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Influence

Briefing: Was there a training officer, partner, supervisor, or co-worker who had a significant impact or influence on you?

Dispatch (Assignment): Think about how much influence you have. Read Matthew 13:31-35.

On the Street: Jesus teaches the importance of influence. Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? The term was coined by Edward Lorenz. It is part of the chaos theory. The butterfly effect basically theorizes a butterfly that flaps its wings in China could, through the gaining of momentum and outside factors or influences, produce a hurricane on the other side of the world. Wow, I don’t give butterflies enough credit.

The example of influence that I like best can be found in James chapter three. James is talking about the taming of the tongue and how powerful our words are. He uses the example of a small spark that initiates an entire forest fire. Jesus gives us examples of a mustard seed and yeast. Jesus said the mustard seed is the smallest of garden plant seeds but can grow into a bush so large that it can be mistaken for a tree. He also mentioned yeast that made its way through all of the dough. These are examples of how Christianity will spread across the entire planet.

When you think of influence there is no one in history who had more influence than Jesus. No other leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of his followers. Philip Schaff, a historian, described the influence Jesus had on the world. “This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.”*

Highlights from this Read: The Bible is filled with stories of how God took people of little influence and did great things with them. He took Gideon’s army and whittled it down to nothing so that everyone would see that it was God who won the battle, not the big army. God wants to be the big influence in our lives.

Investigational Resources: James 3 is a great chapter on our speech. Also see Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 13:18-21 for other perspectives on this passage.

Officer Safety Principle: Is Jesus the influence in your life?

* Philip Schaff, Wikipedia

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!

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