Influence Through Love

This morning, I needed to be reminded of this truth God shared with me five years ago. Perhaps we all do.

I have been listening to some teachings that have really challenged me lately. The basic thought is this, if I am going to be a person of influence, if I am going to walk in the prophetic, I need to love and honor people I don’t agree with, people who I may find distasteful, people who may be evil.

In others words, I need to be able to look at the prostitute, the drug dealer, the outspoken-brash politician, the murderer, the identity thief, the human trafficker, the adulterer, and see them not as they are but who God has called them to be. To see them as someone Christ died for. But not only see them like that but to treat them as God sees them before they make any effort to be that person.

Honestly, when I hear teaching like this, my first thought is I wish my ultra-conservative fb friends can hear and receive this as they post such hateful things about our leaders. But the Lord reminds me I have to be careful not to cast stones. I must first get the beam out of my own eye before I focus on the speck of others.

I have to watch how I deal with decisions made at work that I may not agree with. How do I see that student who is getting on my last nerve. Can I see Jesus in that young woman full of attitude, the young man rebelling just for the sake of rebelling. If I am going to be able to speak into my school, I’m going to have to love my school, all its students, and its leaders. If I’m going to have influence in my church, I’m going to have to see my brothers and sisters as God sees them and encourage their calling. If I’m going to influence my nation, I’m going to have to love my nation and the people who govern, even if I personally may not have chosen that person.

That’s my challenge this morning. But this is my prayer:

“Lord help me see everyone I encounter as you see them. Help me love as you love. Let me not give up on any person, people group, or our nation. Let me focus and celebrate what you are doing rather than complain about what you are not doing. Give me a greater revelation of your love, so I can love as you love me.”

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13:4-7 NIV)