Who's Influencing Whom?

July 9, 2016
by Martin Wiles

Psalm 119:61 – Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions. (NLT)

After a few weeks of hanging around with him, I began to wonder who was influencing whom. My father had just returned to the denomination of his upbringing and had been called as interim pastor at the church that he had attended as a young boy. The first person to offer his friendship to me was Michael. He was the son of the chairman of deacons. Who better to hang around with? I thought. I soon discovered that he wasn't involved in anything that would enhance my spiritual journey, but I chose to follow his lead anyway. Before long, I was drinking. Then, I began cutting school and experimenting with drugs. I liked Michael, but there came a time when our paths separated. I knew that he wasn't a good influence, but instead of influencing him, I let him influence me.

Evil people will always drag me down with their offers if I let them, offers like: There's nothing wrong with having someone on the side besides your wife. Spend the money you make. You've earned it. Your family won't miss it. Religion is for those who can't handle life. You don't have to take what your boss is dishing out. Tell him to take that job and shove it. Why work? Live off the government. Everyone else is. These pills will help you get through the day. They won't harm you. On and on, the evil messages come.

The psalmist's answer to evil people's attempts to drag him down was to be firmly rooted in God's instructions. Not a bad idea. God's Word relates His expectations and guidelines. Through introspection, I can determine if and where I'm falling short. When I determine what's keeping me from living up to God's commands and leading me astray, I should investigate the source of my failures. In high school, it was a friend — a good boy, but a bad influence.

Once I've discovered the source of my problem, I must do something about it. For me, it was saying goodbye to a friendship. If you're being influenced by ungodly offers, what steps can you take to be the influencer?

Prayer: Father, help us to shine Your light into others' lives rather than travelling their wicked ways. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one Martin!
    Blessings.


    Martin, your message is so true. Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings.


    Thank you Miles, for sharing your life and your message.
    God Bless you and those you love, now and always.


    Martin – Such a great message and so important for our young people who are in the process of establishing their friendships.


    Hi Martin,
    Good words, my mother always told us, when we were growing up, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll know what kind of a person you are.”
    Blessings.


    Thank you for sharing your experiences Martin. Growing up I used to often hear, “you are judged by the company you keep”, even though we are not to judge one another, this old saying is often true. Sometimes it seems it is easier to bad than good. So we must be selective in choosing our circle of friends, unfortunately unless we have a grounding with God, it is too easy to be led astray.


    So true, so true. How soon we can be convinced by Satan and his followers that the desires of the Lord for us are not at all what is good for us.
    Sad, sad. However you were indeed wise to get rid of he who was leading you down the wide path to a lost eternity. Praise God for His caring faithfulness to us.
    Blessings always.


    Dear Martin,
    If it’s not desirable, or a “good idea” then its not temptation. I get tempted everyday, everyday. However, I see that God’s Word is wiser than my feelings or desires. If I look at stuff from God’s perspective then I can have a better guide as to what is right.
    There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12.
    Saul listening to the people, David desiring someone else’s wife, Peter avoiding suffering, comes to mind
    Been there done that, resisted it, by the grace of God and His deliverance.


    Great thought for today’s times Martin. Blessings.


    Thanks Martin for your reminder!
    I think of Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly”.
    We definitely need to be aware of those that creep into our lives to draw us away from right thinking. The church is also being inundated with those of strange philosophies.
    Blessings.


    Thanks, Martin for a powerful devotional.

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