He stood only 5 foot 6 inches, but in my mind he stood much taller.
Born on March 21, 1915, my grandfather had no idea the road he would travel a few short twelve years later. His father died as a young man, leaving behind a wife and a house full of children. My grandfather wasn’t the youngest or oldest; yet managing the family farm fell to him. With an uncle’s assistance, he managed to care for the family, survive the Great Depression, and live until two days shy of his 88th birthday.
Until the day he died, my grandfather had a tremendous influence on my life but never more so than when I was struggling through my rebellious teenage years. When others were judging and shaking their heads, he discovered a way to support me instead of my actions. I also watched as he consistently stood for godliness.
Daniel also resisted the world’s influences while influencing others with a godly example. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. (Daniel 1:8 NLT)
My grandfather and Daniel demonstrated five ways to influence people. One is to lead by example. Neither was overtly vocal about their spiritual stance. They didn’t have to be. Their lifestyle demonstrated what they believed.
Second, they didn’t judge. I’ve learned we can pronounce judgment on sin without judging the person.
Third, they prayed. I’m sure my grandfather prayed regularly for me, and Daniel did for the pagan rulers governing him.
Fourth, they stood firmly by their convictions. No pressure could budge them from what they believed was right.
Finally, they gave. Daniel gave to a foreign power, and my grandfather died a poor man because he gave away everything he had —to family, friends, and strangers.
Are you demonstrating a godly influence to others?
Prayer: Give us strength, merciful God, to display a godly influence before others.
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