Influenced? Who me?
February 21, 2013
What are you under the influence of? No, I don’t mean drugs or alcohol. I mean thought influences. Maybe you’re not even aware of them – the viewpoints and outlooks swirling around in the mental atmosphere. Strong opinions, world beliefs, so-called facts – all competing for your attention. And often, without even being aware of it, you’ve agreed with them and are living your life in a way that accepts them as true.
For example, if you believe the earth is flat you are not likely to get on a boat that sails beyond the horizon. Okay, so that’s not really a current issue but it certainly illustrates how accepting faulty information as true can severely limit your life.
The world will certainly tell you who you are: old, fat, ugly, poor, unhappy, sick. And that same world will sell you a surgery, or injection, or location, or device, or scheme to make you fit its very limited viewpoint. And to the extent that we buy what the world is selling, we’re being influenced by that same unhealthy, unkind viewpoint – all likely to no avail. Is that really what salvation is?
Jesus said, “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (see John 16:33) He wasn’t just reporting on some interesting thing he’d accomplished. He was making plain that he’d paved the way for his followers to do the same. For he had already promised, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” (see John 14:12) Our Master gave us the tools and the example.
As the beloved disciple explained, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” (see 1st John 4:1) God’s spirits – or divine directives, which is a more modern interpretation of the phrase – always serve to uplift, move forward, heal, and bless those who follow them.
So, what is influencing you? The stories of a world which can’t really satisfy or save – and which Jesus proved to be false. Or the Word of God, which Jesus lived and expected us to do the same. You really do know the difference.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science Practitioner in Salem, OR, USA. For more information about her, or additional articles, click here.