Last week a friend asked me, “Who has the most influence in your life? Who is your model?”
For most of us, our parent’s are the first people we depend upon to validate, accept and love us. As children and teens, others come into our lives, like a friend, grandparent or mentor. As we mature into adulthood, professors, bosses, co-workers, girlfriends or boyfriends, spouses, or someone else might make an intentional decision to invest in your life as a mentor.
Whoever it is, most of us have had at least one person who has made a difference in our lives. Can you think of someone who has been there for you? I’ve had almost all of the above influences in my life, either in a negative or positive way. Yes, sometimes the influences can be very negative. The negative things that happened or were spoken taught me to know that I didn’t want to do or say the same things. The positives I saw in people, I wanted to emulate.
All of this was good for me, but it wasn’t the best. It didn’t empower me to live and love well. I still made choices that were harmful to my children and myself. I didn’t know where to turn for help, or whom to depend on without judgment.
Because everything I write is to educate and empower, I want to share with you the One person who over the past 10 years has become the greatest model in my life. I have diligently sought to follow His ways and it has made an incredible difference in the trajectory of my life, my children’s and my grandchildren’s lives. I believe it can do the same for anyone.
Jesus is my model and the One who has the most influence in my life. He is the One I seek to be with and listen to moment by moment. By learning about God’s love through the parables, Jesus’ teachings and how HE did life, I have found that His actions, principles and attitude are what I desire to emulate. Like you, I want to live in that same healing love and peace that He offers to all people.
Until I chose to allow Jesus take the ownership of my heart, soul and mind, I didn’t understand the fullness of where He could take me. Jesus reveals that as we come to him in childlike faith, He meets us there. A child depends on a parent to provide food, love and shelter. Jesus invites us to come with the same childlike attitude and be
confident that He will accept and care for us. As we grow in Him, we become confident that our names are written in heaven. Have you ever questioned that?
Jesus teaches us that this confidence does not come from brain knowledge, intellect or because one is rich or powerful. Isn’t that great news? It is through God’s grace, not our personal qualifications, that we gain entry to His kingdom. It isn’t something we can purchase our way into. He has invited us into fall into His arms for eternity. It is a free gift available for anyone.
I’m so thankful for each of us having equal access. When in my most broken place, I called to Jesus for help. He scooped me out of the darkness and confusion and took each of the broken pieces of my heart and healed them one by one. He can do the same for anyone.
Since that time, there have been a few close friends I let into the guarded place of my heart. But Jesus continues to be the greatest model, mentor and leader I know. I am amazed when I think about how He turned the world’s way upside down by modeling a servant heart. He washed the disciples feet instead of them washing His! He went to our Heavenly Father in prayer to seek His will in all He thought, said and did. He went to the cross to die for us! Jesus didn’t come to condemn us, He came to save us and give us an opportunity to live eternally with Him.
He died for us. He forgave us for our sins once and for all, yesterday, today and tomorrow. And, then He rose again. He conquered death. He let nothing stand in His way of fulfilling the mission He came to earth to fill. He did it by being loving, peacemaking and prayerful. He healed people and loved them back to life. And for those who believe Him, the Holy Spirit dwells in them to guide them to do the same.
I can’t think of anyone I want to be like more like. And with Jesus as my strength, I have found that we can become more like Him and fulfill our mission and purpose. It takes great willpower and great strength to look back to Jesus for everything. When we keep our eyes on the prize, the gift of being with Him eternally, it’s hard to look to anyone else as our model. The greatest part is that He tells us nothing is too hard for Him!
It’s through my personal relationship with Jesus that I wrote a book, speak, coach and mentor women. This was nothing I ever did before knowing Him! He helps us find our purpose and mission while we are here on earth. There is nothing more fulfilling and rewarding than walking in that. As I read this morning, it’s like having one foot in heaven before we get there.
What I love is that we can all get there! It doesn’t matter who we are or what we have done, He understands and offers us a new life with Him.
Who is it that most influences you? Have you thought about that?
If you haven’t asked yourself that question lately, take some time to sit in quiet and ponder on it. Get a pen and paper and write down your thoughts as you think. You might find that you need to eliminate some negative influences in your life and seek the way of Jesus to grow into the new life He has for you!
Allison Miller is an author, speaker and coach. To learn more about who she is, who it is she helps and why click here.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.