Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:4-23:21 / 1 Corinthians 15;50-16:4 / Proverbs 20:25-21:4
Children are very impressionable. They are quick to mimic and pattern behavior. They like to “dress up” like mom or dad and often “play” mommy and daddy. It is amazing to hear them talk and use phrases that their parents use. We do not consciously teach our children to act/speak like us but they learn from our strengths and weaknesses. Yes, children are impressionable but parents and adults are influential.
A parent, teacher, or any authority figure that affects someone's nature, character, development or behavior is a person of influence. They can either be a positive influence or a negative influence. Israel and Judah often followed godliness or idolatry because of the influence of their king.
But who influenced the king? Kings were often influenced by their friends or family and in the case of king Ahaziah; his mother Athaliah was a powerful influence of ungodliness. Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king and his mother Athaliah, “encouraged him in doing wrong.” (1 Chronicles 22:3)
Athaliah encouraged her son to walk in the ways of Ahab and Ahaziah did evil in the eyes of the Lord. He led the nation in the worship of Baal and in rebellion against God. Ahaziah’s mother was behind his rebellious and evil lifestyle. She molded her son to defy and reject the ways of God.
It is hard to believe that a mother would desire to deliberately turn her child into a defiant and hater of God yet it happens even today. A person of influence, who does not revere or fear God, will rejoice when they lead others in rebellion. Even if their influence is not intentional, their spirit will affect their disposition and attitude.
God has much to say about influence… “Train up a child in the way he should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it”. (Proverbs 22:6) Our words, spirit, attitude and lifestyle have great impact upon impressionable minds and lives. Heaven takes notice of our influence and eternity hangs in the balance because of our influence. A word of wisdom: there is always someone watching us...let’s intentionally use our influence to lead them to eternal life. Believe it or not, you are a person of influence!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!