Growing up in a Baptist church and it’s accompanying Christian school, I had the privilege of hearing hundreds if not thousands of messages in various church and chapel services. That said, I distinctly remember hearing one message when I was in junior high that comes to mind every time I read this passage. In Proverbs 1:10 we read, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” Even to this day I remember hearing a pastor at another church in the area preaching a chapel message in our school on this verse. I remember him yelling, “If sinners entice thee” and those of us in the chapel service would yell back, “Consent thou not!”. What a great verse to stick with me all of these years!
While the admonition still applies to us as adults to not be swayed to sin by the peer pressure of others, another passage in our reading today talks about the opposite kind of influence we can have on others. In John 4 we read the familiar story of Jesus at the well, a passage that Bro. Harris preached on last week. After Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan women, we see her going back to her city and telling the men in vs 29, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” We further read in verse 39 that, ” And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman.” So while our reading in Proverbs 1 reminds us not to listen to negative peer pressure (or be that wrong influence ourselves), we read about the Samaritan women being the exact opposite- that of a positive witness and influence so as help lead many to come to Christ. So the question today is what kind of influence are we? Does our words and way of life point others to Christ? When our lives are over, how many people will be able to give testimony of the positive influence that we were?