Who are we letting shape our lives? Who are we allowing to guide and direct our actions? Who has the greatest influence on us right now? These are all important questions to ask ourselves when discussing pursuing Godly relationships. A lot of times, we tend to walk into friendships and relationships blindly without having eternity in mind. We naturally think very little about ours or the other person’s salvation. This presents a problem because as followers of Christ, we are called to share the Gospel with everyone.

The bottom line is that in order to impact our world for Jesus Christ, we must boldly live out our faith.

That being said, how can we fix this? Below are some ways that we can be more conscious about the people that we allow to influence us.

1)     Embrace the opportunities set before you.

Every day, God places people right in front of us that desperately need to hear the Good News. A common issue I notice among my age group is that we are so focused on our own faith and the cliques we are a part of that we don’t pay attention to the people that God has placed directly in front of us. This constitutes a lack of faith because God has provided us with the tools and the opportunity to share His word, but we aimlessly avoid these people. One way we can correct this is by being intentional about reaching out to new people. Another way we can improve in this area is by looking at who God has placed right in front of us. Consider this: Are you being an example of Christ to the people who God has already placed in your life? Do the friends or people you have in your life right now know where you stand in your Christian faith? If the answer to either of those questions is no, you may want to revaluate if you’re truly living out the example that Christ himself presented to us.

2)     Recognize the importance of community.

A lot of times we miss out on sharing the gospel with someone because they aren’t a person we typically associate ourselves with. Either we’ve heard something about them that was untrue or we just don’t like them that much. The stereotypes we have made towards people can be a huge roadblock as to who we actually impact for Christ. God didn’t mean for us to live in disharmony or tension. He wants all of His children to be connected as one, working towards one common goal: Telling everyone in this world about Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for our sins. We need the people around us to encourage us in order to reach this goal. We simply cannot conquer this world alone. That is why God has given us the gift of Community.

3)     Set the example.

In order to be a living example of the faith to which we claim, we must stay grounded in our own faith. People will not take us seriously if we act one way at church, but then blend in with the crowd at school or work. In order to set an example in our everyday lives we must get to know Jesus personally, so that we can become more like Him. We get to know Jesus more by spending time in prayer, reading and studying the Bible daily, and engaging with other believers. It is only when we are making a conscious effort to learn more about God that we can truly express His love and character towards everyone around us.

It is only when we are making a conscious effort to learn more about God that we can truly express His love and character towards everyone around us

The bottom line is that in order to impact our world for Jesus Christ, we must boldly live out our faith. We must stand strong and be wise enough to surround ourselves with godly influence, so that we are in turn are better equipped to live out God’s purpose for ourselves. Who we allow ourselves to be impacted by is a crucial component in our walk with Christ. The people that we are close to now will shape who we are, who we are becoming, and who we will be in the future.

-Maia Petrov