INFLUENCING FAMILY

2 Timothy 1:3-7 “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 

In 2 Timothy Paul is writing a letter to Timothy. In vs. 5 he brings up a very important part of Timothy’s story that I want us to hang out on for a moment…

“ I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”

These 2 women are not accidentally mentioned. They are brought into the letter because their faith influenced Timothy in such a way that he too decided to walk in it. A grandmother and a mom influenced someone that spread the Gospel alongside of Paul on his second and third missionary journey and ultimately went on to Pastor the church in Ephesus. Timothy was influenced by the faith of his family, and every single one of us has family that we can influence through our own faith.

I want to remind us who family is… Our family are blood relatives and those friends that are family by choice. (A dear friend of mind would call this “FRAMILY”.)

My family consists of:

  1. People I didn’t pick to be in my life, I was born into those relationships.
  2. People I chose. I am married and I picked my handsome husband and then we chose to have 2 amazing daughters.
  3. People God places. I have those around me that FEEL more like family than friends. They are the close ones that we do life with daily and on the deepest levels. They are the ones that can see your house dirty and the piles of laundry you hide from others.

Your family probably looks similar to mine and because of this, we share one common fact about family… it is the hardest place to intentionally influence with the Gospel. Especially with those stubborn ones around us who outright want to have nothing to do with Jesus. However, the truth is, it is the one place that God has undoubtedly placed you to have the BIGGEST influence.

Are you daily aware of the influence you’re having over your family? The way you spend your time when they are near? Or how about how you spend your time when they are out of site. Are you intentionally leaning into the Holy Spirit and listening to how he would use you in the lives of those closest to you? Or are you on autopilot going throughout your daily routine and choosing not to be interrupted by what God may ask of you?

Awkward family photo

What family members in your life are the hardest to be salt and light too for you, and why do you think this is?

I have a small wooden sign that hangs in my home that says “365 new days, 365 new chances”. Every time I look at that statement it reminds me that I have not failed in any of my attempts in life because today I get to try again. Take a minute and think through if there is something that you could change in your daily routine that would allow more space for you to be intentional with those closest to you regarding influencing them with the Gospel. Make a decision to step in that direction and don’t look back… but if you do, tomorrow is a new day to remember that your INFLUENCE matters to those closest to you. Be salt. Be light. Be God’s unwavering love to those he has placed directly in front of you.

 

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