How are you influencing the next generation?
November 1, 2017, 5:00 AM

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15


Being a night owl I often waste countless hours mindlessly flipping channels. For whatever reason, I’m a sucker for infomercials. At the beginning, I scoff at the product, but eventually I find myself wondering if this magical product will solve of all my problems, both big and small. I’m embarrassed to admit but I’ve purchased a product or two only to have buyer’s remorse. These products never live up to their claims. Take for instance, those magical towels that are supposed to be the most absorbent things in the world and supposedly have the ability to clean up a spill in an instant. With all apologizes to Billy Mays and the Sham Wow guy, there isn’t anything more absorbent than the mind of my children. The Brawny Man looks scrawny in comparison to their ability to soak things up.


My youngest son is a mini-me. His spirit animal is a parrot because he mimics EVERYTHING I say. It’s like I have my own personal microphone set to echo mode. But none of my kids are unique in this aspect. Every child possesses an uncanny ability to soak up all that is around them. They watch, study, and take in everything we do. I’ll admit that sometimes knowing I have my own personal voice recorder is amusing. However, my children’s absorbent capabilities also have an ugly side. These are the moments when I see how they mimic my mannerisms and tone of voice. Or even more convicting, when one of them calls me out on my behavior by recalling something I said or did months ago. Even though I gave little thought to this previous exchange, it served as a defining moment for them.


Once a thought or experience gets sucked up in their brain vacuum it is near to impossible to get that little bugger unstuck. I guess the saying is true that kids are like sponges, which means as we have to be careful about the things we let them absorb. This focus and intention is required not only for parents, but other family members, teachers, coaches, neighbors or any adult who has influence in their lives. Regardless of whether you are a parent or not, there is someone younger looking up to you. Each one of us has more influence than we can even imagine or comprehend. Our kids are impressionable, but we often don’t consider what impression we are leaving on them. How are we influencing the next generation? What are they soaking up through our words, actions and mindset? How are you leaving your mark on those that come after you?


This is my Prayer: Father God, help me to realize that my words, actions, and attitudes influence others, especially those younger than me. Lord let me not take the influence I’ve been given lightly, but rather set an example to follow. Jesus when people look to me may they see You in everything that I do. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.