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The very reason God has entrusted us with the circle of acquaintances we have right now is so that we can exercise the greatest degree of godly influence possible over them.

Of course, most people don't approach relationships with this awareness, but the bottom line is the same. That's why God brings us into contact with other people. It's why the Bible says to let your light shine in the darkness of this world (Matt. 5:16).

We are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13), and it is our responsibility to be a godly influence in our community.

Every decision a person makes is a reflection of the most powerful influences operating in their life. That's a powerful statement, but it's true. Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.

When somebody goes out to buy alcohol, drugs, or some other harmful substance, it isn't a casual purchase. That action is the end product of the dominant influence in that person's life.

Whether it be good or bad, every person's decisions to do the things he or she does is the result of the accumulated influences in his or her life.

In a very real sense, the good things that we decide to do simply reflect the godly influences we've absorbed into our lives. The bad or destructive things that we do are simply reflective of the presence of ungodly influences in our lives.

That's why we need to take a proactive stance in influencing the people with whom we have relationships. It's the reason God entrusts us with those relationships in the first place.

We are to be the best possible managers or stewards over those relationships. But before we can become good stewards, we need to have the right goal for entering into relationships.

The proper goal is to influence others for God. We must practice walking in love toward those we're called to influence for godliness.

Remember, love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8). So, if you have a relationship that's failing because of mismanagement that results in a schism or controversy, it is vital to identify what, if anything, you can do to change.

God's love should motivate us to serve others, keeping their best interests in mind. If, indeed, we begin managing our relationships on the basis of God's love, it will open a channel He can use to benefit us and bring blessing and provision into our lives.

Although this is never to be our motive for entering into relationships with others, it's definitely a benefit.

As I've said before, serving others in love has the tendency to significantly elevate the quality of our lives. Whether our need is encouragement, financial help, exhortation, or direction, the Lord is going to use people to bring those things to us.

The extent to which we've managed our relationships properly on the foundation of God's love determines our ability to receive blessings that God gives us to meet our needs.

If we're not getting the needs in our lives met, then perhaps we need to start blessing others out of a heart of love.

But before we can genuinely love other people, we must first experience a personal revelation of God's love for us. We cannot love somebody else with a love we've never experienced ourselves.

Until we have a revelation and an understanding of the depth of God's love for us, which is the great life-changing experience we can have, we'll never be able to consistently love other people.

That's why 1 John 4:19 NAS says, "We love, because He first loved us." Most people don't have a clue as to how precious and special they are in the eyes of God.

Knowing how much God loves us forms the basis for loving others consistently and genuinely. When we model our pattern for loving on 1 Corinthians 13, we will fulfill the law of love as Jesus commanded in the New Testament (John 13:34-35).

Source: Simplify Your Life by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Mac Hammond Ministries

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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