Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Alive In Christ Part 03 - "I" Influence

Susan yelled at the kids. She didn’t like doing it but it seemed to be happening more and more lately. It had been a busy time with lots of challenges and she was tired. She sat at her computer to answer a mentoring question before she headed off to bed. “Lord, give me your wisdom to help someone tonight.”

She logged on and was immediately engaged as she read a letter from a dear soul asking for help in parenting. The writer felt she yelled at her kids too much. Susan smiled. God was not going to leave her to settle into this behavior herself. She sat there and talked with God for a few moments about her own heart, her own weariness. Then she got up from the computer and went in and talked to her kids as they were settling for bed. She apologized for yelling and they talked about some of the issues that caused it.

Susan sat back down at the computer. She got out her Bible and read the verse the Lord had reminded her of tonight.

“A soft answer turns away anger but harsh words stir it up.” (Proverbs 15:1)

She asked God to help her put the stirring spoon of harsh words and raised voice away and to help her put a soft response in its place. She knew that also meant being firm at times but with a gentleness that God could help her have. She began to type…

As we mentor others we have a greater responsibility to model Christian character. And yet we are all dealing with daily life and its challenges too.

Here is a simple exercise that can help us move from “reacting” in our own lives and circumstances to “responding” in the character of Jesus.

Grab a child’s hoola-hoop, stand in the middle of it and hold it around your waist. There… that circle that surrounds you represents your area of control. It is your own thoughts, your feelings, your ideas, your passions, your decisions, your words, all that you are responsible for.

Now envision a second larger circle outside the hoola hoop. This is the circle that represents other people’s thoughts, emotions, decisions, passions, ideas and words. You have no control here, only influence.

Beyond the second circle is the third circle where you have no control and no influence. Your only input is prayer.

As mentors our first job is to keep our own relationship with Jesus fresh. We need to model how following Jesus makes a difference in our responses where we walk daily.

Think about what’s been happening this week and this month inside your hoola-hoop. Have you been reacting to life’s pressures with the stirring spoon of harsh words, raised voice or angry tones?

Have your thoughts been spiraling you down or are you choosing to take captive thoughts that are negative and critical and march them to Jesus for His tempering? (2 Cor. 10:5)

What about your emotions… are you anxious and worried or are you experiencing His peace within your hoola-hoop? (Isaiah 26:3&4)

When we go to Jesus with the reactions in our lives that are abrasive, He will exchange them for His character qualities.

Then we will be less inclined to reach into the next hoola-hoop and try to control the decisions, ideas, words and feelings of others. We will be more aware of the gentle influence we can have when we “respond” with Jesus’ help rather than “react” in our own sandpaper humanness. (Gal.5:22)

Tending carefully what is happening in your hoola-hoop and being less concerned about what is going on in other’s, will enable you to walk in a freshness of spirit that will impact and influence all your relationships and your mentoring as well. (Romans 15:13)

We give out of who we are. Keep fresh what you offer others by keeping Jesus very close in your hoola-hoop. Turn your reactions into chosen responses by the power of the Holy Spirit. Tune up your influence today.

For real freshness today meditate on the scriptures noted.

God bless you richly as we serve Him together.