There comes a point in all of our lives when we realize we aren't kids anymore. We all come to that fork in the road where the street signs read "Narrow" and "Broad" and we have to choose our path.
Perhaps you have noticed the anti-drug commercials that promote being "above the influence" and standing your ground, regardless of the "norm."
The slogan "above the influence" doesn't pertain solely to drugs; it applies to every aspect of our lives. However, it's important to know what influence we are striving to be above and to know where these influences are coming from. Simply stated, evil influence comes from the devil.
That being does exist and uses anything he can to draw us away from God. It's a daily battle. The world around us has been deceived or blinded to the right way of living, and its immoral way of life has become the "norm." (Request or download the free booklet Is There Really a Devil?)
There is a scary Bible prophecy about society's standards in our time: "In the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Pressure to fit in and conform to this way of life constantly surrounds us. It's nearly impossible to watch a television show, walk through the mall, go out with a friend from school or work, or even read a book without hearing or seeing something foul and unpleasant.
Being above the influence is about being who you are and standing up for what is right—even if it is against the "norm."
How can you be above the influence?
Study the Bible. God shows us the contrast between how we are and how we are not to live. The Bible reveals the results of good and bad decisions.
Guard yourself. We are told to wear the "armor of God" to avoid being influenced by evil (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Pray. This is probably the simplest thing we can do, yet hard to remember. We can pray anytime and place, but especially before problems come upon us. In other words, pray that we won't be led into temptation.
Have a support system. The more evil surrounds us, the harder it becomes to resist. We need to be around people of like mind who encourage us to stay on the right path spiritually.
Know your weaknesses. Even as the Son of God, Jesus personally understood human weakness and that true moral strength comes from God. We need to know our weaknesses—and to compensate by staying close to God. After all, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
Why should I?
Being above the influence isn't an easy thing to do; it does take work to overcome wrong influence. We must remember that our work has a great future in the Kingdom of God.
God is calling us out of this world's ways. He expects us think vertically and follow Him. By choosing His way of life, we can positively influence other people. The choice is up to us. Are we above the influence? VT