“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)
An old African proverb says, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.”
But I had.
My maternal grandmother, Grandmammy, lived in an old farm house on highway 210 near Vance, SC. During the long sultry summers in South Carolina, staying with her meant raising the windows so air could creep in through the screens. The only problem is that her screens often had small rips in them–which let in mosquitoes.
Spending the night with this grandmother meant fighting a battle. Before I lay down, she would come into the bedroom with a can of Raid and spray around the screens. Then, as dusk neared, a mosquito truck would amble down the highway, spraying its nosehair-curling poison.
In spite of all these efforts, no sooner had I lain in the bed than I’d hear that all-familiar sound. A mosquito singing. Since the room was pitch dark, I couldn’t see her; I could only swipe, hoping I’d kill that female who wanted to suck my blood and make me itch.
So the old African proverb was right. I’d spent the night with mosquitoes, and they had a pervading influence. They can turn a night in a hot room–or a camping trip–into a nightmare. The spread of their influence causes us to do any number of things to ward off what they attempt to do. Just think of all the money we spend trying to squash their influence.
But influence doesn’t have to be negative. Wise King Solomon says a friend can sharpen another friend, just as iron sharpens iron.
God gives me the privilege of being a positive influence on almost one hundred Middle School students five days each week. I don’t take the responsibility lightly. Hopefully, my influence will motivate them.
I also have the privilege of influencing hundreds of people worldwide through the writing ministry God has entrusted to me. I don’t take that for granted either.
These are my areas of the world God wants me to sharpen. You have areas too. Just like the mosquito, God wants us to buzz into the areas He has planned for us, influencing the people in our circle in a way that points them to Christ and helps them become more like the person He wants them to be. The ways we can do it are numerous, but God will help us succeed if we ask Him.
Find your world of influence, and buzz throughout it.