People Who Leave a Mark

October 11, 2011


I have been doing a great deal of thinking about the person I am today. I have been asking some questions about why I have become this man, what has helped to shape me? Making this evaluation led me to think about the people who have helped to shape me.

Hopefully when I ask the question “Who has had an impact on your life?” faces pop into your mind. Hopefully you have a few people that you can recall. For a moment I want to take a look at four individuals who invested in my life. I would consider these four to have had the biggest impact on the way that I am living my life. Hang with me through this, this is some good stuff.

My Father was an incredible example of what it meant to be a godly man. My dad is in no way perfect but watching him pursue his relationship with Christ and seeing him love my mother along with loving my brothers and I, allowed me to see the importance of family. He did what he needed to in order to take care of all of us. He served the church without putting his family on a back burner. He encouraged me to pursue the things God wants from me. He celebrated the good and mourned the bad with me. My father is an incredible man.

The Youth Minister I had during my Senior year greatly affected my decision to go into Youth Ministry. I knew that I was called to ministry but I had not put my finger on exactly what field of ministry. He invested time into me and showed me that he genuinely cared for me and wanted to be there to talk and help me process my confusing high school life. I admired that and began to see the importance of loving people.

My Youth Ministry Professor invested more than an education into my life. He was a great professor but that is not the greatest influence he had on me. He and his wife did our marriage counseling for Jenny and I. They were completelyhonest with us about marriage. They wanted so much to set us up for success and to help us be prepared for the journey ahead. It was the most amazing 12 sessions (that’s right 12!) I have ever sat through. We discussed, laughed, asked questions, and pushed back. This man’s passion to be a godly husband has helped me to be a better man in marriage.

The Preacher at the first church to employ me invested much into my life. He wanted to see me succeed. We did a devotion together every morning before getting to work. He made it a point to ask how I was doing and made sure to help in any way he could. It was a bit intimidating at first, but the way he continued to encourage me, helped me to see he was not just doing this because it was his job but also because he cared. It became a friendship I valued.

What is it about these individuals? Why do they stand out? Each of these men invested something into my life and after thinking about it for a while I have come up with 3 main reasons these men stand out in my mind.

They genuinely care about us. There was nothing superficial about my relationships with any of these men. They were there to help me sift through some difficult situations in my life and encouraged me to be a better man because of them. They didn’t just help me because they had to, but helped me instead because they wanted to. It was the time they took out of their busy lives and their plans to make sure I was doing alright. If you think about it, that is the same with you.

These people want us to succeed. They come along side us out of their genuine care to make sure that we start out and stay on the right track. It was not for their own glory. It was to make sure that we were set up for success, to make sure we could handle the difficult situations that would come at us later, and we would pass those tests with flying colors.

Christ is the Lord of their lives. This was very important for me. I could see that these men aspired to do great things, to have an unblemished character and they were able to do it because of Jesus. They could stand firm against temptations in their own lives and help me in mine because of Jesus. He is their guide.

I’m sure if you think about it you can find individuals in your life who have displayed some of these qualities as well. Maybe there are other characteristics that have caused them to be able to be the leaders you needed at a certain period in your life. For whatever reason we all have individuals who have helped to shape us into the people we are today.

Who has helped shape your life? What was it about them that stands out to you? What did they do to help you?

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