Be the Influence.
That campaign to fight drugs, it has a good message, but I think it's incomplete. It asks kids to be above the influence. That's great, we shouldn't be influenced to do things we think are wrong. But I believe there is more. We should be the positive influence on them.
Years ago I had the chance to talk with a missionary family in Africa, they told me about their year back in America. They had the normal adjustments of life, but one that turned out well was school. They had a ten year-old son who had to adapt from private school in Africa to public school in America. Not an easy task. But he did it, and he did more than just adapt, he adapted those around him. Because of his Christian upbringing and his school experience in Africa (which is slightly more disciplined than here) he actually changed the attitude of the class. The teacher said it was the first time she had seen it in her career. Usually a bad egg comes in and brings down the class. This young man's actions actually brought up the class.
That's what we are called to be. We're not merely supposed to detach ourselves from being influenced from the world around us, we are supposed to be influencing them for the better.
Jeremiah was a prophet at a hard time, the people of Israel were rebelling against God and now it was starting to take it's toll. But he held fast. But he also complained. He told God how he had never taken part in the feasts to idols and was a good follower of Yahweh and didn't deserve what was happening to him. God's response-
The Lord replied: "Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you continue as my spokesman. You are to influence them, not let them influence you!" (Jeremiah 15:19, LB)
To be used by God, we need to do more than just remove ourselves from a bad situation. We must trust in Him and be a positive influence to them.
How are you doing as an influence to those around you...?