The dictionary defines influence as: "to have an effect on the condition or development of". Of course our parents have influenced all of us...even if you don't like them...they shape who you are and what you become, to some degree. I'm not saying you will become just like your parents...because you don't have to....but that's were influence comes in. For this post I'm going to focus on outside influence. By that I mean people who are not your family - people you can choose to emulate or be like.
Since I only have my own experiences to draw on, I'll start there. The first one has to be a guy that I don't even know...his name is Jon Acuff (you can check out his website here). I'm fairly certain that he has never read my blog...nor will he ever read it because he's a big deal and I'm...well I'm not. BUT! I met him quite by accident...he started following me on twitter. Honestly I didn't know who he was...I didn't know what he did...or why he even cared what I had to say. A couple weeks after he started following me, his first book Stuff Christians Like hit shelves. I was floored! A published author actually read my tweets...at least once. That changed my outlook just a bit...maybe...just maybe I did have something to say. At the time I wasn't even in ministry anymore and that realization...that I had something that someone who was a "somebody" wanted to hear what I had to say meant the world to me...it was a confirmation that God wasn't through with me yet.
The discovery of John Wesley was a huge milestone in my life. I'd say that I'd like to be like him...and that would be great...but I think that would offend Wesley. I'd love to be a man of one book, like Wesley...but I'd much rather be like Jesus. My quest for understanding and personal holiness...began in the pages of a book called A Blueprint for Discipleship by Kevin M. Watson. I didn't really know who Wesley was until I picked up this book and the love affair continues to this day.
I could go on for days probably about the influence that family has had on my life but I really don't have the space to mention all of them and what they have done for me. I pray they know who they are. Enough about me....what about you?
Who are your influences? Has someone changed your life for the better? Has someone given you a blessing in disguise. Did someone plant a seed in your life?