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It wasn't a good day at work. He didn't like being told off by the boss. When he got home, he took it out on his teenage son. The frustrated son then chewed out his younger brother. The upset brother went outside and kicked the family dog.

Everyone influences someone. We gain that clout when we become a parent or grandparent, master a skill, or become someone’s friend. Influence expresses itself through our actions, our words, and our attitudes. It happens every time we interact with someone: in meetings we attend, what we say online, and in one-on-one conversations.

To the non-Christian world, influence is exerting your power over others. The Bible connects lasting influence with something else—integrity. Using your authority can get someone to do something they don’t want to do; influencing through trust you’ve built can get someone to willingly do something. For the Christian, it’s about being responsible toward others. We know that someday we'll answer to God. The Bible says we'll stand before Jesus to be judged for our actions while on earth (II Corinthians 5:10).

We’re always impacting others without consciously doing so. In ways we aren’t aware, how we influence others affects how they’ll influence others. For a Christian, our influence is a sacred trust from God. In an age rife with leaders abusing their influence, Christians are to be living examples of representing God. Our real goal is to help and improve others, “as iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17).

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