In this sixth and last installment of the Everyday Influence series, Seth explores the positive ripple effect of us sharing the impact Jesus has had on our life. We don’t share the good news for a variety of reasons, but the promise of scripture is that if we show up and share, God will provide the power to our words that has the potential to change hearts. We don’t have to be perfect; in fact that’s part of the good news. Our story, infused with the power of the Holy Spirit, is enough.
Our human mind, if left untrained to another way, can have a predisposition when faced with an opportunity to act toward the negative response. Seth opened by sharing a story of a prompting he received a week ago and how acting upon it brought such blessing and encouragement to several people in the story. His initial reaction was to say no, but his actions of obedience had serious ripple effects on the people he encountered that day. In reality all of our lives have ripple effects whether we like it or not, and we have the opportunity to help influence whether those effects are positive or negative to those around us.
It starts with an understanding of our built in power simply because we are made in the image of God. In the beginning after Satan’s fall from heaven God started creating order from the chaos. Out of His triune community God creates Adam as a steward to care for His creation and co-create with him. But he cannot do this alone therefore God creates Eve so they could be teammates, be fruitful, and multiply. Imagine if Adam and Eve had stayed in right relationship with God. Imagine a world in which they had cooperated and obeyed God instead of forming their own team set against God’s purposes and design. Adam and Eve were powerful creatures, and because of their disobedience, a ripple effect was felt throughout all of creation.
The rest of the story of the bible is essentially God working to get the project back on track. The story culminates in the person of Jesus who shows up and takes the disobedience of the world upon Himself and says that our sins are no longer counted against us. Because of Jesus, we are a new creation. We are powerful beings made in the image of God who were lost but now have been found, and we have the ability to bring heaven to earth leaving a Kingdom of God ripple in our lives’ wake.
The second key understanding is that God has good news. Paul’s words in Romans 1:16 pierce us to the heart because we see the ways we shy away from sharing God’s good news because of embarrassment. Sometimes we get embarrassed of others on our “team” who seem to be serving a different God than we are under the banner of Christianity (e.g. TV evangelists). But other times we get embarrassed because we lack confidence in our own story. The effect of this embarrassment can easily push us to one of two extremes. On one side our embarrassment can make us avoiders in which we’re not sure there is enough power in the words of the gospel to actually make a difference. On the other hand our embarrassment can push us to be an erupter where we take any opportunity in conversations with another to kick the door down and use our own persuasion and fancy arguments to bring about change in others’ lives. In reality Paul says that the power of the good news is that it cuts straight to the heart. It provides people with an opportunity to see life clearly and make a choice of whether to pursue it further. The most powerful news we can share are our own stories.
We don’t have to be perfect; in fact that’s part of the good news. We don’t have to wait for the perfect opportunity or have the perfect words, we just have to show up and share our story of why we decided to join God in getting his project back on track and how following Jesus has affected our lives. We have to be constantly asking ourselves the questions, “What kind of ripple am I making? What kind of witness am I being?”
Hide Extended Summary