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Understanding Biblical Influence

It is said that everyone has influence, good or bad, upon others. People are watching you whether you want to admit it or not. What you do and what you say influences many people. For that reason, the Holy Spirit reminds us in our text this week how we must be careful in our witness to others.

“Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:10–12)

Perhaps the one thing we often overlook in our daily walk before others is that it is also a walk before the Lord. Here we see the Holy Spirit noting that they, the Thessalonicans, were “witnesses” of Paul’s efforts to share the gospel with them. The word “witnesses” means someone who sees an event and reports what happened. In other words, they watched and noted all that Paul did and said. More importantly, God was his witness as well. Consequently, we must be concerned each day with how others look at us and with a conscience understanding that God is also watching.

There are two areas of consideration regarding our walk and our influence on others. Note the first is found in verse 10.

“Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:” (1 Thessalonians 2:10)

This first area deals with our actions. Paul was careful to act holy, justly, and unblameable. A quick word study of each trait reveals the following. The word “holily (holy)” is to behave with moral and ritual purity. The second trait is “justly,” meaning to act following righteousness in the sight of God.

And last but not least is the word “unblameably.” It means to take action without guilt or in an irreproachable way. In other words, we must carefully live our lives each day in a manner right before God and others. We must competely obey the principles of God’s Word. When we do, we can act favorably so that God can use us as effective instruments for Him. The only way we can manage to live holy, just, and unblameable is to live God’s way.

The second area deals with our words. Consider verse 11.

“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,” (1 Thessalonians 2:11)

During Paul’s time with the Thessalonians, the Holy Spirit notes that he exhorted, comforted, and charged them. Each of these is a word of communication. To exhort is to earnestly support and encourage a particular response or action. Comforting others involves words designed to alleviate sorrow or distress and lend emotional strength to others. Additionally, a charge, in Greek, means to bear witness. Thus, we see that Paul exhorted them to accept all Christ had done for them. He presented Christ as the only One who could bring true comfort to their life of misery. In doing so, he was a compelling witness offering firsthand authentication of how Christ can completely change a person’s life.

To be effective witnesses influencing others to Christ, we must possess the same components in our life. Every day must start with complete surrender to the Lord and His will. There must be a daily commitment to obey Him and His word. If we do, our actions can be holy, just, and unblameable. Furthermore, the words we communicate should flow with words pointing others to Christ. We must always encourage others to acknowledge their sin, the penalty of their sin, and point them to the Person Who paid that penalty so they might live eternally free. As we do, we can show them the true comfort that comes from knowing Christ and living under the influence of the True Comforter. Each day is another day to witness for Him.