider something you previously thought was off limits to now be a live option because of people you are around, that should just light you up. That’s a guardrail. That’s two or three yards away from something that you know in your heart you are probably going to regret.

But flip that coin over, and you can become a guardrail for someone else.

What if, instead of worrying about whether you were doing the right thing, you focused on how you can so live so as to influence other people to be better than they would be on their own? What if, instead of trying to hide from Satan, we began to live for Jesus?

There is a difference. It’s a difference in perspective.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine all the time, let it shine.”

Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16,

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

To be the light of the world, we must let people see us doing the right thing.

What is the right thing? God’s will is always the right thing.

We don’t have to point fingers at anyone. We just need to point our lives toward Jesus.

There is likely no stronger influence on anyone than friends. You’ve felt it. Jesus demonstrated it. Now we must live it.

Sean Ashberry, “The Observer,” Somers Ave. church, N. Little Rock AR
via Bulletin Digest

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