June 2, 2017

Influence for Justice

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 2, 2017

“If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces.” Esther 8:5

Everyone has influence. Coaches influence players. Teachers influence students. Friends influence friends. Voters influence elected officials. Parents influence children and children influence parents. Employers influence employees and employees influence employers. Wives influence husbands and husbands influence wives. Influence affects the character and condition of someone or something. It can be used to encourage good or bad outcomes. God calls His children to use their influence for His good purposes. Influence stewarded well will require risk.

Before becoming Queen—Esther sought advice from Hegai—knowing he understood the King’s selection process and what attracted his favor. Queen Esther pleased King Xerxes. She had the ear of the King. Her beauty and the elegant way she carried herself endeared her to all who met her. Wisely, she was patient to steward her influence for the best opportunities. She refrained from addressing the trivial and waited to weigh in on significant matters. When her people, the Jews, were threatened she spoke up. Courage risks rejection by using its influence to end injustice.

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).

In what ways you can steward well your influence? Avoid the natural inclination to do only what’s best for you. Use your influence for others—even to the degree that you give up something, so someone else gains something. You may recommend a pay raise for a team member, but forgo one for yourself. You may step away from a trip so another can travel in your place. Moreover, don’t always play it safe. Boldly suggest to your peers or superiors ideas counterintuitive to their thinking. Prayerful risk taking will elevate your faith in Jesus. Trust in God is influence for God. Use your influence to help those who helped you get to your place in life. Gratitude is loyal.

Most of all, go deeper in your relationship with God and trust Him to increase your influence. Creditability comes to those who love and obey Christ. The depth of your character determines the breadth of your influence. Those who finish well have influenced well. The best stewardship of influence is seen in people who are unselfish. Become an advocate for those without a voice and the Lord will give you a respected voice in the community. Injustice needs your influence.

“Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring” (Esther 8:8).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, use whatever influence I have to spread the good news of Your grace.

Application

How can I boldly use my influence for those who have little or no influence?

Related Reading

Genesis 41:42; Esther 2:15; Acts 15:36-41; Romans 12:9-13; 1 Corinthians 12:2

Post/Tweet today

Become an advocate for those without a voice and the Lord will give you a respected voice in the community. #influence #wisdomhunters

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