Romans 14:7 (ESV)
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”

We are, by nature, social beings. From the very beginning (Genesis 2:18), God set in us a desire for companionship, comfort, happiness, and prosperity. In this relationship, we exert influence over our surroundings; as well as change ourselves by what our senses discover.

As such, our influence can be good or bad.

Once our influence has been exerted, it cannot be undone. There is no “undo” in life like there is on a computer. Like progressive ripples on the water, what we say or do carries forward onto others without any further control on our part possible. While we might try to take back something negative or ill-conceived, the action has been produced and must live out its lifespan. The influence of this action must be completed. Fortunately, the same holds true for positive influence. Our influence on others survives the pang of our own death and for this, we can be a cause of certain good for generations to come.

We therefore must recognize our accountability to God for our influence in this life. As we read in 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Matthew 12:36, we must give an account to our heavenly Father for every thought, word, and deed born from our flesh. The freewill He gives us allows us to exercise this power rightly or wrongly, and when wrongly exercised the consequences will be certainly realized.

God calls on us to do good wherever we can. There are many, many opportunities to perform good works—and we need not wait for our local pastor to identify them for us—that will bring honor and glory to Him. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). If you have not found an avenue of ministry for yourself, pray for guidance and wisdom to help you identify an area where you can serve others.

We all have influence—albeit some have more influence more than others—and must recognize this. In the silent walk of even the most humble of persons lies an unspoken influence towards those around him or her. We watch people, and we are influenced by those around us, whether they notice or not. Regardless of whether this influence is good or bad, its impact is far-reaching.

Take this simple verse from Romans and recognize how wonderfully powerful it is. None of us lives in a vacuum. Our lives are but a single thread in a giant tapestry that only God knows how it will look in the end. Through our behavior, our influence on others, we can help ensure a more beautiful tapestry, at least within our own sphere of influence.