The Top Ten

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:48 AM

I love list and rankings and I always enjoy it when a publication puts out its top ten on just about anything. I happened upon an old Christianity Today article that provided me with a very interesting list; the top ten most influential Christians of the 20th century.

As a public service to keep you from browsing though the internet I am going to provide you with the list. Keep in mind this is Christianity Today’s list not mine, also keep in mind one of my favorite things about list is that they can cause people to get in such an uproar because they would have put someone else on the list. In no particular order here is there top ten:

Karl Barth, Billy Graham, John XXIII, John Paul II, Martin Luther King, Jr., C.S. Lewis, John Mott, William Seymour, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, and Mother Teresa. My guess is there are some names here you have never seen and some you are quite familiar with. My next guess is that many of you are shaking your heads and saying, “how did that person get on the list”. My next guess is that there may be a segment of you who really do not care about list as much as I do. I am okay with that. Now I am going to stop guessing and get to the point.

Though some of these people might have had some effect on our lives through books, television or maybe even at a personal revival, none were the most influential in our own personal life. For example I have watched and admired Billy Graham for years and read some of his books, but he is not the most influential Christian in my life.

For another example the first serious book I read as a Christian was “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. Though I have read it more than once and studied some of his other works, Lewis is still not even close to being on my own personal list of most influential Christians.

My personal list includes a saintly grandmother, a loving wife, parents who taught me to love all people, a steady father in law, a sister in law who is a prayer warrior, two sweet pastors of differing denominations and different demeanors who love God, love people and love me. My list could include Godly Deacons and loving neighbors, as well as my own children who have taught me much about what it is to practice what I say I believe and whose innocence brings me back to reality. It could include older siblings who have showed me love and in many ways have been an example of perseverance through their personal difficult times. I could never pin down just ten and you probably can’t either.

On whose list might you be? The people on my list were not celebrities but normal everyday people who have passed through my life. The thought that they were influencing me one way or the other probably never crossed their minds.

Every day as we live out our lives keep in mind that you may be more of an influence than you think and you never know whom you may be influencing. The bottom line is your actions and attitude matter! My absolute final guess of the day is that you and I will never make the top ten list in Christianity Today but we will make someone’s; with that in mind, keep up the faith and stay the course.

· Assignment: Make out your list then if it is in your power tell some if not all of those folks how much you appreciate them and their Godly influence in their life. It will do them a great deal of good.

· Assignment: Ask yourself, “Is my example a Godly one and would the way I am walking be a Godly influence to others. If so great keep it up; if not write down things you need to change then take the steps to get it right!

Scripture: Paul wrote both of these.

1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Philippians 3:17 “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for those you sent into our lives that showed us not only your love but how to practice it. Help us to live in such a way as to pass on their example. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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