August 28, 2022

Colossians 2:6-8  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (NIV)



I reminisced as sat in our church nursery, watching two little boys argue over a ‘liked’ toy. (My boys were that age once and I vividly remembered the interactions.) Two children can be happily playing side by side but the minute one goes to get a new toy the other’s interest is immediately peeked! He now wants the toy the first child has shown interest in. Observing these kids’ interactions opened my eyes to how valuable ‘liking’ something in the world around us really is and what that can mean for those who love Jesus.

Preparations for Vacation Bible School (a summer tradition of community outreach at our church) revealed an obvious God-given opportunity to influence and impact a group of children and their families for Jesus. ‘Liking’ Jesus and ‘sharing’ His love and the truth of God’s Word through words, actions and even responses to tough situations may steer them toward or away from Jesus. While the Holy Spirit will impact them for eternity, our interactions influence them along the way. 

Influencer 2Just as social media influencers start by engaging those contacts closest to them (their friends and family) the early church did the same. As Jesus prepared to ascend back to heaven, He told His followers they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Their influence started at home and then went viral!   (Acts 1:8)

These days, technology ensures that our influence can quickly reach ‘all the world’, but it can be positive or negative. In Colossians 2:6-8 Paul cautions that we who believe in Jesus are to walk as we’ve been taught, being rooted, and established in our Christian faith. . . seeing to it that no one takes us captive according to human tradition. Our words and actions and even our prayers on behalf of others influence their lives. With the Lord’s help that influence can positively draw them closer to Him.

Reflection:  What opportunities has God given you to influence lives around you? How can you intentionally glorify Him in those interactions?

Father God, help me to pause and consider the impact of my words and actions with those around me. Show me how to glorify You before others.


Shawn Maassel, Huntingtown, MD

Shawn MaasselShawn began taking Body & Soul® classes as a student in 1990 after her first child was born. Years later, after a move and transition to full-time church work, she became a Body & Soul® instructor in order to bring the ministry and classes to her new church. She has been leading classes since 2003 in Huntingtown, Maryland and enjoys being part of Body & Soul’s® Spiritual Impact Team. Shawn and her husband have three grown children and two grandsons across the country.