The Power of Influence
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
The word, “one” is used thirteen times in Romans 5. Each time the word is used, the influence that “one” had is great. It was by “one” that “many be dead.” It was by “one” that “Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” It was by “one” that condemnation came. It was by “one” that justification is offered. It is by “one” that “death reigned,” but it was also by “one” that the “gift of righteousness shall reign in life.” It was by “one…many were made sinners,” but it was also by “one shall many be made righteous.” When God uses the word “one,” He is simply showing the power of influence that one person can make. Several principles are taught in this verse that should cause you to ponder about your influence on others.
First, you may be one, but you always influence many. Adam never realized that power that his decision made, but his decision affected the whole human race for eternity. Had he understood the affect and the effect his disobedience would make, I would imagine he would have been more careful with his decisions. You may be one person, but you will always affect many people. Abraham was one person, but he influenced history with the one decision to have an affair. David was one person, but his decision to be unfaithful to his wife led to the eventual demise of Israel. Joseph was one person, but his decision not to have Mary killed influenced the eternity for all of mankind. The influence that you make from one decision always affects the lives of many.
Second, it is one decision that will impact many decisions for the rest of your life. Samson made one decision to disobey God and his parents, and the rest of his life was impacted with wrong decisions. Ruth made one decision to follow Naomi back to Israel, and that one decision impacted her ability to make future decisions for good. Always remember that one decision will impact the future decisions you must make for the rest of your life for good or bad. You may think that one decision doesn’t make that big of an impact, but one decision is always the foundation and seed for future decisions.
Third, just as one can influence many for bad, so one can also influence many for good. The influence your life can make for good can never be underestimated. Paul was one person, but he influenced the Gentile world even to this day. You may think that you are just one person, and you may wonder what you can do to turn things around, but it only takes one person to make a right decision at the right time to influence many for good. What is that right time? You will never know, and that is why you must be sure to make the right decisions every time because you never know how that one decision will influence many for good. Esther never knew that one decision to listen to her uncle’s advice would save the Jews from annihilation, but she was able to influence a nation for good because of one good decision.
My friend, it is what you do with the power of your influence that determines the future of many. Let me caution you to be careful with your influence. Don’t be flippant with your decisions, because one decision will influence many for good or bad. All it takes for evil to continue is for one person to choose to do nothing; contrarily, all it takes for righteousness to reign is for one person to choose to do right.