We make contact with people everyday as we go about our lives. Some people are close, like family and some are just acquaintances. When one throws a pebble into a still, quiet pond, you see little waves making consecutively larger rings. This picture aptly describes the circles of people around us. Those in the center are close to us, and those in the outer rings may be acquaintances. Each ring influences us in different ways and we in turn influence them. We meet them in the school parking lot, at functions, at work, next to sport fields, in the beauty salon, grocery shopping, church, friendship groups etc.
Some of us have large circles of influence, simply because we know a lot of people, but all of us have circles of influence, even if it is just a handful of people.
God designed us for relationships, because He is a relational God and we are designed in His image.
Everyday we are given opportunities to explore relationships with people who cross our paths… or not. Every day however, people watch how we live; listen to what we say; observe how we do life. Everyday there is opportunity to influence.
The question is: are we intentional about building relationships within our circles of influence.
- Jesus’ relationships reflected a series of circles which were ever-widening circles of influence. There were the three, ie. Peter, James and John, the rest of the disciples (12), the 72 and others that followed him closely and then the multitudes.
- Jesus was intentional about spending focused time, with the people closest to Him. Each day he taught and trained the disciples and at certain times would spend focused time with a few individuals. He took Peter, James and John to the mountain to pray with Him and in Luke 10:38-42, Jesus was not going to reprimand Mary when she chose to sit at His feet and listen to him, He was building into her life.
- Jesus would also intentionally spend time ministering as he moved along in His daily activities, demonstrating an “as-you-go” ministry. On his way to the rulers house, he stopped to minister to the bleeding woman in Matt 9:18-26. He did life with the people walking next to Him, and taught them as He went.
- Jesus was intentional about what He wanted to do with His time on earth. At all times He knew that He was going to die on the cross to make provision for man’s sin. He wanted His followers to understand the significance of His death and resurrection, so that the message could go out to all mankind. (Matt 28:16-20.)
We should be intentional about our relationships too.
We can have a significant influence for the Kingdom with the people closest to us, as well as those that we meet in our ever widening circles. Do we spend time with significant others imparting our love for Jesus and our understanding of how to walk in the paths of Jesus as we understand them from scripture? Are we aware that our acquaintances are watching how we do our life and that it is influencing them?
“Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6
Who is in your circles of influence right now? Who is influencing you because you are in their circle?
Can you be more intentional about the relationships in your circle of influence?
Father, thank you that You designed me for relationships and that You as author of my life, bring people in and out of my life. Thank you for all the friends and family that are part of my circle of influence. Help me to be more intentional in my relationships, to share my love for You with those closest to me. Help me to make use of opportunities to have a impact for the Kingdom, speaking into the lives of people around me.