In the past 9 days, I have spoken at two funerals. The two services were for two ladies who meant a lot to me. One was in Nashville, and the other in Haleyville. It was a high honor to be asked to speak at each of the services, and in reflecting on the lives of these ladies, I was reminded of a powerful principle that every Christian needs to have in mind throughout our life.
See, unless you were near to these ladies, you probably would not have known of their passing. Their deaths did not make national news. No radio talk show is going to talk for hours about the impact on the world or on the national scene caused by their deaths.
No, they weren’t famous. But their influence will be felt for a long time to come.
We live in a time where people think you have to be famous to have influence. Certainly, those with a large platform (celebrities, politicians, and so forth) have influence. But when a celebrity dies or a politician is voted out of office, how many people really are touched by that change? Typically, it is not too many.
But when someone like these two sweet ladies leave this life and enter their eternal reward, their influence lives on. People are deeply hurt because there is a void. Their home is not the same. Their churches are not the same. Their daily routine is not the same. For a long time to come, even mundane decisions and actions seem different, because that person is not there.
Christians, I beg all of us to not worry about how large our platform is. We need to quit buying into the celebrity culture. (You know, the one that says, “If only *this* celebrity would become a Christian. That would change everything!”)
Instead, we need to shine our light and be the salt of the earth that Jesus said we are. More than likely, you are who you are today because of people who are not famous, but because someone simply took the time to love and encourage you.
These two sweet sisters did that, person by person, for years. So, they are missed, and will be for a long time to come.
But their influence will live on, too. It’s not the kind of power or fame that the world says we all need to seek. Instead, it is true influence, because it leads people closer to things that are eternal. In the end, that’s what really matters, and it is what we all need to seek.
“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.”
(Matthew 5:13, 14)
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn
Photo background credit: Don LaVange on Creative Commons